FISHING WITH ENGINEERS


I’ll have to catch you up. I’ve been in the Steamboat Springs area as promised in a previous blog and most recently moved on to the Frying Pan River. The “Pan” wasn’t really part of the plan, but you know how it goes when you’re fishing. Anyway it’s been tough to make daily posts, so I’ll fill you in on what has happened with several “delayed posts” over the next few days. But before I get started here’s some necessary background.

In the beginning there was the Michigan Fly Fishing Club. I’ve fished with some of these guys in the past and spoken to their club in Detroit a few times.  Anyway, somehow along the way I began joining five or six of the guys on their annual Colorado fishing trip.  So last Friday we all met up at a vacation rental in Steamboat Springs around 6 p.m. The fishing began soon thereafter when we all headed straight to the nearest public access section of the Elk River and proceeded to get skunked.  Some data analysis followed on who used what fly patterns, why the fly didn’t work, what the few rising trout we did see might have been eating and finally how to maximize our effectiveness the next time out to prevent another skunking.

 A FULLY OUTFITTED ENGINEER  ON THE RIVER.

A FULLY OUTFITTED ENGINEER  ON THE RIVER.

All of which leads me to something you should know if you haven’t already figured it out from my choice of words. About half of the guys on the trip this year are engineers. That’s not to say any of them are wearing plastic pocket protectors or anything like that. In fact, all of them are great streamside problem solvers and gung ho fly fishermen.

However, you do need a day or so to get used to engineer quirkiness. It’s little things like when you’re heating some water in the microwave for that first cup of tea in the morning and an engineer announces that it will take one minute and twenty-seconds to achieve the perfect water temperature. Or you find one of them with a micrometer that he hid in his luggage busy “miking” tippet material and shaking his head. I heard a story that one of these guys counted all the flies in his fly box. I’m wondering if they have ever counted the spots on a brown trout. They even told me that I had a little “engineer” in me even if I did get my university degree in biology. I’m not sure how to take that, but I think it’s a good thing.

I just thought you’d want to know some of this stuff before I cut to the chase in my next post. We’ll be solving the mysteries of a meandering mountain stream with a few detours into how dehydration and altitude impact five guys who flew into Colorado from the Motor City the day before and suddenly find find themselves at 9,000 feet.