Posts Tagged ‘how to fly fish

03
Apr
12

FLy Fishing’s Spring Outing: Zip, Zero, Nada…But, Not Entirely

Well, for months I tied with anticipation. For months, I envisioned the preparation, the packing, the outing, the success of it all. Today, I am sitting with a different outcome than I had anticipated. 

My go to lake lines were loaded with care.

The original plan called for one of my son’s to come along, but life’s duties intruded. So, my wife thought it would be nice to get away…’maybe even fish’. Hmm? A novice into the equation. Suddenly, the whole idea of a total newbie into the mix changed my planning. I couldn’t just throw her out there alone and go my way. I must admit my selfish side silently came to sit upon my shoulder. Ok, I packed for both. I planned for both as I had for years for my sons. I didn’t necessarily pack my instructor’s hat….at first.

As we left Portland, it had rained for days but was a balmy 44 degrees. As I crested Mt. Hood's shoulder at Government Camp it was a little cooler.

The Open Road beckoned. Traffic was light on a Sunday morning once past the turnoffs for Timberline & Meadows.

We arrived with no one else on or around the lake. That can be a lucky moment or a bad sign on a weekend morning. The mountains in the distance were obscured with low hanging tentacles of some kind of moisture. The wind was steady and gusting. I will mention it for the first time here….the wind can be a problem on a lake. Duh! you say. Just wait.

The gear was set up for two....just like the old days. Years of enjoying my sons being able to fend for themselves was missing. I once again had to wrap my head around the double preparation that results when you are setting up another and realizing they know nothing about most aspects of the sport. I'm not complaining; just relaying my mental journey for the outing.

The push/pull of my desire to fish (compulsive addiction) vs. changing my expectations for the outing became evident. Months of anticipation & imagery became suddenly muddled in my brain. Having been down this road before and selfishly hurting those I love, I knew I had to stop and settle down. Do you understand? Seems evident I know. But, sometimes I so yearn for that fishing fix that intrusions into it make me selfish. Not who I want to be.

My wife was none the wiser over my selfish little self sitting on my shoulder. She was excited and relaxed. I realized I had to set aside some of my energy to just fish and get lost in the moment. I had to 'patiently' teach.

The weather kicked up to a steady roll of waves. Not huge, but steady enough to make kicking for my wife (actually for both of us) difficult. I was struggling in the pontoon and realized I really had to stay with my wife rather than row for some shelter in a far cove. So, eventually I decided to find some likely place to drop anchor.  

We wouldn’t be trolling/kicking along, casting/retrieving etc. We would anchor up and maybe the winds would die down. Nope!

A steady wind pushed hard at the back. Anchoring up was the only hope of not getting pushed to the far bank and a long walk back.

The reality hit that I had to start from the beginning on casting, retrieving actually everything while a strong wind pounded from the rear. We could barely hear each other talk and positioning my pontoon beside the tube, while anchored, eliminated both of us fishing at the same time. So, I started from scratch. My rod was setting down beside me. The focus was on my wife attempting to grasp the grip, the loading, the line manipulation, the roll casts, the components of a cast….all along me thinking the conditions could not be much worse and, selfishly, ‘I need to fish’.

Eventually, I got her anchored in about eight feet of water on a slight drop. I put on floating line, a strike indicator and a Chironomid pupa off the bottom. She seemed to have a basic roll cast working and the wind helped propel the rigging outward. I thought maybe I can move out aways and anchor and work my Intermediate line. 

I anchored up and flailed away with all those special patterns I had tied. I varied the retrieves, I varied the depths, I varied the patterns. Nothing. Not a tug.

My wife was having a good time gabbing away. With the wind howling and my flaps down, hood up, I was having a hard time hearing all that she was saying. She reminded me of that commercial from a few years ago, where the woman talks on and on. I missed most and had to keep asking ‘what?’. Apparently my tone suggested my frustrations. Eventually, the tangles ensued and I had to up anchor to go help her….again. Patience I reminded the selfish self on my shoulder. Patience.

I don’t want you to think I was a total jerk. I was mostly fighting this little battle inside my self. She was, fortunately some would say, none the wiser.

Then suddenly my anchor rope is missing something! The anchor! The ten pound pyramid anchor that had been securely on the end of that rope for years was gone. I had to rig something up with a rock. But, most of the rocks in this area are light for their size….save one I found up in the woods.

Field Expedience! At the end of the day, this was my trussed up rock anchor. It worked.

The fishing never turned on. The only fish I caught the entire day was while I was reeling in to go help my wife. Of course, I experimented with faster retrieves…to no avail. I could say the day was a bust. Certainly based upon the months of anticipation I had invested it was. But, in the end, my wife said what a great time she was having. She thought ‘this is great!’ I reminded her that at some point she would have to have her on flies, her own nippers, her own re-rigging, her own solitude….I know, I know there was my little selfish side again. She said ‘all in good time’. She just liked ‘visiting’ the most.

She was very happy with the whole experience. I set aside my frustrations. It was an inner struggle, but thinking back to the times I have been impatient with others, I knew the correct response.

The lessons of this outing were not anticipated through the Winter’s day dreaming about big fish, solitude and the feel of ‘The Moment’. The gear was good (save the anchor), the little I got to fish went reasonably well. The new pontoon boat was great, but I need to fine tune where the packs sit on the sides and I don’t like the apron’s tension…too saggy. The flies looked good in the water, if not in a fish’s jaw.

No, the lesson, which I have alluded to here over the years, is patience. Patience in life for sure. Patience with loved ones you are teaching. Patience with self.

"Trophy Shot" perhaps? I envisioned a large Rainbow Trout, but in the end the trip was great for all the reasons I never anticipated during the Winter's planning.

24
Feb
12

Basic Fly Rod Waving w/ Lefty Kreh

GREAT BASICS BY LEFTY KREH FOR THE BEGINNER’s Fly Casting

Nice easy going basics on handling the rod to move the line. Look how nice and easy he makes it look. 

Legend Lefty Kreh throwing the line

17
Feb
12

Imagine My Surprise: Hunting Trout by Tom Sutcliffe

I had recently heard from Ed Herbst that I might receive a generous offering from Tom Sutcliffe. In fact today, I did receive a package from South Africa and inside was an aut0graphed edition from Tom, complete with a nice handrawn Adam Dry Fly on the inside page. This personalized presentation is available to you by ordering directly from Tom Sutcliffe.

This past year, I have been most fortunate to receive inspiration from the works of Tom Sutcliffe, Ed Herbst, Tim Rolston and Craig Thom, all of the Republic of South Africa. All these gentlemen are well read in the history of fly fishing and tying, well beyond today’s contemporary offerings. I am quite thankful for their generosity and look forward to reading Tom’s fine book, Hunting Trout. Thank you Tom.

20
Dec
11

Fly Fishing Tips: Wintertime Advice

Here is a compilation of tips for those fortunate enough to venture out in the Winter to wet a line (it assumes colder conditions):

“Use a Net – The air temperature tends to be colder than the water temperature during Montana winters.  By using a net you can prevent shocking or freezing the gills by keeping the fish in the water during a release.” (more)

Deschutes River (Evan Muncy, SwittersB)

“If  you are hiking into remote areas, keep track of the time and if you are catching fish it is very easy to forget about the time. Remember, the sun goes down much earlier in the winter especially if you are in the woods or in a valley.  Even an experienced angler will easily lose track of the time so be prepared by carrying a flashlight; it will come in handy.”  (more)

“…you need to look for different kinds of water. Fish generally vacate fast moving riffles and runs, and spend their days in deep, slow pools. This allows the fish to hold their positions without using too much energy. For this reason, you should focus on slow water, and move past water that has a high gradient. Also, winter fishing tends to be best on rivers and streams where water temperatures are relatively stable. The best waters are spring creeks, and tailwaters. The water temperatures in these areas generally stay comfortable even in the coldest weather, and you will catch more fish.

It is important to fish during the warmest part of the day. Although during the summer you probably spent most of your time fishing in the early mornings and late evenings, you should do the exact opposite now. Generally, the best fishing occurs from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. This is especially important on free-flowing rivers that get very cold in the winter, but it applies on any trout water during the winter.” (more)

“The majority of fly fisherman coming into the sport today did not spin or bait fish. So they don’t have the basic instincts of someone who has learned something about streams and fish before they get into fly fishing. They are overwhelmed by the amount of equipment, websites, information, books, magazines that’s thrown at them. Television programs make it appear that trout and especially large trout are easy to catch.  What they don’t tell the viewer is that it may have taken them a week of fishing to get 20 minutes of video show the experts catching fish.”(more)

05
Dec
11

Fly Fishing: Teaching The Kids Good Ju Ju

For many, the fly fishing season is over until next Spring. It is time to clean  and stow gear, tie flies, study and plan for next year and get through the grey days of Winter. 

In that planning, are you considering the beginning process of teaching your child or a child how to fly fish? Depending upon the child’s learning style, you can introduce some how to materials during the Winter? I would advocate less how to written material and much more visual materials such as videos and movies.

It is a good time to assess what gear you have to share. Rod, reel, fly box, tools, float tube, fins, etc. will need to be put together. Do this in advance and turn over possession of these items to the child. Let them have a sense of ownership, whether new or used.

If you are somewhat intense, focused, self absorbed: realize a trip with the child must be primarily about them…start to finish. Relax and enjoy the teaching experience. More than once, I have wanted a fishing experience to be so perfect that I ended up ruining the experience for a loved one as my negative energies emerged, because the trip was not turning out as I had hoped. Of course, this only compounded the negative vibes. 

It will be easier to anticipate frustrations, missteps, tangles, bloopers and just give the day over to patient teaching, then have to apologize for being an intense, demanding, impatient task master. 

Pick a pond, lake, small stream that is safe, probably productive and go forth and teach and enjoy. Make the planning process fun for the child and create the magic now that will carry them through life. They will remember your gentle hand and encouragement years later. How would you want them to teach their children?

26
Nov
11

Trout TV & Hillary Hutcheson

Hilary Hutcheson, Trout TV Co-Host

I certainly remember Hilary’s brief stint as a news anchor in Portland, Oregon. Little did I know, she had the outdoor cred’s in her resume. She is now co-hosting on Trout TV. I have watched a few episodes, and Ms. Hutcheson definitely carries herself well in front of the camera, both while fishing and while interviewing guests.

 

Hutcheson comments: “Getting more women into fishing is more about getting them out and letting them fall in love with being on the water,” she said. “The next thing they know, they’re good at it.”

Hutcheson said she makes a point of avoiding top-of-the-line equipment.

“We use affordable rods and gear that gets the job done,” she said.

“I’ve been fishing all my life and I’m still a hack and I always will be. I go into every trip excited to learn something new.” (I like this!)

The term “hack’ is an exaggeration, but it helps her make a point.

“A lot of people are intimidated to go into a fly shop and ask the right questions,” she said. “That’s not a good bridge into the sport.”

21
Nov
11

Fly Fishing: The Agitated Angler Is Conflicted

The Agitated Angler recently wrote about his friend seeking ‘how to’ advice upon how to fly fish. Read his sincere remarks on the awesome responsibilities in disrupting/improving another’s life. Also, note that often passed on defective casting gene…I know I have done my fair share with three sons.

 




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