from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



September 12, 2011

You see it every day, camera phones which will connect you with the world, videos, even remotes at home that require no effort and no thought to make them work; just point and click. I keep watching for the newest of fly rods and reels that will allow you to just point and click to make them perform. They should be very popular, since they tie in so well with our culture.

Honestly, I was and still am very disappointed with the new Sage rod, "The One." With all the hype I fully expected it was going to be the one, but it isn't and is more like just another one and if that is where the fly rod industry is going I guess I'll just have to count myself out.

I'm sure you've noticed it over time, and it is just getting more obvious, that anything worth marketing either has to be the sexiest (or promise you that you will be if you own it) or produce the biggest meanest fish ever seen. Yah right.

I get it; I know it is all about instant gratification. Nephew and guide Tom Travis has a new story to tell every time we see him. Just because people can afford to hire a guide to go fishing on the Yellowstone River or one of the rivers in the park (Yellowstone National Park) doesn't mean they know a bloody thing about fly fishing. And, in fact, even though some have fished with Tom many times before there seems to be a real lack of understanding about the very basics. Worse even than that, some seem to believe that if they have a guide they don't need to know or do anything. What a waste.

Obviously this does not apply to everyone, and there are some clients who know what they are doing. While they may not be as good at spotting the fish or even knowing where to look for them as Tom is they are still competent anglers. Knowing all about the fish and how to catch them is what Tom is about. Since he got out of the military thirty-some years ago it is exactly what he has done. He fishes, he ties flies, he reads, he constantly is learning everything he can and he is very successful. That's not everyone's cup of tea I understand that, but it can be done!

I still get upset when I hear fellow fly fishers complain about the number of fish they didn't catch for whatever reasons - any yes it happens to all of us. There are days when the fish just aren't moving much and in fact are so stuffed they couldn't eat anything. My husband Trav and Tom fished the Yellowstone River earlier this week and mentioned the fish are just really fat! Trav said they looked like silver sausages! Those fish have hung to the bottom of the river with all the high water and flooding and eaten lots of nymphs, scuds, worms and anything that came in sight. The flooding didn't hurt the fish one bit. It made a mess of our fishing season, but the fish are literally fat and happy.

The reason for not catching fish when you really are fishing is part of the learning process again. "The One" will not solve your casting problems or your catching ratio. In fact if you were to go back to the first rod you fished you just might discover your catching does improve. You did not expect that rod to just produce for you. You knew you had to do some things right to make it work; right? When did you stop doing that?

It is not about the number of casts one makes; it's about the number that go where you want them to go, the ones that have the correct drift that mimics the food source you are imitating. If you haven't learned what food the fish are eating, whether it's a mayfly or a scud, it doesn't matter which rod you use or what terrific fly you tied.

Knowing just one part of the puzzle is just that, one part. To get great results you need to put more pieces together. Once you do that you will have more consistent results, and some might just call that success!

What a marvelous feeling to know you got it right! It is not point and click. It's more like think and do.    ~ LadyFisher

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