Sid and I got the 1:30 am call yesterday that they'd need us back at the field at 5 am, but they'd have replacements for us after that. When we arrived, we found we were playing an oil drilling family from Wyoming.
If you'd told me that the tournament director had gone down to the local truck stop, asked 11 guys if they'd wanted to play ball in a tournament, and put together a team I'd have believed you. All were wearing jeans or Dickies type work pants, t-shirt or button down work shirt and trucker cap. Not typical ball field attire, though I guess I've never been on a ball field at 5 am.
Turns out we probably could have won with only 8 players, as we won 31-10 on mercy rule after the 4th inning. Hopefully the first and last time I watch the sun come up over the mountains during a softball game.
But, when you realize that a 5 am softball game on 2 hours sleep is the worst part of the day, you realize that life is awfully nice.
While Sid took some first time fly-fishing guests out to the stream, Craig and I went to one of our favorite spots. Wendy and Sherri came along as well, and hiked with us for a bit, and then we left them to meander while we wet our flies.
It took me a little time to wake up, though, once we hit the stream. I cast once and a small fish came up and hit the fly. I didn't react at all. Craig said, "Wasn't that a hit?" I responded, "Probably, but I just figured it was a riffle." Either way, I just didn't move.
A few casts later, I hear Craig shout, "Oh, jeez, Jeffrey, Isn...Wha...Hey..."
I finally lift my rod and end up with a very nice fish on the end. Fortunately, Craig was there as a seeing-eye-dog since I apparently was standing there and not seeing much of anything. Fortunately, after I got my feet into the water to release the fish, I finally started feeling a little more refreshed.
We caught a few nice fish as we made our way towards a hole where Craig has some history with a very large fish that has tormented him and he's yet to bring to hand. On the way to the hole, Craig looked around, didn't see anyone and commented that the girls must have walked back to the car.
I actually stepped up and fished the back of the pool first, and caught a good little fish, and then Craig took his turn at the front of the pool. His first few casts yielded a rise from a monster fish, but Craig just missed setting the hook. The fishing wasn't coming back for a second try on the same fly, though, so Craig switched to a different fly.
Craig tied on a new special fly for the occasion as I moved to the other side of the bank to try to capture some video. As Craig is working the pool, I look over and spot Wendy walking our direction. When Craig's fly finished it's drift, I told Craig, "I see your bride coming over the hill."
Craig turns to look over his shoulder, says "Where at?" when an enormous "WHOOOOOSH" erupted behind us. It was so loud it was as if someone had dunked a pail into the stream to fetch water.
We both just looked at each other and couldn't help but have a laugh for a good minute as we knew that fish would have to remain a quest for another day.
We continued up stream and hit a nice stretch of water that produced five or six fish, including a couple of nice "Cutbows" which are a cross between a cutthroat and a rainbow trout.
In the picture, you can see the distinctive orange cut below the mouth of the trout, which is the defining mark of a cutthroat, but you can also see the deep vertical lines on the fish, which aren't typically on a cutthroat, and are more indicative of a rainbow. Those lines appear almost as if you dipped your finger in ink, and lightly drew them down the side of the fish.
As we hit our last stretch, I caught my largest of the day, and Craig captured this great photo of the fish in the water just after I released it.
A nice cookout to end our long weary day, and the to bed to rest up for the next outing.