It is LITERALLY–one month from yesterday before I make the early-morning trek to the region that holds a magic like none other for me.
I’ve tied a few flies. Most of them traditional Kebari style. But I refuse to head to those waters without a grip of Mercer’s Missing Links. I don’t know what kind of zen-shaman-meets/necromancer kind of insight that confounded fly brings to the table, but I’m within a hair’s breadth of proclaiming it the greatest dry fly of all time.
And might I add, the faint-of-heart usually go to the shop and BUY these flies outright. Not me. I like tying my own. I always will. The organic nature of tying my own along with using a traditional horse-hair leader on the McCloud makes everything that much sweeter.
Not to mention, there is a certain and palapable Joy in opening up the fly-tying kit and digging through all this:
To others, it looks like I may have pulled off a rogue Oceans 11-grade heist of FrankenPoultry while raiding a local fabric shop. Good enough. That stuff laying right there makes me happy. Gives me pure joy. Because it ultimately says words I need to hear “take me to the McCloud River.” Just not quite as audibly as I have wished–at times.
Also, there’s always the spectacle of fishing with Mercer himself. He isn’t a fisherman. He’s a FISH. There is simply no way to explain how that guy could cast into a local swimming hole filled with tweekers a half and hour prior, and get a 20-inch trout to fight through the intoxicating ephedra kick to react on instinct. But he does it. No matter HOW MUCH pressure even the most overwrought of riffles have had prior, he can always bring out the most amazing fish.
I’m also taking my ukulele. I’ve been playing it lately. Leaving it behind would be the most faithless of acts, and I simply can’t do that.