The Last Day of Summer

My phone rang, it was Pat Ehlers.

“It’s going to be seventy degrees; you want to fish Big Muskego?”

I met Pat at 8:00am, we were on the water by 8:30 and watched the duck hunters come in.

“Fly or spin?”

Pat loaded three rods onto the boat, “Fly only, should be a good day for it.”

He was using his new 7wt design and I was using the 8wt. Both are good rods for casting large bass and pike flies, which is a good thing because big flies were what we threw  including a monster of a fly, the Game Changer, a Flymen articulated special. I would use a 9wt but the 7wt cast it if you didn’t mind a sloppy cast now and then.

The sun is warm; the water has a slight chop. Pat set us up on a long drift from one reed clump to another and he hits first with a good sized pike followed by a bass. I change flies after getting no strikes from a chartreuse minnow pattern. It’s a craft fur minnow, white and green with big eyes. Second cast and good bass hits, five casts later another bass and then a pike. Pat changes flies to a grey and white minnow pattern that I was thinking of stealing. Pike and bass charge it.

The wind picks up. We do a long drift and it’s time to go in.

“You think Lefty Kreh is right about fly fishing having about ten years left in it?”

“Well, lots of people have talked about the demise of fly fishing.”

"I think if they were with us today, they might change their mind, unless they had to cast that big ass fly.”

“Man up Van Dorn.”

The sun was warm, the water was clear, the fish were plentiful. 


Stuart Van Dorn