Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Hotter Than Hell in Oregon

Do you think I could take this one hundred degree plus weather and save it for say January? Yes, yes I know I promised not to bitch about the warm weather last winter.
Yep it's the dog days of summer all right and so that puts a screeching halt to my fly fishing during the warmest of these days.
With water temperatures above sixty five in most areas it is prudent to either fish the first hours of daylight and the last hours before night fall or don't fish at all. Warm water is toxic to cold water species like trout and so I err on the side of caution during these times.
I worked, for many years, in an aluminum foundry. If there is a place called hell then it certainly must be like that foundry was. We poured molten metal into iron molds to make parts for the large semis that blow you off the road as they pass by.
Many times the temperature was over 120 degrees on the molding line and we had to wear heavy cotton clothing because of safety. Polyester melts when molten aluminum comes in contact with it and of course that makes for some very nasty burns.
One other thing that was also by products of such a hot work place is PRICKLY HEAT!!!
Guys know what I'm talking a about and I think I kept the company that makes Desitin ointment in business all those years.
I have a few war wounds (burns) besides a bad back to show from my years of labor though and I am not ashamed that I lived the life of a blue collar union working stiff.
I thought I would never be able to enjoy the summer time because of my aversion to extreme heat and it did take awhile to adjust after retirement. I now just love a summer evening as the sun goes down and the heat relaxes it's stranglehold on the day.
The sounds of a summer evening in a even a modest sized city like the one where I reside are for some reason soothing to me. There is a hum in the air as if the earth is sighing in relief from being baked all day long.
Of course the insect hatches along the Deschutes are absolutely mind boggling in their intensity at this time of day. The caddis are like a thick black cloak as I ply my trade to the trout that slurp bugs like a thirsty dog in the river. I usually inhale a few caddis as I watch the sun dip below the impressive canyon wall of the river...wonder if they are fattening?
My friend, Bamboo Mike, calls this the magic hour and I think that is a nice way to describe it. The trout converge on the piscatorial smorgasbord that the emerging and dying insects offer up.
These are the times that trout seem to cast aside all caution and feed on the surface. This is a dry fly fisherman's joy for sure!
So when the chill of winter invades my well being I will think of days like this and hopefully it will warm me and sustain me through those cold days.

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