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Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

High Anxiety
by R.Sumner

Thursday the 14th of June started out pretty much like all the Trout bum summer mornings: Up at the crack of dawn, exercising, shower and having a healthy breakfast. NOT. I mean I like the idea of these things, but morning is not to be wasted on that kind of crazy routine. I like to start the day with a cup of good black Sumatran coffee and a clean T-shirt.

Anyway things were on schedule when I got a call on my fishing line, it was a guy named Kirt Gunn he and a friend were in Seattle for a film festival, they were filmmakers from New York City.

  He booked a trip for the next day Friday the 15th so far so good. In our short conversation he told me about some of the famous water he fishes back home, he also told me he was basically a dry- fly fisherman. Dry- fly fishing in the middle of June on the Yakima River is a late evening caddis event; the rest of the day is usually fishing subsurface under a bobber, productive but not visually cinematic. Remember, fly fishing and particularly good dry fly fishing is always about conditions and timing, ALWAYS. You have to be at the right place at the right time with the right gear, a little like over throwing a third world government the timing must be perfect.

Friday morning I got up and made coffee and looked out the window, it was raining!! Unforcasted rain in the desert, beautiful overcast drizzling rain. I stood in the back yard drinking coffee under the sycamore tree and did the dance of joy. Why?? Let me explain: the perfect conditions for fishing dry flies is overcast, drizzle and no wind. The bugs in this case Pale Morning Duns, Cahillís, and Pale Evening duns.

 This is the way it works, when the bugs come to the surface to hatch and the humidity is high or itís raining, it takes them a long time to dry there wings and fly off, they drift hundreds of feet struggling to get airborne. Thousands of huge Mayflies like miniature sailboats drifting over the heads of predatory rainbow trout. In these conditions even the most wary old lunkers lose all control. They just go nuts.

I got down to business, made lunch, collected the gear and hooked the boat to the truck. I was ready to meet my clients and I was stoked. At 8 the phone rings. Kirtís rental car burned up a wheel bearing just outside Seattle; the rental car company said they were on the way with another car. He said heíd call when they were back on the road.

TICK, TICK, TICK. The clock is running and its still raining. At 9:30 the phone rings, the rental company sent a van with a spare tire, Itís a bearing not a bum tire you boneheads. They assure him the new car is on the way, heíll call me.

 TICK, TICK, TICK. Itís raining and Iím pacing the backyard in circles like a chained wolf. At 10:40 I call Kirt, heís still stuck on the freeway, I can tell heís close to cracking, and says heíll call me back.

 TICK, TICK, TICK. Now Iíve had a pot of coffee and, like a character in an old Mel Brooks movie, I am starting to go completely HIGH ANXIETY. Itís still raining.

 TICK, TICK, TICK. Is this were I buy the farm? Do I really feel like I have two sacks of concrete pushing down on my chest?

 At 11:45 I call Kirt again, No replacement car, just stuck on the road in the rain, I call the game, by the time they get here the hatch would be over.

So now it was finally over. There was really nothing for me to do but go fishing after all the lunch was made and it was still raining.

Kirt I would tell you how the fishing was, but lets just say it was cinematic and leave it at that.   












More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
08/01/2014: Retirement by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
01/26/2010: Redfish Round-up by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
01/27/2009: Christmas letters by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
05/30/2006: Cashmere by R. sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
11/01/2001: Leakers by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner