And that is just what it means, winding your fly line
too far into your fly reel. Sometimes it can be the
simplest of things that can absolutely wreck a fishing
trip. As we get older we supposedly learn more about the
game and when we put all of the little bits of great
wisdom together we supposedly out fish the younger guys.
Ever wonder why it is the old guys just seem to do better?
Why they simply get the most rises, hits, most fish,
biggest fish and usually out perform the newby's without
even trying? It can't be luck because it always tilts in
favor of the older fly fisher. There might be a slight
edge given for better fly fishing gear, but not that much.
Is it because they are any smarter? You've heard, " Heck,
he's forgot more than I'll ever know!" Maybe, but probably
not. No, it is in reality the little things he does
automatically. Like shifting into second gear, it just
happens without any fanfare or even any notice at all.
I would like to go into the knots you use to fasten the
leader to your fly line, but that's too involved. Different
knots are best for different conditions. Perhaps someday
I will cover the correct knots and when to use them. But
for here and now, let me pass along this little bit of
wisdom which, if it hasn't yet happened to you, most
likely will. In fact it may have happened to you and
you didn't know it, or worse yet, have not yet found
out about it. Sounds mysterious doesn't it. Actually
it can be a mystery and has been for some that I know
for sure. It is what can, (make that, for darn sure will,
sooner or later) happen to your reel when you wind the
line and leader all the way into the reel.
Now, just because this has not yet caused you any
problem does not mean it won't ever happen to you.
It is a 'Russian Roulette' thing. The law of 'unfortunate
happenings' guarantees it. When it comes all the way
in there is no tension on the end of the leader. None
on the several coils of leader and even the fly line
near the top either. I have even seen guys show off
in some sort of a macho-man exhibit spin the reel like
it was the cylinder of a wild-west revolver. Big shot,
dumber than a post.
What will sooner or later happen is the little end
of leader will get itself tucked under one of the
loose coils. It won't be noticed when you pull it
off the reel as the coils are all loose and there
is not enough friction as the cross-over just keeps
tippy-toeing it's merry way farther and farther down
into the deeper coils of your reel. You may not notice
it at all. It may be like that right now.
Scary isn't it? It might have happened last season
and you have not pulled enough line off of the reel
to have reached the place where it finally says, "I've
had it. Far enough! I am going to jam this reel right
here and now!"
About that time let's hope you are not fastened to
the biggest, meanest, backing-eating brown trout of
a lifetime. If you are, you are not going to need
your camera or your frying pan either. On the other
hand if you are an 'old timer' you never let things
like this happen. You always leave a foot or so of
line or leader hanging out of your reel to protect
yourself from such a simple cross-over problem happening.
Remember though, it is just these simple little things
which separate us old guys from you new guys. Well,
these things and a few years of doing stuff the hard way. ~ JC