Even a downward trend can be a reason for celebration when the Royal Wulff and Renegade Benevolent Society convenes at Cutthroat Creek.
While the stock market was dropping like heavily weighted stonefly nymph pattern last week, runoff-swollen stream flows were dropping, too.
The society’s Committee on Trends and Tribulations conducted field research exactly seven days ago and confirmed that height-challenged members, such as Virgil Emery, could finally wade to the best holes without suffering from water pouring in over the top of their chest waders.
However, the committee also verified that an angler can get just as wet while wearing leaky waders.
The final report to be presented at the next board meeting will note that the fishing was excellent, as usual.
Although RW&RBS rules prohibit pinpointing the exact location of Cutthroat Creek, most fly fishers could find it if they would only try.
From its headwaters in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Canada, Cutthroat Creek flows through a state of mind.
Head for the clear water and isolated stretches accessible only by muscle. Continue just far enough to escape the job, cell phone reception and obligations that seem to grow exponentially just before departure on a fishing trip.
Look for elk tracks, bear scat or a water ouzel.
Then start casting.
Society members prefer to fish with dry flies, but lately the difficulty in convening a quorum has prompted some to cast aspersions.
Emery, it seems, has added golf to his very long and otherwise venerable list of vices.
The only fishing report he’s filed this season came from the driving range pond at Hangman. Rumors were swarming like June caddis in the treetops.
To bring him back in line, the Family Values Committee has confiscated his Tiger Woods poster and ordered him to hang a tiger muskie photo in his bedroom.
The society is devoted to nurturing a sport in which the big fish in the pond are not consumed by sex.
“Does that go for us little fishies, too?” Emery asked, when confronted by the panel.
With Emery on probation, I recruited aspiring member David Moershel for last Thursday’s Cutthroat Creek field research. It was a masterpiece of perfect timing, as always.
We’d already seen moose, but I knew we’d finally arrived when we broke through the blowdowns and stinging nettles to an olive-green run of clear mountain water.
The mud on the bank was untracked by boots.
Grown men can come here and talk freely about Humpies, Beaver Pelts, Bastards, Air Heads, Blond Mormon Girls, Purple Belly Dancers, Girdle Bugs, Stimulators, Bitch Creeks, various nymphs and wet wading without getting arrested or threatened with divorce.
But there was no time for conversation around 3 p.m. when the cutthroats began to rise.
I studied the stream surface, scooped up the fluttering source of their gastronomic fixation and correctly concluded that a Renegade hatch was under way.
I matched the hatch in adherence to RW&RBS by-laws and hooked up with Nirvana.
Society members pledge to resist counting the number of cutthroats they catch each day, although general terms such as “dozens” or “a truckload” are acceptable.
What I caught and released in the next 45 minutes was in that ballpark before I reeled in, shouldered my daypack and began walking downstream.
Fish were still rising in the pool and hours were left in the day.
But I’d already arrived at Cutthroat Creek, where the trout are handsome, the anglers smell strong, and the fishing is always above average.
Contact Rich Landers at (509) 459-5508 or e-mail email@example.com