Monday, November 28, 2011

My Circus Peanut, my favorite hopper....

July 4, 2010 on the Pine River, on a stretch of private water owned by my son-in-laws family, I happened to learn my first lesson on hoppers.  You see I am a bit of a nymph fisherman, well fisherwoman, that sounds so odd to me, fishergirl is better.  My companions this week were all dry fly fishermen, and very good at it, one a Master Caster, but never making a person feel less important.  A Master Caster knows where he/she fits in, no worries from them, they got it dialed in.   Bruce, the owner of the land said to me at the end of day one of fishing, and doing somewhat all right, hit a hat trick on Peasant Tail, well Bruce handed me my first foam hopper, named the Circus Peanut.   His words, after opening one of his so very many fly boxes, his words, "here, take this, put this on tomorrow, it's a hamburger"...meaning to a big trout it looks like a mouthful and not a tidbit.    So I did just that, when I went back to our cabin.

But I have to say on first view I was thinking "what is this thing, it looks like something from the Walmart fishing isle...all yellow and fake looking"....but, I trust Bruce a lot.  He has always taken me under his wing and in such a humble manner.  But this hopper was funny in appearance.

Next morning I went to my hat trick area, which I had nicknamed "The Nursery" as it was in front of a log, and nearby some tall grass, and that area was a little slower.   I had caught four nice trout the day before in this same spot.   But this time I approached with quiet low body caution.  Quietly casting from a crouch position I landed this Circus Peanut upstream and a foot away from the grass.  It drifted along, all yellow and funny looking, little legs wiggling I am sure.   Along the large dead tree all of a sudden was a hit, hard and strong, and a true take.  Hopper was gone and running in the mouth of a 19 inch rainbow.   Bringing her in I named her the Nanny, and she was beautiful.   That funny hopper worked!   I was so surprised and eating a little humble pie...   A new lesson was imprinted on my mind now.  Hoppers.

One year later my husband and I were given the gate pass to the locked up private water, for a week!  No one but us.  It was gorgeous.

Fall on the Pine, alone and unfished water, jackpot.

I had the Circus Peanut, my one and only, and put it on the line, went to the log area and on the first cast along the grass, bam, out shoots a huge rainbow, maybe the same fish as previous year, leaping out of the water two feet to hit this hopper.   It landed so hard on the water that it broke my line in the middle.  Dang!  Dang!  And also took my Circus Peanut, my one and only.   I nicknamed her the Cannonball, because she reminded me of a kid hitting the water with legs tucked, Cannonball!   A huge splash.

I was livid that this fish did this, stinker.   Later I put on a beetle and had some nice strikes, but sort of fished out that water.  But she was still there.  Leaped out of the water nearby, then took off to the grassy side and did dolphin leaps up and down in the water along the bank.   Maybe trying to work out my hook.   I am not sure.   I do think she was saying na na na na can't catch me...

Next day I went to four fly shops looking for a similar fly, to no avail.   Finally found a nice grasshopper at Let It Fly in Pagosa.  Went back to the river and fished that hopper.  First cast out came the Nanny, good take and had her this time.   Every time she saw the net she screamed downstream.   My husband had to help me get her to the net and made the critical error of grabbing the leader between my line and the fish, a big no no, and broke her off.   Dang, Dang, again!

But my other fly was not in her mouth, which made me feel better, now a new one was there as she swam off.

So now my search is for a new Circus Peanut.  Funny thing is the night before we went to the Pine I got out my macro lens and took photos of it, on many sides.   So now I need to find a hopper tier to make me this hopper.   It is awesome bug.

In Bass Pro I was telling one of the guys there who has befriended me about my Circus Peanut and what a nice fly it was....I got so excited I called it a Circus Penis...."good lord", I said, "I mean Peanut, just let that go by you, thank you for not even blinking"...but my husband started to laugh and I gave him "the look", but I am sure that my fishing friend thought it was quite funny, took as all back for a second...silly Circus PEANUT...

Here is to my wonderful Hopper, laying in the stream somewhere on the Pine River, under a little ice over now I would think....I miss you.  

If you can make me this hopper, I would love you forever.......


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