Timing is big in fly fishing.
It is critical in casting and more important than the gear - rods, reels, gizmos and all. It's also happens to be one thing you can't buy, beg or steal. However, you might want to circumvent it, you ultimately just have to sit and wait for your moment to come. So brace yourself, and be prepared to shine or if you are me practice that dumbfounded look. You know, the one that says, " What just happened here? I just F'd everthing up". It's the expression you have on when you drive 3 hours to find your favorite freestone blown out and unfishable. You look to the heavens and ask "Seriously? The salmon flies are gone?" Because if last weekend was too early, you can bet that next weekend will be too late.
Some cycles recur over seconds or minutes, like the dry fly or die types who will count down between rises of a good fish only making a precisely timed cast after painfully working out the logistics of rise, wait, ready, and cast.
I haven't mustered the patience for this kind of endeavor, yet. And believe me I've tried. But waiting just a few more seconds is unbearable when you have the itch to shotgun another volley of casts at subprime water. Chasing good casts to the best water with bad casts to poor water is something I've become expert at since I've had so much practice.
The annual cycle should therefore be unbearable torture to any angler who can 't hold their breath for just a few seconds. One big problem is that some of the best things rivers have to offer happen at the same time. Like Green Drakes on the Provo and opening day on the Henry's Fork. We'll never be able to savor all the tasty bits every time they come around so they eventually turn in to biannual cycles or decades in some cases.
On he one hand, this keeps me interested in fly fishing since there is always something to look forward to.
It's like this little creek that Jac has been dropping hints about over the years. Vague things like, I don't fish in that part of the Uintas unless the flow is just right. But, for almost 2 years the flow was never exactly right. I couldn't even find the stream he was talking about last year, because the high mountains were so dry that many streams all but dried up. But the wild goose chase wasn't entirely fruitless, it got me on a lake all to myself at ice off - which never happens, and I found some consistent albeit itty bitty brookie stretches that I like to take newbies to and can fish when I just need to not be skunked for the day.
When I got the call from Jac, he wasn't exactly certain we would hit it. In fact he called it off a few times because of foul weather and some intel from his secret network of trout bums. This is the kind of waffling that one learns from personal experience after being disappointed time and time again trying to recreate a magical event without the necessary cooperation from mother nature. I might have doubted the veracity of his fish tale were it not that he sent me pictures this time of a picturesque crystal clear stream meandering through pines and aspen and meadows and chock full of trout. My favorite kind of water filled to the brim.
So I promised to meet him at the designated exit so that we could caravan to the spot. This assured that I would not get lost (since it was not entirely clear that the area in my mind was the area he was talking about, especially given that I've never caught a thing in that section).
A short walk later I was stalking pods of grayling, brookies, rainbows and tigers from 6 inches to 14 inches which is a real whopper for the Uintas and a veritable moby dick for a creek that I'm able to straddle in some spots.
So there it was. Jac's creek. It doesn't have a name or designation on any map of the area. Because if you don't catch it just right, you'd miss it. Probably walk right over it and not get your boots wet.
It takes someone like Jac to pay his dues and be on the water enough to observe nature's cues - the big lakes are swollen with ice melt and ask the question, " Where does the water go when it overflows it's beaver dam?" And, "When do the fish follow?"