My wife sometimes asks me what I would grab out of the house in the event of a fire. “Oh dear, the wedding albums of course”, I always say. But in the back of my mind I’m grabbing my Thomas and Thomas 5 wt., then the wedding album, if there’s time.
This year I went to the F3T at the classy Oriental Theater in Denver and entered the drawing for all the sweet ass swag they give away each year. I don’t typically just dole out my personal information, but this is one exception. I don’t see the good folks that run the tour screwing me over as they probably don’t know how to run computers very well anyway. Put them on some oars and that’s a different story.
Donations from Trouts and Denver Trout Unlimited include Yeti Coolers, rods, reels, sunglasses. All kinds of awesome stuff I’d rather win than buy. The fly fishing gods smiled on me and old Willie’s name was called. Tucker Ladd himself placed a handsome Thomas & Thomas Zone 5 wt in my hands. I cradled it like my first born. When my buddies asked to see it I told them to keep their goddamned hands to themselves.
Any fisherman knows that obtaining a new rod means a new reel will soon follow. I couldn’t bear to attach a beat up cheap reel on such a specimen of fly fishing beauty, therefore that week I marched to M.W. Reynolds to “just look at” the Ross Reels I knew I couldn’t quite afford. My streak of luck continued as they were having a sale on reels, and I essentially stole a Ross Animas from Mark the owner as I distracted him with conversations about Lucero and the new music venue in Denver.
True to my streamer lust, I ignorantly thought this would be my new favorite streamer rod. A week later I was on a stretch of the Eagle known for large fish. It’s nowhere near where you are thinking by the way. I took a few false casts with a heavy dumbell-eyed streamer and it whizzed by my ear then slammed into my shoulder blade like a softball. The Zone was telling me it’s action was meant for delicate dry fly presentation and not heavy meat.
I changed out my leader and tippet to something less rope-like and guessed at an LBF (little black fly) with a parachute from my buddy Tim, an excellent amateur fly-tyer. This was a good move when the fish started rising. Seeing the bend in that throbbing rod was almost pornographic. I just got flushed thinking about it.