My fishing devotion started on the Gulf coast of Texas with my Dad and Uncle Bob. These evil men would wake me at what I thought of as an ungodly hour of 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning to drive to the bay after stopping to fill their thermos and pick up frozen shrimp. Then launch the boats and fly across the bay at light speed, in all conditions to drop the first lines over the oyster beds by first light. Later we would purchase live shrimp from the Shrimp boats working the bay, to go after Specs and Bull reds.
My love for fly fishing I will blame on two lovely ladies. My beautiful bride who one Christmas gave me a knockout graphite shafted rod and reel combo with a Bailey fly box full of imitations. I was the proverbial kid in the candy store. The organization I was with at the time planned a trip in late spring down the Quadalupe River. Tubing one afternoon with my kit I enticed a Rainbow to swallow my gnat fly. We were both hooked, him to be released, me on a journey.
The other lady is known as dorothea. She is known in Latin as Ephemerella dorothea. Most people call her the Mayfly. She has captivated fishermen and fish for millenia. Her life is a classic ugly duckling story, however prey and preditor love her no matter what she looks like. She abides most of her life at the bottom of the stream striving to survive and not become a meal for almost all her neighbors.
Then one perfect day, she rises to the surface and unfolds her wings to dry and flys to the nearest perch to bask in the sun and orient herself to her new surroundings. She don’t have long, she won’t even eat for her two days of life out of water. Find her partner, mate, return to the water surface and release her eggs to sink to the bottom of the stream, then allow the current to carry her as life fades.
The immitations of her carry more names than one can remember. Floating one down in the middle of a rise is thrilling. Seeing it swallowed and the fight that follows is regenerative. Brings back memories of men who were not really evil, now just saints. Miss those guys!!