I happened on Fly Anglers OnLine one morning at work. I read with
interest all of the tips to beginner flyfishers. I went home that
afternoon and hunted up an old flyrod that I had bought from
Walmart several years ago. It was a cheap thing, but I thought it to
be a better outfit than I was a trout fisher, so decided to take your
advice and give it a try.
I replaced the flyline and leader to match my rod, as FAOL instructed.
I also purchased a set of stocking foot waders, wading
boots, a vest, and the all-important hat. I purchased many
flies . . . all of which were mentioned as good choices in the Top 10
recommendations in Fly Fishing 101. I loaded up my travel trailer
and was set for a relaxing fall weekend of fishing below a nearby
dam where the state game & fish commission regularly stocks
rainbows, browns and cutthroats. Here's how my first day went:
Imagine a crisp fall morning . . . a heavy frost on the
grass outside the canopy of pine trees that surrounds my
campsite. The sun is barely up, but there is a clear blue sky and
no trace of clouds as I head out the door. Now place yourself in
my shoes (boots) . . . in the middle of the stream . . . water gently
rushing around you, mid-thigh high. Insulated waterproof waders
and multiple layers of clothing keep you warm. The wind is cold
against your hands, face, ears and neck, but warm rays of sun cut
through the air to provide occasional warmth. The fly rod begins
slowly then quickly snaps backward, pauses, then quickly whips
forward . . . the quiet of the morning is shattered by the gentle
"whoooosh" of the line and fly zinging past you and coming to
rest at the intended spot . . . a perfect cast!
Moments later the water boils and the tan and white nymph that
has been floating just below the surface disappears . . . the strike
indicator submerges . . . the line zips tight . . . the fish is on. It was a
small fish, but he gave a valiant fight. After bringing in the trout,
with the beautiful pink stripe running down the soft gray side and
the colorful spots on it's back and stomach, the fish is carefully
released to be caught again another day.
Then feeling proud of the accomplishment of catching the trout,
(and feeling equally proud of releasing the trout) you turn to head
back for the shallow bank. The wind gently pushes you in one
direction as the current of the stream pulls the lower portion of your
body in the opposite direction . . . all the while you steadily move
toward the bank.
Then you notice the felt sole of your boot and the moss covered
rocks generate almost no friction. Your heart pounds
quickly . . . blood rushes thru the body as you realize that all-
important balance is lost . . . feet slip . . . body falls . . .cold clear
water gushes over the top of the chest waders. As you pick
yourself up you notice the feeling of cold water running down your
back, past your waist and into the seat area. The downward path
of the water is slowed, but continues ever so persistently down the
leg to reach it's final destination in the boot.
As you check the condition of your rod, you notice several nearby
faces . . . STARING . . . with looks of shock, disbelief, regret and
even embarrassment. A few onlookers politely place their hands
over their mouths to conceal their laughter. You can only pick
yourself up, head for the truck and be thankful that the trailer is
warm and nearby.
But other than the fall, you had a great time.
(By the way . . . I've been in the river 3 consecutive weekends since,
and have experienced no more tumbles.) ~ Michael Gray