I went out to the lake over my lunch hour
on Thursday. The water is still high and
discolored from all of the rain. The river
has started to drop so they may be able to
release some water in the next week or so.
At least I can get out on the jetties and
if nothing else practice casting.
By fishing some flies very slowly and down
about 3 to 4 feet I have been catching a few
gills and bass. I think they are coming up
from the deeper water and taking the fly. I
am fishing over 8 to 10 feet of water.
I had just got to the lake when another car
pulled up. The driver jumped out and told me
that he had taken the plunge. He had watched
me out fish him with a fly rod and now he had
a fly outfit.
He had gone to Kansas City to visit the Cabalas
store and had picked up one of their combinations
there. Now he wanted me to teach him to cast. Can
you believe with the way I cast most of the time,
and he wanted me to teach him? I told him that
I would show him almost everything not to do and
then he could go from there.
We spent about 15 minutes getting him to cast.
I took my belt off and put it around his stomach
and arm and buckled it. This pinned his elbow and
helped him get away from using his arm. In a few
minutes he had the rudiments of the motion and
I took my belt back. I then had him practice
some more to make sure he had the idea down
with his elbow being free.
I then tied on a fly and had him cast with that.
He could do 25 to 30 feet and seemed to be happy.
It has been a while since I saw a fly come across
the water like a buzz bait, but he did it. I
then talked to him about moving the fly slowly
and that you do not wind up the line every time
that you cast. I told him to watch what I did,
for the speed and how to hold the line as you
bring it in.
As we were doing this, a wonderful thing happened,
I had a gill come up and hit the fly. I told Dave
to take the rod and play the fish. I thought this
would really give him an idea of how fish feel on
a fly rod and reinforce the slow movement of the
fly. Dave did have a hard time with the mechanics
of bringing the line in with a fish on, but both
of us were having fun. When he got the fish to
where he could see it he dropped the rod tip and
tried to pull in the line at the same time. This
gave too much slack and the gill got off.
Dave was crest fallen. He had lost the fish.
I was getting ready to explain that you have
to keep the rod tip up, when a channel cat
came up and hit the fly. I think the channel
cat was going for the gill as it was struggling
on the hook. With the gill off it took the fly
as it thought it was food. I told Dave to set
the hook and to play the fish.
This catfish did not like the idea of being
hooked and headed for parts unknown. I told
Dave to let him take line and not to try to
hold him. I was using 4X tippet, and you can't
horse fish with that. He fought the fish
for about 10 minutes, having a blast, and
talking about how he could feel what the fish
was doing through the rod. He was really
excited about how much fun it was to fight
a fish on a fly rod.
He got the fish into where we could see it
and tell that it was about 18 inches long.
I could tell that we were in trouble because
I could not see the fly. The leader was all
that I could see. The fish started twisting
and thrashing and that was it for the leader
and the fish.
Dave was upset because he had lost the fly,
and a little because he had lost the fish.
I told him not to worry about the fly, I had
more of them or could make more. I was just
glad that he had a chance to fight a fish.
I had to head back to work, so we agreed to
meet again Friday noon. We got to cast and
practice retrieving on Friday, but no fish
cooperated. I still think he had fun because
he was able to cast the fly and manipulate
the line a little better. I may be tying
some flies for him to use.
I did tell him that he might want to get
with a good caster and take a lesson or two.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Richard Zieger