I just finished building a new 9 ft. 3 wt. on Monday.
I had coated the rod wraps and let them dry. I had a
new reel and line in so I could spool it up and then
take it out fishing. The one problem that I created
for myself was that I was not careful enough in lining
up the reel seat so that both ends were in line. I had
to grind out about 1/4 inch of the threads so that the
reel would line up.
This is a mistake I will not make again.
Last night my wife had a meeting to go to. It was a
nice chance to head out to a pond and see how this
rod would work. I grabbed the rod and a few flies
and took off. I had been invited to fish a pond to
see how big the fish were, but I was not to take any
home. This was the perfect night to do that.
Got to the pond and looked in the box to see what I
had with me. I had a royal coachman variation that I
tied on. Half the body was red and the rear half lime
colored. My first cast was not very good. I had to
change my timing as the line does not react as fast
with this 3 wt as with my other rods. After a few
tries I was making halfway decent casts.
I did see a swirl and cast to that. It was an immediate
hit. This gill did not like being hooked at all. He
turned out to be eight inches long. Released him and
cast out into the same area. I let the fly settle
about a foot and then started to retrieve it. I had
moved the fly twice when it was hit hard. Turned out
to be another carbon copy gill. I caught four more
just like the first two while I was standing in the
I then moved down the pond about twenty feet and cast
again. Again the gills were ready to hit this fly. I
missed the first hit, but when I pulled the fly across
the surface of the water, the gills came up to smash
it. From then on I was making a "V" wake with the fly
in the surface. Great fun to watch the gills hit this
on the surface.
I had caught several bluegills before I did one of my
"intelligent" moves again. When I made the cast the
line I had in my hand had tied up in a knot. I know
I am the only clumsy fly fisher that does this. I had
to take a minute to undo the knot. I am not sure how
far the fly had dropped in the mean time, but when I
was ready to start retrieving the line, there was
weight on it. This fish felt different. Turned out
this was a nice crappie. Next cast I did the same
thing and got another crappie.
The gills would hit right on the surface and crappie would
if it went down a little deeper. On each cast I had to
decide what I wanted to catch, so I would know which
way to retrieve the fly. Heavy burden to have to make
a decision like that.
At this point the landowner came out to see how I was
doing. She wanted to know if I thought that some of
the fish could come out of the pond. I felt that the
pond, about 1.5 acres in size could stand some fish
I cast the fly out and handed her the rod and showed
her how to hold it and how to retrieve line. By the
time she got it organized she had a crappie on the
line. Great fun watching her bring it in. On the
next cast I had her bring it across the surface and
she caught a good sized bluegill. She decided that
this was fun and asked if I would stay a little while
longer. When I said yes she went to the house and
came back with a bucket.
She wanted to catch a few fish to have for dinner
tonight. I would cast out and she would catch the
fish. When she had eight nice fish in the bucket
I asked her how much she could eat?
She decided that she had enough and would head home
in a minute. I cast the fly again and got the rhythm
better and put the fly out about 20 feet father than
I had. There was an immediate swirl and the line
tightened. I sat the hook and had a big bass on. It
took a long time to get it in but it was 18 inches
long. The sun was almost down so it was time to head
As we headed in I asked Joann if she knew how to fillet
fish. She said she knew how to gut them and nothing
more. We got her knife out and I filleted the fish
for her. I do have an invitation to put my canoe on
the pond and see how many fish are in the pond. Cost
is another meal of fish for her.
All in all it was a fun way to baptize a new rod.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick