Ninch, Mark and I headed out on the river yesterday. The plan was to shoot some video and get a day on the water together. An option that will be rare for any of Team Headhunters for the next few months. We’ve got a short (3 day?) lull – only a few trips a day – so, go get some ourselves, right? Maybe get some cool video for the blog?

When it comes to shooting video, three things at the top of my “don’t like it” list are:

  1. Filming nymphing.
  2. Filming from the boat.
  3. Filming nymphing from the boat.

But, with the river jumped up slightly to 10,900 cfs – meaning nymph fishing would likely be the only option – and it being the only day we could all do it, we went.

The thought, of course, was that we will make nymphing look easy and fun. How could we not? Three pro’s like us, rolling down our home river hooking and landing fish at will. Nymphing is easy, and watch all these big Browns in the air! The reality was little different.

After a couple of 32GB cards of Ninch doing lots of mending, and Ninch landing a few fish, we decided to pull over and reassess. “Reassess” means that we pulled over to gather as many possible reasons and excuses that would explain our suckiness.

Ben McNinch Missouri River

We came up with plenty:

  • Late start at 11am.
  • Wrong float.
  • They bumped up the river.
  • Little Prickly Pear blew out.
  • Too sunny.
  • Not enough clouds. (see how easy it is to come up with excuses?)
  • Joes’ bar was closed this morning. (still not sure why?)
  • Didn’t have any beer. (Because Joe’s was closed)
  • Wrong moon. (not sure what the moon is)
  • Too much pressure. (We didn’t see another boat)
  • There were tons of boats, but they are all in front if us. (we started late)
  • Weren’t using fluorocarbon. (I’m sure we were)

I could go on and on. And we did. They are all great reasons, and we have used them many times in the past. But the reality was that we were just sucking, and probably not giving nymph fishing in high water the respect it deserves. Just one of those days when we didn’t have it.

So we pulled over to skip rocks for awhile. Because skipping rocks is always fun, and it lets you burn off a little frustration.

The islands on the Missouri have some excellent rock-skipping-rocks, and we found them. Mark claims the world record is 23 skips, but I didn’t have time to check that one. Got to be more, doesn’t it? I’m sure I had some 23 skip tosses when I was 12 or 13.

The whole thing reminded me of skipping rocks with my dad and brothers when I was young.

Which made me wonder; did our dads teach us to skip rocks when the fishing sucked?

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