I have not been available for my usual activities recently due to a trip to the Middle East. I am not much for hot temperatures, so my trail companion and I are fortunate as the weather has been unusually cold for this time of year, registering in the 90s, not the 100s. Today, we decided that we would try to see some of the wilderness outside of Dubai– I am sure that a more well-versed traveler could arrange for their own vehicle, but we decided on a guided 4X4 tour of the desert’s sand dunes.
I was surprised by the beauty and vastness of the windy landscape, and I’d like to think a local resident would be just as amazed to see the woods of where I come from. During the tour, I was reminded more of the Atlantic than I was of our undeveloped territories. It seemed to me that the constantly changing hills more closely resembled an ocean wave than they did a mountain. Nearing the end of the journey, our visit finished as it began– with an opportunity to become acquainted with a large falcon. I would love a chance someday to hunt small game with one of those impressive birds. Driving out of the nighttime desert, it is easy to see how different the world can be on its opposing end. Although I will not have the chance to visit every interesting place, it has been nice to see this one.
It has certainly been a busy spring season so far. With no available time to fish, I sat down at my tying bench today to wrap a couple of hooks in colored threads and deer hair. I have always found it to be very gratifying to catch trout and salmon on homemade lures, however I think that creating the imitation minnows is almost just as fun.
Sitting down, I clamped a hook into my vise that would appear to be a large and healthy fish once completed. It was a bright day, and so I decided to use a vibrant orange thread to mimic the current environment. The barbed shepherd’s crook changed colors quickly as I rotated the vise while moving the ceramic tip of the bobbin from the bend to the eye– I imagine, under the right conditions, that a hungry fish might even bite at this basic presentation. Not wanting to miss out on any full but curious fish, I wrapped a silver piece of string in a criss-cross pattern up and down the length of the hook. After cutting a bundle of brown and gray deer hair, I placed it at the top and rolled it around the body with my thumb and finger while tying it down. All that was needed to finish was a fine piece of cardinal red silk wrapped around the head to entice a strike, even on a slow day. I am hopeful that this and my other patterns will work and trick many fish into believing that they are a real treat.