I decided to drag out my old fishing hat. I used to wear it all the time about 20 years ago. It's a cheap felt hat, but stylish. I even had it branded on the back. "AR" is burnt into it. The brand for a Scout camp I like. It's the camp I used to take Boy Scouts to when I was a scoutmaster. The camp is known for it's horsemanship. Scouts can earn the horsemanship merit badge and spend portions of everyday on horseback. One year the whole troop earned the badge and slight bull legs and saddle soreness. It was fun and in honor and remembrance, I had one of the buckaroos brand my hat. "AR" is the brand for Aspen Ridge, a Scout camp in Idaho up Cub River Canyon. (And you thought I took the Scouts up there just for the horses.)
I've worn the hat on and off, for the past several years, but it has spent more time in the closet. I turned to a ball cap for my fishing expeditions. I don't know why I grabbed it last Saturday. It just called out, "wear me." I enjoyed wearing it. It provided some nice shade for my face and neck. My wife says it was hard to see my face in the pictures because of the shade so it was taken off for a few photographs.
I know some anglers who have "magic" or "lucky" fishing hats. These hats have some special powers that allow the angler to catch more fish. Some of these hats are kept way too long. They become encrusted with sweat and dirt. The owners never realizing that most hats can be cleaned. I have ball caps that have become marked with white streaks of dried salt. If I like the hat, I will wash the salt out and quickly dry it. On hot days, I've been known to dip my hat in the cool stream water and then place it on my head. This helps keep my brain from frying. OK, I agree, brains already fried. The wet hat keeps it from becoming a total burnt offering.
I don't think the hat made Saturday's fishing adventure more successful, but I just felt good in that hat. I caught some nice fish. I spent the afternoon with my wife, thus, the photos of me with the fish as opposed to just pictures of trout when I go solo. She even got in the water and wet-waded up through a couple of sections of stream. Seriously, how many women would do that?
I flipped an air-filled hopper most of the time. I noticed more hoppers jumping around the stream side grasses. Some of the trout would sip at it cautiously and I missed setting the hook. Others took it deliberately.
It was good to get out. I have had two great weekend trips between the thunder-bumper-micro-bust-wind- storms that have been blowing through this summer. I plan to take a week off sometime in September to fish my guts out. Maybe I'll take two weeks. That should get me real acquainted with my old fishing hat again!Oh...sorry for all the pictures of me. Concentrate on the Bonneville cutthroat trout--so handsome!