May 5th was a special night in Utah, and across the globe, with a “Supermoon” (the scientific term is a Perigee Moon) lighting up the night sky with a 30% increase in brightness over an average moon, topping out at brightest moon in the past 18 years. A Perigee, or Supermoon occurs when a full or new moon’s timing lines up with a point when the moon is closest to earth on its imperfect, elliptical path around our planet.
The moon has a far greater influence on human, plant, and animal life than most would think, and as our society become more and more keyboard and pixel dependent, our disconnection to the elements of nature grows more and more. The power of the moon is obvious, the effect of the moons gravity on earth is 2 and ½ times as powerful as that of the sun. Tides over 53 feet occur in Nova Scotia, some scientists claim that the crust of the earth rises 4 – 12 inches as the moon rises above the horizon, and settles when the moon sets, and a similar effect is said to be had upon our atmosphere. If the moon has such an effect on our planet, certainly it must have influence over every living thing on earth……
In the tropical rain forests of SE Asia and South America, hardwood trees are only harvested on waning moons. Why? During a waxing or full moon the sap within the trees rises, and harvesting during this time would cause widespread sap bleeding, thus attracting millions of Deathwatch Beetles, which devastate crops and could cause millions of dollars in loss.
Humans are affected too. Did you know that a study found that 82% of postoperative bleeding crises occurred nearer to the full moon then the new moon, even though most operations during this study were preformed during a new moon? Murder, arson, drunk driving, and theft rates rise and fall with the moon, as a matter of science, but what did this mean for us?
It meant fishing.
Its also a known fact that trout will eat small mammals that venture into the river at night, thus with the aid of the brightest moon in 18 years, I set out with Parker Worthen and Brandon Colett to take advantage of some of the lowest flows the Weber River has ever seen. Temps were low proving that summer still isn’t here, and it took less that 5 minutes for the guides on our rods to freeze, but that wasn’t stopping anybody, as the moon broke over the horizon, we tied up and headed for the river. The fly of choice was the mouse. Brandon and I both had commercially produced mouse patterns, but Parker stepped to the river with a few that he tied up himself, and ended up being the only guy to land a fish that night. What a boss.
Flyfishing on any full moon is amazing but this night was even more raw. If you are into fishing of any kind, you should absolutely plan something at your favorite fishing hole for the next full moon.