Smiles leaped forward from the crowd, and laughs hovered about the room as Casey Dunnigan diligently placed the whip finish over the head on his signature "PMD Panty Dropper". The crowd, including Rick Takahashi, stared in awe at the beautiful creation, while Casey sat confidently offering tips on being successful with this pattern. Enthralled with the never ending line of beautiful patterns, the crowd didn't want to leave despite the demo being over the official "time-limit". Casey's demos are always beneficial, and if you haven't yet, track him down at his next venue and get there early because it will get crowded! So, when the streak of excellence in demonstration came to an end, I greeted Casey with a handshake, and an invitation to fish the Poudre with me that afternoon. "Sure," responded Casey, "but not without lunch first!"
To the local Asian grill it was, and the four of us we enjoyed an excellent lunch that would fulfill us for the day, as well as a load of stories from Rick Takahashi himself. Stuffed, the two of us headed north in search of the Poudre, and a few willing targets. After speedily assembling our gear and dressing out in our waders, we began the trek through knee deep snow. Two miniature meals were dropped below a single, elegantly tied dry fly. As if rocks were being tossed into the water, fish were slashing at the surface continually. Miniscule midges skated across the glassy surface, teasing trout before flight. A single rise appeared, and the rig was presented delicately upstream of the trout. Slowly drifting along, the small dry fly was suddenly pulled under, and a smooth raising of the rod on Casey's part produced highly energetic runs across the current. Minutes later, the willing silvery cutbow came to hand - Casey's first fish on the Poudre - on his first cast.
Repeating the same motions as before, Mr. Dunnigan continued to work his magic, eventually bringing a beautifully spotted brown to hand. Anxious to get a tug, the obnoxious streamer secured to my line was unbuttoned from the hook keeper, and a single downstream cast was sloppily made. As the large fly swung through the current, the line began to swim away, and the strip set was applied. Diving every which way, the gorgeous brown trout eventually surrendered for pictures, and was swiftly released back to the icy waters that it called home.
As the glowing winter sun tucked itself away behind the majestic purple mountains of Colorado, our chilled breath lingered as we reeled in the weapons and called it a day. Frozen waders and boots came slowly but surely off of our frigid bodies, and the engine hummed as we drove off into the Colorado sunset.
|Not huge, but super pretty!|