Archive for June 28th, 2008


A Father’s Confessions (flyfishing partners….or not?)

Patience, enormous patience. No exceptions. Intellectually you know this. Cause and affect. I have three sons. Wonderful young men. But, at times I have done my best to undermine their self-esteem and trust. The only explanation, that is the bedrock of a poor explanation, is that I was self absorbed and consequently too selfish to truly focus on the little person beside me. Yes, I expended just enough energy to set them up with a rig, but of course as happens, they ran afoul of snags, line twist, loops, tangles and branches. My response was impatience to what should have been the clearly inevitable result of turning ones back on a little guy. In time, they improved but there was an edge to them. What edge? A nervous edge. An edge from fear of disappointing me or worse angering me. Did I hit them? No. But, you don’t have to. A look, a tone, body language, spoken words do the deed. Several embarrassing events took place over time that I am truly ashamed to recount. Too embarrassing and paint me for what I was: selfish. These lessons in cause and affect spill over into their future life….don’t ever doubt it. 

Thank God…no dancing around it…thank God I woke up. I love my sons and have reflected upon how easily we can influence them for better or worse. I write this to tweak someone, anyone, who is so self absorbed or possibly self aware enough to know they have done harm…fix it! It won’t happen right away. But, it can happen and a few, ‘I love you’s’ and hugs will go a long way to repair the strains and set you upon a good course. The progression I used aside from showing patience and love was as follows: shore side folding chairs, treats, small rods and reels, power bait, casting for them and letting them reel in the catch, making it all about them, keeping it relaxed, pictures of them. Then later, teaching them to cast spinning reels and casting bubbles with a short leader and fly. Slowly reeling and hooking fish. Developing confidence in a fly (Renegade, Elk Hair Caddis, Adams). This took 3-4 years. When I fished, I fished alone. I spent time with them and then only focused upon them. Only several years later did I place a fly rod in their hands and by now I was much more patient. All my sons are excellent flyfishers. I don’t take credit for some great success. I only constantly reflect upon how easily we affect our children. With all the other negative influences out there that wage war on your child’s development, don’t be anything but a positive bulwark against those negative influences.

Fathter and son. Fishing partner and friend. It is there for a brief time. Maybe longer if lucky. Reflect upon how special it is. Of course, this equally applies to our little girls…our daughters too. But most prominently our sons are our canvas. How will your son treat his son, daughter, girlfriend or wife? Patience, enormous patience.       


East Lake Resort, Oregon (a break from camping)


    East Lake Resort was a treat and respite from early season camping


Normally, car camping or a tent trailer are the base camp. I hesitated to break out the camping gear as I thought there would be residual snow at East Lake for this late June trip. It actually would not have been a problem. But, instead I booked a room for two nights and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The beds are soft with plenty of blankets/quilts. Bring a pillow or two if you want but even the pillows were adequate. The Rainbow Room is attached to three other similar rooms. The walls are thin, so you do hear your neighbors and they will hear you. This four unit portion is a social know that. It worked for us as we met great people. If you want more privacy you pay more and get more too. The gift shop is nice. The restaurant was nice. The food was good and what you would expect pricing wise ($$$). The waitresses were cute and sociable (Tony liked that). The store is stocked with basics and ice cream!! The gentleman behind the counter is very helpful with places to fish and landmarks to position yourself. When we were there, you could literally fish straight out from the resort and catch nice fish (see previous post re Dr. Mike Miller and CJ Miller). Boat rentals are available. This was a nice break from camping. I do enjoy getting a good spot at East Lake Campground and it is close to ‘the zone’. If you stay at the resort and want to drive over to the Hot Springs launch or East Lake Campground, you are suppose to have a parking permit. You buy this as you stop at the kiosk down below. I believe it was $10. for the weekend for us. If the kiosk is closed then there use to be a self pay box nearby….not sure if that works still. Not sure if you can buy a parking permit from camp host at campground(s). Anyway, you can register on line for the East Lake Resort and enjoy the stay. If you must stay connected they have a wi-fi connection for a nominal fee.    



Casting a flyline (self gratification v. fishing)

Tony Muncy is quite at ease loading and slinging a line. But, for the rest of us with a pronounced lack of motor skills or physical ailments, a more gentle approach is required and most importantly acceptable. I doubt, in my prime, I have ever cast much past 60′ and I am pushing that. I have acquaintenances that can easily cast the entire flyline (at least at a convention center outdoor expo). But realistically there is almost no point for that on a lake or stream. That is why the Fish God(s) made spey rods for steelhead.

It is common practice for some to let out most of their Intermediate Line or another sink line and wind drift across a lake. May I say, you will catch fish doing this. But what a pain to reel and strip in all that line and if you hook into anything below 20-26″ the fish will often come unhinged and free. Really as a rule I cast out 30-40 feet of line on stillwaters and catch plenty of fish (well usually) with that limited amount of line presented and worked to entice the strike. I really don’t believe one needs the whole fly line out. Maybe 60′ as I wind drift, but if working to a hatch or pre hatch, I am working 30′ and moving about to maintain position if the wind is a factor. You are rarely going to spook fish if you efficiently move about. What does probably spook (I mean unless you are on the central channel at Hosmer L. and can see fish scurry away) is repetitive casting and splatting. There is something addictive, for some, in casting. The feel of a quality rod is so pleasant for some and they have to feel that loading and reloading. What this does is cause someone to cast 2-3 times longer than really necessary. The old saying of can’t catch fish if the line isn’t in/on the water is true. Some would say, well what do you care if I like practicing my cast. I don’t give a crap. Cast away, just don’t fish near me waving about, splatting the surface with an overcharged cast and then when dissatisfied with only 45′ ripping it back up and casting more to get another 5′. Please. Get the line out there and leave it. Kick away from it if on the move and let line out to separate yourself from the fly. If you are anchored up or not on the move then get a single decent cast out there and leave it and work it. I have a permanent impairment with my casting arm. I have long ago given up on being a great caster. So efficiency is all I have now. What this does is it mellows you out, lowers your intensity of the physical process and lets you focus on the presentation once the line is on the water.

Once the line it on the water then keep your tip down to reduce a draping bow in the line, which will to some degree lessen your ability to see the take and set the hook. Even with a direct connect to the fly, you will probably miss as many fish as you hook. To reiterate, WF floating lines (no DT’s) and Intermediate Lines and/or Type 2-5 Lines; few false casts…get them out and working. No one really cares how far you can cast except you. You pick…self gratification of casting or catching fish. To do both is a big waste of your time.              


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June 2008

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