Sitting at my tying table, tying in a maribou wing on a bass streamer, I keeping glancing up, looking at the American and Texas flags. I’d like to say its because I’m patriotic, and I guess there’s some truth in that, but I may as well tell you the whole truth.
Since becoming empty nesters, my wife and I have moved into a horse barn. In the typical fashion of modern barns, this one was built with an apartment in the corner. It’s on a friend’s ranch, which is also a youth camp. Two bedrooms and an efficiency style kitchen / dining / living room connected by a short hallway to the man cave. From my fly tying table, I look out the window and observe a pasture to the southeast, bordered on the right by a long gravel drive from the main road. At the far end of the pasture, and to the East, is a beautiful pond. The pond tends to go completely dry in the long summer months, but when it is full, as it is now, it’s truly stunning. No fish, but beautiful.
There are other ponds only a few hundred yards from my door with largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill and crappie. Looking across the pasture, which at times is home to a handful or horses, a couple of bulls, lots of rabbits and the occasional lone coyote, I can see the flags at the end of the drive. Texas and America – welcoming visitors to the ranch.
It occurred to me today, just how often I look at those flags, and what clues I take from them. Observing that they are fully unfurled, displaying their complete design, I know it is windy. If they are laying flat against the flagpole, I’m starting to think about those ponds.
Looking out on this spring afternoon that hints strongly at summer, I know the easy Zephyr the flags indicate will be a perfect casting companion; a slight breeze to back cast into, and to carry my line gently to the water. As afternoon wears on I see less and less of our beloved flags, a signal that I need to be casting flies, not tying them.