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After all, how does a spider fall off a sticky web accidentally? OK, I don't know that for sure, but I dare anyone to try to find out for sure.

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Spiders say, "I'm going to glue myself to this safe little web and stick what ever comes by. So here is what happens. I walk out into the backyard, next to a tree. My face and glasses get plastered with a spider web. My reactions are faster than a kung fu master who just got stung by a bee, as I swat every inch of my body and neck fending off what probably are imaginary spiders crawling toward a critical part of my veins, arteries, or nervous system.

After I've bruised my body with all this flagellation, I pause and think, "Hey wait, the spiders are getting bigger this month. Time to tie a few more PMDs and cutthroat patterns and, yes, it is getting colder. Speaking of tying during the spider season, I've heard of fly tiers who tie extremely small patterns using spider web as thread.

Maybe this can be done, I suppose, but I suspect this is just more fish stories. Spider thread en-masse that is, a bunch of it in a web is one thing against mosquitoes. It is an entirely different thing when used as tying thread. Besides, you never know when the spider will jump on you and bit you with their sixteen-penny fangs and kill you, like I said.

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But, to every dark side there is a light side I learned this lesson while watching Star Wars. Intellectually, I know that spiders, like mosquito-eating bats and angry school teachers, have their place in the grand scheme of things. For spiders, their webs are your little diary of what's floating around the creeks.

I never hesitate to bend a neck to see what's been hatching. I've even been known to free a mayfly or two. Mayflies are just too beautiful and angelic to get whacked by the dark side. Today, she leaves the nest for the University of Montana. No, I didn't influence her decision to get schooled a half-hour from the finest trout currents in the Western states. No matter how well you think you've raised a daughter to adjust to the world of personalities, politics and ideas, there are always a few lingering doubts.

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As fathers, we sometimes find ourselves fearful of the remaining critical lessons that we failed to teach. They aren't the kind of person that I want to meet at the Thanksgiving table. And anyone--Anyone--joining my family who talks about what he'll do with a 3x tippet will be stricken from the will. Presentation-style tapers no greater than. But we can talk about this when you get back for Thanksgiving. No exceptions. Except if they fly fish for carp.

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People who fly fish for carp are the same people who go to monster truck rallies and buy hot dogs on the side of the road. Your mother and I will be sitting and waiting. I'll have all the necessary flies tied and lines greased up for searuns and Steelhead. Don't bring home any boys, except those who can tie a size 22 Tricorhyodes. I'm getting a little low on those. But if he can't distinguish between male and female Trico patterns, well, then, forget it.

Better, let me teach your kids social skills by showing them how the fish talk to each other.

They live in schools, too, you know. Again, I'm sorry for missing these points. Nobody's perfect. We'll talk more about these at Christmas. Until then, think of your parents and the fish. After all, they taught you most things you know the parents, not the fish. The only thing larger and more plentiful than fish in the Missoula currents is the love and cheer of proud parents. Kids, these days. I can't figure out how to turn off my car's parking lights, and the battery is beginning to drain in the middle of nowhere with my daughter on a too-long overdue fly fishing trip to Montana.

I tear into the fuse box which is an illogical place to look, I know, since the lights are stuck on, not off , and then look intelligently at random pretty colored wires under the hood like a real man would. Then, I look directly into the lit light bulb like a doctor checking out a patient's retina. Why, I'm not sure, but this, too, seemed like an intelligent thing to do. After all, there could be something in the bulb that keeps it on, sort of like an eyelash stuck in my eye that keeps my eye open and blinking uncontrollably. Then my daughter starts bothering me with silly questions like "Dad, what year is your car?

I never saw it before.

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I must of hit it by accident. I turn off the parking lights, and we're on our way. My daughter, at an age where social skills are constantly being rehearsed and challenged at school, home and beyond, offers, "Good job, Dad. Good job. It should have stopped there. We're on the stream, and I'm not catching anything.

Bugs fly off the water, and my daughter asks "What kind of bug is that, Dad? It's too far away. Then, "Dad, what river is this?


Then I hear juncos pecking along the ground the way those birds do with their clicking sound, and I realize that the clicking is actually the Blackberry again. Doesn't she know that thing could drop in the water? After all, we might need it for another emergency, like how to turn off the check engine light when the gas cap isn't screwed on correctly. Then I hear, "Dad, what's a pale morning dun? I turn around upstream a dad's place is always downstream of their daughter.

They're a mayfly, sweetie. The internet says we need a size 16 Dun. I've got a picture. I trudge upstream to look at her blackberry, and I'm looking at an olive yellow dun.

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We look in my fly box together and find something that looks like the picture on the Blackberry. I tie it on. She casts.