Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lure Making Time in the Northland

     Actually I started last winter. This time it's small, trout sized spinners. Most of them the usual Mepps style. But, once again I've turned into a design thief. An unnamed company makes spinners with a fly trailer instead of the usual treble hook. Gotta say I like the fly idea for a coupla reasons. Homemade will probably work as good as store bought. Cheaper too.
     Mostly though the advantage is in the work. Tying a treble is a pain in the butt. 'Specially when it's a small, number eight or ten hook. Working the bobbin through those tiny hook openings is not a task designed for a man with extra thumbs. And aging eyes. Not to mention the inevitable impaling. And stream of curses. The image of the old master, pipe in mouth, soft patient smile on face, creating life like replications, just ain't me. Workmanlike. Never quite comin' out like the vision in my head. And that's on my best day.
     A straight shafted fly hook is another story. Single hook, long shaft. Simplicity is my friend. Now if I could only make a fly that looked like an actual fly. Even if only an attractor pattern. Streamers and woolly buggers. That's the ticket. And maybe a twister tail, a chunk of worm, minnow head and some scent sprayed on. Bleach and dynamite! Well, maybe just streamers and wooly buggers.
     The hardware's on order. Be here in a week. Thought I already had treble hooks. But I thought wrong. But I do have trout hooks. Oh yeah, won't be long and I'll be in business.
      Will they catch fish? My best friend when I was growing up woulda said it's 50-50. They will or they won't. A half century has passed since but I'll go along with his logic. Makes it sound like there's an actual possibility.
     If you're looking for a trout expert, you best look elsewhere. Just 'cause I've read everything John Gierach and a baker's dozen other trout men and women have written, doesn't mean I've got a clue. Readin' ain't doin'. That was a hard one for me to learn. Or maybe I've been around long enough and overvalue experience. The world around seems to have filled up with young, punk whippersnappers who don't know squat. Ain't been anywhere or done anything. That I was once one of 'em takes continual reminding. I may no longer be a young, punk whippersnapper but when it comes to trout savvy, I don't know squat. Something left to learn. And it's exciting.
     The trout lakes in Minnesota aren't the real deal. Without the DNR they'd be home to hammer handles and bullheads. Each Spring a thousand yearlings are dumped in each little lake so we Minnesotans can eat fresh trout once in a while. A few get to sixteen inches but most are harvested long before that. Wonder what the lakes would be like if they were catch and release? But they ain't. And trout do fry up nice. But, two foot brookies? Something to ponder.
      On four occasions I've had some luck. Even hammered them twice. Call it coincidence. Never used a long rod and fly for those times. Worms, pork rind or spinners. Hardware man. Don't know a thing about presentation. How to fool 'em like I knew what I was doing. When one is on the end of my line, both me and the trout are equally surprised. But it's fun. And doesn't matter a whole lot whether I catch any. Of course that's a lie.
     The first couple of trips up north will be solo. New lakes take some learning. My concern isn't that I won't catch anything. Rather, it's that I'll hammer 'em. And tell the boys from down south how great the lakes we're gonna fish are. Go on and on about the wonderfulness and immensity of the trout. And then when they show up it'll be skunk time. Nothin' to show for our days but sunburn and playful ridicule.
     For now it's a half hour here and there for the lures. The yard calls. The downstairs basement is a half done project that hangs over me. I'll get it done just to get it done. Up north I can pee in the woods. Guess where I'd rather be?

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