April 11th, 2005

Season Opener
By James Castwell

Well, well, well. Here we are, it's time to 'go get 'em,' and you're not ready. The weather is starting to settle, the pages of the old calendar on the wall finally say it's here. You are going fishing, rather, make that 'fly fishing.' And this will be your first year.

Oh boy. Remember when you decided to give fly fishing a shot? "Hey, how hard can it be? Tie a bit of fluff on instead of bait and slide 'er downstream." You thought you would give yourself a head start, you wandered into that fly shop, ambled about and nonchalantly began thumbing through, 'Fly Fishing for real beginners.' Figured you could steal a few ideas right there in the shop. Problem was, you had no idea what they were talking about. You bought the book.

And three more over the winter, attended five local meetings, one auction, two pot-lucks and a spring tune-up by one of the area fly shops. And... man, could that guy cast! Oh well, here you are now. All by yourself. Getting your gear in a pile. Making sure you have everything you need. Your wife thinks you are a nut case for sure. That mumbling about nymphs in your sleep was not a real high point either.

You will hit the water with more than you need and without some things you need. At the end of the day you will know the answer to both of those. You will learn a lot about fly fishing from a great teacher (teaching yourself is always the best way). Things about knots, leaders, tippets, flies, fly lines, fly rods, casting, mending, playing a fish, landing a fish, releasing a fish, losing a fish, and probably getting some part of you wet that was not intentional.

You will do many things right and a few wrong. Win a few and lose a couple. You will have found a way to step off this old whirling globe we are stuck on and let 'er take a couple of spins without you aboard. Surprise, she can get along just swell without you, and you survived in fine shape. A feeling of exhale seems to hit sometime late on Friday afternoons when we are on our way. Our sky seems bigger, wider, freer. These are good things, we should do them often.

After a couple of days of fishing you will decide that you probably need a few little fly fishing things, at least enough that you really should stop into that fly shop again. And oh yes, be sure to check your fly-fishing web sites too. Heck, you don't want to miss anything, right?

First year, brand new, newby, neo-phyte? You are a seasoned vet now. Been there, done that. You did just fine. Congratulations, you are now a fly fisherman. No better nor any worse than any of the rest of them.

"Let me tell you about the one I was casting to. He was just up ..." ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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