After my memorable fishing trip in April with the “Pescadores,” I was eagerly looking forward to the proposed Memorial Day Couples Hex weekend with our close-knit group of friends: Wayne, Zandi, Peter, Jackie, Jerry, Adrian, and Pat. I was excited to introduce Gina to the wonders of Henderson Springs and share with her why I love fishing on this property year after year. We were thrilled to be included in this special gathering of couples who have been fishing at Henderson Springs for years. Meeting new friends was an added bonus, and I hope we can repeat this experience in the future. The camaraderie within the group was truly exceptional.
To ensure Gina’s relaxation while I indulged in fishing, especially since she doesn’t fish herself (yet), I decided to drive the Synabeggo for the first time. Its four-wheel drive capability handled the rough roads effortlessly. Gina found solace in Scrapbooking inside the van and connecting with our kids over the internet using the reliable Starlink unit, even in the remote wilderness where cellular service was non-existent. I was pleasantly surprised by the unit’s effectiveness, considering the presence of trees all around us and limited exposure to the sky. Gina, who loves hiking, took advantage of the numerous trails spanning the expansive 500-acre property and covered approximately 5 miles every day. Thanks to the wet winter, the mountains were a sight to behold, adorned with blooming wildflowers and lingering snow on their summits, despite temperatures climbing into the 80s. Despite intermittent thunderstorms throughout the weekend, Gina was comfortable and dry inside the Synnagebo, which provided all the comforts of home conveniently situated by the lakes. I prepared delightful lunches for us, which we enjoyed at the picnic tables scattered around the lakes.
Mark and Maria Henderson, our warm and welcoming hosts, left us in awe once again. We greatly admire their tireless efforts in maintaining the property’s magnificence year after year, despite its remote location far from a major city. They truly are remarkable individuals. The wives bonded splendidly, with Zandi, Jackie, and Pat showcasing their fly fishing skills and successfully catching fish. Melissa, our talented chef, treated us to incredible meals each day. The highlight of our day was gathering at the campfire at sundown, where we observed fish feasting on the emerging Hexagenias mayflies in the lake adjacent to the fire pit. Peter, entrusted with managing the bonfire every night, impressed us all with his custom flamethrower, skillfully igniting massive fires that burned brightly and fiercely. We savored excellent wine, roasted marshmallows, and indulged in mouthwatering desserts meticulously crafted by Melissa, all while basking in the warm glow of the campfire, the moon, and the stars. It was truly a magical experience.
Considering the limited Hex hatch, the fishing was quite rewarding. The season was running a couple of weeks late, and I’m certain that as I write this, the group that succeeded us is now amidst the peak of the hatch. Clear Lake and Frog Lake witnessed consistent Calibaetis hatches and spinner falls. I observed ant falls during the day, and fishing with nymphs, chironomids, and Hex Nymphs (Leeches) using full sinking lines yielded a respectable daily catch of 20-30 fish, including a couple weighing over 5 pounds. I managed to catch fish in all five lakes.
A few weeks back, Wayne asked us to come up with some Norm Style commentary for the campfire. Nobody does campfire commentary quite like Norm, so I decided to write a poem about Fly Fishermen’s Wives to share, especially because it was a rare fishing trip with my beloved Gina. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to recite it at the campfire since I always seemed to be fashionably late to the pre-party cocktail hour and the mesmerizing flame thrower demonstration. Here it is and I dedicated to the beautiful Wives of Henderson Springs Flyfishing Husbands…
A fly fisherman’s wife
In a world where rivers whisper and currents dance,
There dwells a woman with a love-filled stance.
She’s the wife of a fly fisherman, strong and true,
Whose heart beats to the rhythm of waters blue.
With patient grace, she weaves her life’s tale,
Adorned in colors like peacock’s herls regale
Her fingers nimble, like 8/0 delicate thread,
Crafting memories, while her love’s river is fed.
She knows the solitude of dawn’s first light,
As her husband embarks on his watery flight.
With a tender smile, she bids him farewell,
Knowing his passion, like the fish, will swell.
Her days are spent in quiet reflection,
As she tends to their cozy, humble connection.
The hearth’s warm glow and the kettle’s soft hiss,
Bring solace to her heart, filled with marital bliss.
She listens to tales of the wild river’s lore,
Of shimmering trout and the one that got away before.
Her eyes sparkle, as she dreams alongside,
Of the dances they’ve shared, of their love’s endless tide.
When the day is done, and the moon takes its cue,
She waits by the window, her heart beating true.
With each familiar step, her pulse quickens its race,
As her fly fisherman returns to her loving embrace.
In his eyes, she sees the rivers’ reflection,
A world of freedom and natural affection.
Their souls entwined like lines cast on the breeze,
She is his anchor, his solace, his eternal ease.
For in her arms, he finds sanctuary and rest,
A haven where his weary spirit is blessed.
She is the keeper of his dreams, his silent cheer,
A fly fisherman’s wife, eternally dear.
So, raise your glass to the woman behind the scenes,
Whose love is felt in rivers and tranquil streams.
For she’s the heart of a fly fisherman’s life,
A steadfast companion, forever his wife.
Although I had brought along camera equipment for Gina to experiment with, she surprised me by using it to capture some impressive stills of me fishing on the lake, employing a long 400mm lens. Her photography skills surpassed my expectations