Friday, July 22, 2011

Wishing I was Super Fly

At its purest level it is an art, an elevated form of fishing, not to be attempted by the faint of heart and comprised of zealots dedicated to the refinement of the sport of angling. Watching this brotherhood of sportsmen, casting their lines, has always left me with a feeling of awe and wonder at their level of expertise with the rod and reel. Then there is of course the total coolness factor of being swathed head to toe in Orvis gear.

Despite years of on and off practice sessions, mostly reserved to my lawn, I still had serious reservations about transferring my basic skills to water. Perhaps these reservations were tied to my own fears of embarrassment, should I be seen flailing around a pristine mountain stream like a complete amateur or potentially require a hospital visit to remove a hook from my eye. Whatever the list of apparent excuses, I decided last month to dedicate some time to re-exploring the sport of fly fishing.

These practice sessions, were supported by numerous nights of reading and re-reading several fly fishing books and reviewing a variety of Youtube videos outlining good casting techniques. This prep-work was then followed by several evening on the lawn attempting to refine my rhythm and proficiency. Despite my practice session I still held to the belief that my chances of actually eventually catching a fish was close to nil.

Finally, came the golden moment in time, where I decided that the fledgling need to fly. With reservations, I grabbed my equipment and headed to the local bass pond. Staring at my book of flies, I struggled to determine what a bass might like to eat. Streamer, Nymph, Popper, they all seemed like they had distinctive possibilities. With considerable thought, I ended up deciding on a fly I like to call, “I have no FN idea”. (I am hopeful that some fly fishermen will read this post, have pity on me and identify this fly.)

After mending out some line, I took a deep breath swung back the rod to the 2 O’clock position and launched the “I have no FN idea” into the murky depth. Repeating this process four more times, I was pleasantly alarmed when my line jerked taunt and I managed to bring to hand my first catch on the fly rod, a beautiful large mouth, which dangled haphazardly from my line for a few moments, before I shook him off, and he was once again free. Encouraged by my success, I continued my endeavors and managed 4 more large mouths and a huge pickerel before the evening ended.

Reflecting on my positive experiences, I shared my story with a fishing friend and he remarked that he could direct me to a location where I would have a chance to pursue the more challenging Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout. Anxious but refusing to be discouraged, I accepted his offer and was again off to the waters.

I have No FN Idea Fly?!?!
Now chasing trout, I again pondered my selection of flies and once again settled on the “I have no FN idea”. Unlike my previous fishing experience, heavy wind and a driving rain had me doubting my ability to cast a fly. After a rough start slipping on rocks, tangling my line and almost losing my prized fish slaying secret weapon on a sunken log, I finally settled into a rhythm and managed a few descent casts. Imagine my surprise, when after just a few casts my rod tip bent heavily over and line started feeding quickly through my hands. Loading the reel, the fight was on and in a few minutes I had in hand my first ever Rainbow Trout. An hour and a half later and I had caught four Rainbows, two Brook Trout and a Chub.

It appears I have now managed to enter the fraternal order of fly fishermen. Thought I realize I still have much to learn, the wheel are in motion, the intoxication of life on the fly has been felt and I relish the times I have ahead to refine my skills.


  1. Congrats to you my man! Were you wearing all of your Orvis Gear???

  2. However bad you are and if you never catch another fish on the fly, you'll still be better than me. I desperately want to feel the magic of the perfect cast, but I suck.

  3. Coachman or hopper fly???

    I'll check my stuff that my father-in-law left me...

  4. Trey, Thanks and no. I actually had on my old fly vest from when I was about 12 and first tried to learn to fly fish!

    SB, HA! Well, no worries my friend I am not much better. Master the 20-25 foot cast and don't worry about trying to cast a mile. Once I started doing that it seemed to start to come together.

    DDH, Would appreciate what you find out I did a Internet searcha nd came up nada.

  5. Excellent report Rabid. For me fly fishing is a love hate thing but I keep trying..Feel the flow man!

    May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.
    ~Irish Blessing

  6. PBM, I guess it just comes down to practice, practice, practice. It appears I may have a chance this weekend to fly fish for striper from a kayak off Pemaquid Beach! Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire!!!

    Irish Blessing is GREAT!

  7. Beautiful story! Welcome to the club! you may now choose an appropriate middle name from the lexicon of upper echelon monikers; "Buff" "Biff", "Skip" or "Trey"...;)

  8. BC, Thanks buddy! Glad to have been welcomed into the ranks. I have always been partial to "Scooter" is that acceptable?!?!


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