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The Gearboat Chronicles

Statistics, fly fishing and magic

Al Josephy has a perfect background to start fly fishing. He manages water for the state of Washington, so he knows all about stream dynamics and such. He also teaches statistics at Evergreen State College.

I figured the statistics would be especially handy in the event we had to discuss hours-per-fish based on various criteria if his first outing didn’t get positive results.

But in Al’s case the data was skewed. He got the hang of casting right off the bat and landed his first fish with no trouble at all. Caught it on the swing, no less.

I tried to explain that he was doing it wrong. Traditionally you suffer long periods of frustration, then catch fish. He wouldn’t listen.

Al and I were on the Imnaha, which took some swings in level of flow recently with some warm weather runoff, but stabilized.

The Wallowa is in good shape and fishing well. Last I saw, the Wallowa was clocking in at 8 hours per steelhead.

Reports I’ve heard for the Grande Ronde say that Washington water below the acclimation site is fishing well, but the Oregon fish are moving up, so the Wallowa is the better bet over the GR right now.

Big view overlooking Imnaha Canyon.

Here’s the latest photo for my fine art collection of power lines getting in the way of sweet views.

Al also has a background with engineering projects, including power line installation via helichopter. Pretty fascinating stuff, really. I would need to have Al explain the ins-and-outs, but basically the tension of the lines is supported by . . . wait, no . . . it’s the angle, or . . . hypotenuse or something. The easiest way to explain it is magic. The helicopters help string up these massive lines and then a wizard comes in and does some magic.

There’s your science lesson for the day.