There was literally frost on the grass and my thermometer read 35 degrees (August 25) at the bridge on the Beaverhead River. For the first hour, my hands and feet were stinging and I questioned how long I'd make it. The high was scheduled for 80, so any minute now... Eventually the sun rose above the insulating, alpenglowing wildfire smoke and I felt better.
The fishing was mediocre - that section was more willowy than hoppery, and I like to reserve that last weekend in August for hoppers (my annual "hopper weekend"). But the water was cold and the river was vacant.
I got back to my car and opened a couple fly boxes to sun them on the roof while I broke down (they'd gotten wet in my pockets). I made a mental note to not forget them, which apparently shifted my focus from my rods (one for streamers and one for hoppers). I didn't know it until I was parked in my Belgrade driveway - I left them. A Sage and a Winston with Orvis reels - none of it top-end, but all of it nonetheless expensive. FUG. Instead of driving back, I called Frontier Anglers in Dillon and a generous gentlemen offered to run out after work (about 30 minutes from the phone call) and grab them for me. Soon he called back - they are not there. Within three hours.
Craigslist was littered with my "Lost & Found" posts, and local shops were notified. Frankly, I'm kind of surprised they were not turned in.
Fortunately, a flyfishing company is having a sale soon, so I have a rare opportunity to upgrade to some serious gear for a serious discount - seems the fishing gods simply didn't approve of my "cheap" gear.
At times like these, I find it helps to pontificate on some lines from a favorite decades-old lyric:
Cuz the rain don't mind,
And the rain don't care,
You got to blame it on something...
If only there was a cloud in the sky.