Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
February 3rd, 2003

Upside Down Reverse Cast
Bob Lawless, Port Ludlow, WA

This will be a highly technical report and those who have not fished for at least 5 years should not read this as you will be wasting your time. You simply won't understand. But save it and when your 5 years is up, you can read it then.

I had this huge, technical problem which I will try to describe briefly: the stream was small and hard fished because it was near a highway.

At this secret spot I discovered, the water was completely covered over with willows from both sides, sort of a tube if you will. It could not be entered, so, taking a pair of pruning shears from my vest, I cut a small tunnel in the willows about half-way down the tube, wide enough for me to get through, but not high enough for me to stand erect, as this would spook any fish.

I crawled in and spotted an enormous brown trout of about 14". OK, maybe it was only 12", but a giant nevertheless on this small, very technical water.

I eased back out and thought hard and long about how I could present my fly without spooking the fish.

Then, BANG!, a moment of brilliance! I would turn around and face away from the tunnel I had cut. Then I would bend over so that I was actually upside down from the fish. Now for a reverse cast which meant that I would have to cast forward on my back cast and then deliver my fly through my legs, through the tunnel, and out in front of the trout with a drag free drift. Not easy this.

My first attempt was over accelerated as I had to maintain a very tight loop. The line zinged past my face which was looking at the ground and the fly grabbed my glasses and threw them out into the pool, spooking the trout.

When I retrieved them, I found the right lense to be missing and search as I might, you just can't find a missing lense on the bottom in clear water even if you have both eyes. I only had one.

I waited about a hour for the fish to resume feeding. Now the next cast really hurt me. I slowed the back cast (this would be the delivery in normal cases) and this time I missed the glasses, but the fly grabbed the gold rings that I have on each side of my nose, ripping them loose, flinging them into the water, and spooking the trout again, although he made a brief rush at the flash of the rings but then refused at the last second. If he had struck, I would have named the fly the Twin-ringed, Pierced, Royal Coachman fly.

Another hour. This time I tried to slow things down so as to miss my eyes and nose but not so slow as to hit the grass. Zing! And now the fly hooks that little tab you have on the zipper of your Levi's, and the power of the line rips it loose and the line rams me right in my abalones.

I went down hard, writhing in pain. Smolt, my vest dog, tried to lick the tears from my cheeks but he couldn't keep up with them. So I called it day, vowing to return.

Then the real fun began. Since my zipper was frozen shut, I had to drop my pants in order to take a little whisper. How was I to know that I was surrounded by girl scouts hiding in the grass around me?

Apparently, they were learning a drill which told them to conceal themselves well when they spotted a suspicious man approaching. One spotted me and screamed, then they all started to beat me but ran off when smolt barked at them, and "oleander," my vest parrot, hurled choice words at them.

I heard their bus roar off and I hoped the scout leader had no cell phone.

Jumping into my truck, I peeled out only to see a huge hatch of flashing blue lights approaching. It was two sherif's 4X4's, one state police, and one camouflaged humvee with a pair of fifties mounted in a turret on top. I thought they were pointing directly at me but the whole caravan wizzed on by. Apparently, the girl scouts had failed to accurately describe my truck which was painted day-glow orange and had been parked right next to them.

I contemplated what I had done, the crimes, the charges, whatever: lewd and lascivious conduct, scaring children, assault, mayhem and attempted murder, etc.

Surely this was an amber alert if there ever was one. And I was just fishing!

I feared that if the heavies caught me they would beat me to death for resisting arrest, even if I threw myself on the ground. If not, I was looking at four or more life sentences.

But they didn't get me. Though I am a hunted man, I'm going back as soon as the coast is clear, that is free of girl scouts and cops, and I am going to perfect my upside down reverse cast if it kills me, which it nearly did. ~ BOBLAWLESS

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