We quickly geared up and headed to the river.
“I was here the other night and saw fish rising everywhere.” Feef said, making his arms move like fish, with his fingers and thumb opening and closing, mimicking the mouth of a feeding fish.
“I think they were taking BWOs!”
We arrived at the spot and Feef began to look through his box of flies.
“What do you see?” He asked.
I looked around and said, “I see mahogany duns.”
“What’s a mahogany dun?”
“It’s like a BWO, only it is more brownish red.”
Feef thumbed through his box, “Is this one?” He asked holding out a fly.
“No, that is a suspended midge.”
“Oh yeah!” he said quickly putting his fly away and holding up a new fly, “Is this it?”
I looked at the fly, “Brother?! Thats the same fly you just showed me!”
“O yeah, a suspended midge.” He quickly put the fly away and grabbed another, “This one here is a mahogany.”
I looked down at his fly with disgust, and with a deep sigh said, “A trico spinner, Brother?!” He looked up at me with a sad face. I looked back at him and said, “this is going to be a long night.” We both started laughing.
I had just about gone through every mahogany pattern I had, and had a few takes, but only with small fish, so I asked, “What fly did you use?”
“A hopper?” Once again I am reminded why sometimes, despite the obvious choice, my brother just does what he wants; every once in a long while it pays off. And sure enough, at the end of his fly line was a sized-14 yellow crystal stimulator.
After he released the fish we headed back in the dark. Wading in the dark offers up its own difficulties; small river rocks are hard to see, and it is east to stumble over them. My brother found that out as he stepped awkwardly on a rock that was large enough to make him slip. He whirled around regaining his balance, and in the process lost the very fly that saved the night.
“My fly!” He cried, looking down in the water. And sure enough it was gone.
In all the years we have fly fished together, we have always come off the water with people asking how we did. My brother usually replies “I did okay, but my brother really nailed them!” Well this night Feef nailed the fish, and I was the one walking off the river empty handed. It was a nice reminder of how much more I need to learn about the Boise River in town, and no matter what excuse I make for not catching a fish; it all boils down to: he got one and I didn’t. Good job, Brother!