The eyes and ears have it, until they don't

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The eyes and ears have it, until they don't

Postby MBRRadio » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Outdoors in Maine: The eyes and ears have it, until they don't

In the days of my youth, when my vision and hearing were reasonably acute, success as an angler or a hunter was thought to be predicated on woodsmanship, marksmanship and a good understanding of fish and their habitat.

The ability to see or hear the game, or tie a No. 18 Adams on a 7x tippet, was more or less taken for granted.

Not so today.

A few weeks ago, from a canoe bow on the West Branch of the Penobscot River, tying on a small dry fly became a near-futile undertaking fraught with frustration.

As the salmon rolled in the surface foam, the canoe rocked with the motion of the stern man’s casting motions and the black fly hordes assaulted my face. The 5x tippet stubbornly resisted repeated attempts to thread through the eye of the No. 18 elk hair caddis.

Nothing helped. Not the drug store readers, the visor magnifying device or the profanities.

Still unresolved is why, when I could see both the tippet and the hook eye clearly through the double magnification, the errant tippet end never seemed to actually be where it appeared to be. There may be an optical anomaly that easily explains all of this. But that doesn’t solve the problem.

For some reason, these West Branch salmon like the tiny flies and the microscopic tippets that always present a challenge to old eyes and shaky hands. An invention or innovation to ease this burden for aging fly fishers is long overdue. Trout, when they are top feeding, are not as picky. They will hit a lug wrench when the feed is on. That’s why I love ’em so.

And don’t let anybody tell you that vision isn’t half the battle for the deer hunter.

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