The two-part Saturday

UPDATE, March 8: Greg Madrigal of Sierra Nets writes,

I took a couple buddies down to the LA River in Long Beach and we saw hundreds upon hundreds of carp, but could not get any to go! It was very frustrating but exhilarating at the same time.

I don’t think there was a better day than today anywhere else. Really. We Angelinos have it made if we’d just get out of our cars, get outside and LOVE what we’ve got going on the Left Coast.

After my niggling review of the Orvis Beginner’s Carp Fly book in the previous post, I felt sheepish attending the free Orvis fly tying class. There were only three of us knocking on the door in Pasadena at 9 a.m., and all I can tell you is run, don’t walk, to the next session given by the incomparable Frank Burr. Ready smile, terrific stories, and Frank has been tying flies for more than 40 years, beginning in grade school! The man has the skill and patience to make you a better tyer.

WAIT! What's that speck doing in my bourbon bottle? (Jim Burns)
WAIT! What’s that speck doing in my bourbon bottle? (Jim Burns)

Without his gentle guidance I would have never had the confidence to try tying a No. 20 beadhead midge. I mean, those suckers are small. The bead looks like a dust mite and the hook resembles a speck you might flick off your kitchen counter. With Frank’s guidance, all three of us produced something that was at least close to the midge we were imitating. Awesome. Thank you, Frank.

Then, off to the LA River. As soon as I got there, I knew I was toast because of the cruising, crazy-lovin’ behavior going on close to the weeds. Big females and small males had a high, old time, which didn’t mean they didn’t spook easier than normal. I knew working weekends would make me miss the pre-spawn, when the hookin’ is easy (ier), and, sure enough, that’s what happened. Still, I saw at least 30 fish in a few hours, including having several bruisers swim between my legs!

In honor of this skunk, which beats the hell out of working, I’m offering the skunk video from a couple of years ago. Enjoy. And if you hook up, please send pics!

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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