I’m on the clock. The darkness at the end of the tunnel is well within sight. Two more weeks and it’s all over for the unknown soldier. I feel compelled to savor every moment of late season trouting. There is work left to be done. Okay, enough of the god damn cliches, but seriously, there actually is work left to be done. I’ve got a few more weeks until my forthcoming magazine article deadline and I plan to add the finishing touches to it on and off the water. It will be a tactical look at some of the techniques I’ve been employing, written for an old school national fly fishing publication. I’ll give you the details once I’ve had a chance to put it in the “done” pile.

When looking at the pictures above a few things come to mind. First, I had to post another cheesy self portrait pic much to the chagrin of Mrs. Adrift. She absolutely hates my self portrait shots (which only serves to fan the flames). Secondly, I figured I’d circle back to the Echo Ion Fly Reel in the other shot. I’ve put that bad boy through it’s paces the last few months, and it’s slayed a good number of big browns without fail. My only gripe is that the drag tightening mechanism lacks the finesse that some of my better reels maintain. Outside of that shortcoming it’s held it’s own. I’d give it a thumbs up if you’re looking for solid performer at a low price point. Gearheads will tell you that you need to have a fully machined reel (I do tend to prefer the aesthetics of a machined reel). But in reality, there are a lot of decent cast reels being produced as well. My Lamson Konics have been bulletproof over the last few years.

Lastly, I think it’s time to openly discuss the issue of camo clothing since I am rocking a camo hat and shirt in this early morning frame. A number of years ago I helped Pure Fishing develop a superline named Spiderwire CamoBraid. I never fully grasped the reasoning behind the alternating colored fishing line in camo colors. Furthermore there were lengthy discussions about the “camo culture” that is pervasive amongst outdoors peeps. It was determined by the powers that be that since fisherman like camo, they’ll love camo fishing line. This may in fact be true, as this line is still on the market and I regularly see it on the shelves. I for one do not choose camouflage as a lifestyle choice. A few years back I was perusing the goods at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods. I stumbled upon a camo cap and Under Armour camo shirt on sale in the discount bin for virtually peanuts and couldn’t resist. While I’ve always been a practitioner of neutrally colored clothing for small stream trouting, this would be my first forray into the wild world of full camouflage fishing. It’s like my first grade obsession with G.I. Joe has come full circle. I’ve caught a decent pile of big fish this season at a range of less than 20 feet, with some coming inside of 10. A stealth approach is the number one tool in your belt when attempting close quarters warfare. I also believe that wearing camo helps your cause, in particular when attempting a risky downstream approach. I’m often shocked at how close I can get to a trout and catch it before spooking. So camo it is folks. While I may not rock it on the mean streets of Minneapolis, I’m more than happy to wear the duds for backwoods battle.

 




Let’s just get on with the show. I finally connected with a big dude after being on hiatus the last couple of weeks. This dawn dawdling monster was nice enough to grace me with his presence, giving it up to a jumbo-sized clouser ripped through a cut bank. While not the largest specimen I’ve come across in this stream, it’s a damn fine catch, and welcome respite from the tough late season bite I’ve been having. This is one of my favorite dot patterns I’ve seen on a brown all season. Big, dense and rusty is where it’s at from my perspective, though he did lack a true big boy kype.


This is the first morning since spring that I can actually say that I was cold. After getting my arms wet shooting fish pics my hands were like icicles. I actually hoofed back to the car to warm up and grab a cup of joe. From here on out I won’t leave home without my wading jacket. I decided to put on some miles and bounce around to some new turf. I managed a good number of average fish on new spots, with some running as small as my index finger (I regret not photographing the spunky little guy).
As the morning progressed an old foe reared it’s ugly head. A tell tale pain began take hold in my right knee. Fuck, it’s back. For the record, I’m 38 years-old (if I haven’t previously mentioned it). From the age of 30 onward I have begun to pay the price of my reckless youth like most people. Over the last 5 years I’ve developed a wicked case of what I can only imagine is Runner’s Knee. I was preparing for a season of running 5k races with the grandiose idea of maybe ramping it up to longer distances, perhaps even a marathon. As I trained, my knee continued to get worse and worse. I’ve tried a variety of things to help alleviate the pain, but unfortunately for me it’s started to hinder my bushwhacking trouting tendencies. I can only imagine what the future holds. Last Friday I put on a lot of miles finding myself limping my way through the bush in the final hours. It’s the worst bout I’ve had in quite some time, and I’m a stubbornly stupid fly fisherman. I don’t give a shit, if I have to strap on a two-by-four and peg leg it I’ll do it.
Towards the end of my outing I had the good fortune of catching this solid fella just downstream of a gnarly looking logjam. While not as big and beautiful as the early morning beast, you can’t complain with this respectable looking gent engulfing my offering from a wide open run under bluebird skies. As I dried off in the warm morning sun and enjoyed what Indian Summer had to offer, I took a moment to enjoy the waning minutes of my morning. I soon came to the realization that life, like trout fishing is a marathon, not a sprint.