|The M1 Killer - a new favorite "toy"|
Cabin fever in September? With an 8 month old baby boy at home it certainly is possible. I decided to do something about it. I found a used Kelty BackCountry Child Carrier on Craigslist for $50 and I thought it would be a good investment for the both of us. It's a beefy backpack style carrier with a canopy, used to keep the sun and the rain out, but also flies I suppose. After a day of testing it out and getting the right fit at home, we decided to head to the Naugatuck this afternoon.
I had two runs in mind, both with little-to-no wading involved. With help from my Echo switch rod, the little wading we did was no more than ankle deep. Less than ten minutes into the trip, before I even had a chance to process any thoughts about the usefulness of the carrier, we had already hooked and released a 6lb. salmon. I wish I could have seen the little guy's face when a fish almost as long as himself jumped out of the water a half dozen times (I need to buy a rearview mirror). Unfortunately, I couldn't get a pic of the fish and release is safely, so I opted for only the latter. We'll have to persuade mom to go with us sometime to act as camerawoman.
The salmon took my favorite low water fly, the M1 Killer (#10). My first multi sea-winter Atlantic salmon took an M1, tied on a #10 Sprite double, in low, clear water under a bright noontime sun. Conditions were pretty similar today and the M1 worked its magic again.
After a little while, I stopped hearing the rustling of toys and the back of my hat was no longer being pulled. That little turkey fell asleep! I certainly could have used my guide's expertise. I had two pulls on a small, all-black Snaelda, but I couldn't get the fish to come back. I think it might have tasted a bit too much of the hook on the second pull. Oh well...
I think I needed a break before he did, so we went back to the car. After our 90 minute fishing session, a fresh diaper and lunch was in order. He enjoyed a refreshing stretch and a ripe banana mush lunch. The lunch break recharged his batteries and he was ready for more.
We moved to our second spot of the day, but not much was happening. He managed to unfasten his teething ring and drop it into the river. I retrieved it with the bottom handle of my switch rod. That was the extent of the action for the next 45 minutes or so.
I decided we had a good enough day and it was time to head home. Actually, I didn't expect it to go nearly as well as it did, so I was very pleased at the outcome.
Fishing is nice and peaceful, so it was time to release a ton of pent up energy by the time we got home. He was totally hyper for the next couple of hours, but I figured he earned it. I tipped my guide by letting him rip up a Carter's Catalog on the floor of my fly tying room, which he did with gusto.
It was fun day, though I have to say I enjoyed interacting with him during lunch more than the actual fishing, so we probably won't make this a regular thing...at least not for now. I think I'll be more inclined to use the Kelty pack for walks and/or short hikes. Also, I think it will be more fun with mom around so someone can see how he reacts to all these new sights and sounds.