- Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:35 pm
Several months back I was on the phone with Sakonnet, and somehow we got on the subject of the NorCal October Caddis hatch.
“I would love to come out and fish that,” he said.
“Do it,” I replied. “It’s usually better in November than October, but yeah. Come on out.”
People say shit like this all the time and never follow through, but in August he reached out again and said, “I’m looking at November 7 - 11. Does that work for you?”
He booked a flight, and I called Wayne and reserved the cabin.
On the day he was scheduled to arrive, I stood in my backyard and watched the jet he was on fly above the bay and then head towards the runway at SFO. Soon afterwards I jumped in the truck and drove to the airport. We had some trouble finding each other, but once that was sorted we hit the road and headed north.
When we were half an hour away from Wayne’s I said, “Last light is usually when the fishing is best, so I’m going to take you to a spot I know and rig a rod for you while you change into your waders.”
“You’re going to fish too, right?”
“Oh hell no. After I drop you off I’m going to head to the cabin and then unload the truck. When I’m done I’ll come back and pick you up.”
“Fuck that. If you’re not fishing then I’m not fishing.”
I tried to change his mind but couldn’t get him to budge.
Kids these days.
When we arrived at Wayne’s we unloaded the truck, had some dinner at the local brewery, and then headed back to the cabin for a nightcap or twelve.
The next morning we slept in.
I cooked up a late breakfast of huevos rancheros, and after cleaning our plates we headed down to the river.
When we got to the falls I set up my foldy chair, cracked a beer, fired up a cigar and said, “Throw your fly right at the far bank and then let it drift.”
He made the cast, and a few seconds later his fly went down.
A few seconds after that, it came right back up.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
“That was a fish. Why didn’t you set?”
“I was looking at the caddis flying just to the right of me. I can’t believe how big they are.”
“If you want to look at the caddis then come over here and sit on the bank, but if you want to fish then you need to keep your eyes on the goddamn fly.”
Soon after that he was on the board.
We fished our way back to the truck and stayed out until dark.
When we got back to the cabin we enjoyed a few cocktails while I mixed up some pico and guac.
Later that evening Cornholio showed up. We had some dinner, along with a few more cocktails, and at around 2:00 AM I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies.
When they came out of the oven I handed the tray to Sakonnet asked him to put them on the table, but somewhere along the way he and the cookies ended up on the floor.
Cornholio then fried up some egg rolls.
I’ve no idea when we went to bed.
Later that morning I made breakfast, and after we cleaned our plates we all jumped into Cornholio’s truck and drove to a new spot on the river.
After a brief walk we found a stretch of water that was loaded with rising fish.
Sakonnet went upstream and Cornholio went down.
I set up my chair, cracked a beer, fired up a cigar, and watched the bugs.
After a few hours of fishing we headed back to the truck.
We took a detour along the way and walked through an old abandoned apple orchard.
When we got back to the cabin Cornholio fried up another batch of egg rolls.
At some point after that we had dinner, followed by another late night of drinking.
The next morning Cornholio headed home, and after cleaning up the kitchen a bit Sakonnet and I headed out to a new spot.
We did a fair amount of walking, and when I found a pair of suitable trees right next to the river, we stopped. I opened my backpack, pulled out a hammock, pointed to the river and said, “There should be a fish holding there, and there, and there. Keep looking for water like that as you make your way upstream. Don’t make more than two or three casts in any one spot, and keep moving.”
I’d just about finished setting up the hammock when I looked up and saw he had a fish on.
I napped for about an hour or so, then packed up the hammock and made my way upstream.
I caught a couple of decent fish along the way and called it good.
There was a party going on at Wayne's when we got back, so we sat on his back deck and mingled with his guests for a half hour or so before heading to the cabin and cooking up dinner: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a one star Caesar salad.
The next morning we headed back to the Bay Area.
After unloading the truck we sat on the patio and had some wine.
I turned to Sakonnet and said, “We’ve got some time before your flight leaves. I’ve got a nine weight and a box of striper flies if you want to go fish the bay.”
“Is it OK if I just stay here and play with the pup?
It was a great trip, and I hope he makes it out again soon.