Sunday, April 24, 2016

Purple Reign on Saturday--Goodbye Prince

It could have been a sign. It might have just been a coincidence but the reality is, trout ate what they ate yesterday and I'm going to believe they were paying tribute to Prince. I know, it sounds stupid but it is what it is. This is Carol and Roz with one of their doubles after figuring out that the fish must have been showing their respect for the legend like so many other out there after his tragic death this last week.
To say I was a huge Prince fan probably isn't that accurate. I never bought an album and although I would watch and stare with wonderment when his videos came on MTV, I fell in line with the rest of my clan as they proclaimed how weird he was and how much of a freak he was. We were almost embarrassed that he had come from Minnesota as though he represented us but when nobody was watching, I got crazy with Prince and I'm not ashamed to say that I cranked up the radio when the purple rain came and that little red corvette screamed down Meredith Drive.
All weekend XM Radio has been playing Prince non-stop on their preview channel and somehow, my radio defaulted there the other night and I didn't turn it off. I listened again with wonderment of how freakishly special that guy was as a musician. I didn't recognize half the songs that were being played but I couldn't stop listening because they were all interesting and I seemed to always be listening for what was going to come next. When songs came on that I did know, I listened more intently and realized quickly that I never really knew how good Prince was. He had so much stuff going on behind the lyrics but it was always so tasteful you never really realized it was there. He truly was amazing and I'm sad it took him dying for me to put a little bit of effort into realizing that.
I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself and to be honest, I do remember Prince playing the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007 and I remember thinking at that time about how special of a performer he really is. It was one of the only halftime shows I have ever completely sat through and I was blown away. It's the first time I think I saw Prince as the guitarist he was and I was embarrassed I hadn't recognized that before. The next day came criticism from some national media types and from some of my friends and I thought I was going to have to throw down.
"Are you fricken' kidding me?!!" I said to a couple buddies at the bar and I know that they just didn't get it so it wasn't worth fighting. I know what I saw and it was awesome.
So yesterday, we figured it was going to be pretty good fishing with some weather coming in and bugs hatching pretty much river wide. It's not real technical and when fish get stacked up in the scum lines, they pretty much eat whatever you throw at them. We were having a pretty slow morning but I was banking on the fact that Jackson Rock was coming soon and I knew fish would be in there. They were the day before and two days before that and we were doubling up just about every time went through the seems along the rocks. Our first time through yesterday; bageled.
Our second time through; bageled.
We were fishing the exact same bugs, the exact same way as the day before and we were getting nothing. It's not rocket science either. It was just a little midge pupa behind a flashback pheasant tail. They should have been eating one or the other but they weren't touching either so we started changing depth and weight and still nothing.
The rain was coming down pretty hard at times, which was very different conditions than what we had been seeing all the rest of the week and I started thinking it had something to do with them not wanting what we were giving them so I started changing bugs. I'm pretty stubborn though and I knew fish were there so we kept cycling through that run with different bugs and we were going to do it until we found something they were going to eat.
It didn't take long for me to get to a bug I use quite a bit in low-light situations because the theory is that fish see the blue end of the spectrum better when there are clouds. I also believe that flashy stuff works better in the sun because it reflects the light a creates some curiosity from fish and is easier for them to pick out your fly versus the millions of others they have to choose from. So, with the rain and the thick clouds, we went with purple and absolutely crushed fish.
So there's the science behind the purple lightening bug and the results were crazy. I can't tell you how many fish we caught because I lost count early in the game. What I can say is that they were all on the purple stuff regardless of trying other colors. You can believe in the science or you can believe what I want to believe. Long-live Prince.
Keep 'em where they live...

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