Monday, April 10, 2017

Deploying the Troops

Headed to the Queen of Rivers, Norway's Alta

     This coming August marks my tenth wedding anniversary. It has been a great ten years. I couldn't ask for a better wife. Due the milestone, I think I'll be on the outside looking in this salmon season.

     My favorite kind of fly tying is tying for a trip. If it's not for my own trip, second best is someone else's trip. After taking a fishing/tying break in January and February, I have been busy tying for anglers taking some interesting trips in 2018. Among the more interesting orders was a dozen Governors, headed for the big, powerful, early June salmon of Middle Camp's pools on the Cascapedia. Another few dozen are headed for the Rivers Tay, Spey, Nairn, and Ness in Scotland. I've  never fished in the UK, but would love to someday. 

Governors for outsized Cascapedia salmon

     The order that got me the most pumped was a dozen tubes, headed to Norway. There are many great Norwegian rivers, but none as revered as the River Alta, home of the world's largest strain of Atlantic salmon. While tying the other orders, I watched some Dave Chapelle specials and listened to a podcast about crime and corruption in Providence, RI (some familiar characters!). While tying Alta flies, I watched Alta videos. Sometimes I stopped tying to give the videos my full attention. I realized that it's a place I need to see at least once in my life.

    Fueled by over an hour of huge salmon videos, I marched into the room my wife was in and declared, "I'm going to start entering the Alta lottery. If I actually win water, I'll figure out what to do later. But I'm telling you right now, one day I'm going to say that I'm going to Norway. It might be next year. It might be fifteen years from now. But it will happen eventually. I have to fish this place before I die."

     She was sort of caught off guard by how abruptly I delivered my "serious" message, but she got it. I think she'd actually like to come along for that trip, which is great. I tried to pitch a tenth anniversary trip to Iceland, but she saw right through it. She knows next to nothing about fly fishing, but I think she understands how this river is different from all the rest. 

Willie Gunns, headed home to Scotland

     I'll probably be living vicariously through some of you guys this season, but that's okay. I still have to tie a bunch of Miramichi flies. It has been a few years since I was last there. Maybe I'll tie a few extra Undertakers and Butterflies for myself. Maybe I can sneak away for a quick trip if the opportunity presents itself...

Cockburn Shrimp for high water on the Miramichi

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