Monday, May 12, 2008

wooly buggers and royal wolves

This weekend I took a two-day intensive introduction to fly fishing with Orvis. The company has these schools that take complete beginners and show them how to fish. It was one hell of a packed schedule. It covered everything you could possibly need to know to get out on the water by yourself - I learned how to cast properly, how to tie delicate knots, read water, gear checks, etiquette, trout species, heck we even looked at charts of what bugs were hatching where and when so we'd know what flies to use. I came home both days exhausted, but happy. I didn't catch a single fish (I don't have the skill too yet), but I dipped my toe into this world of naturalists, travelers and outdoors-people. I am humbled by it's history and complexity. I am challenged by it's simple rewards. Fly-fishing and I are going to get along just fine. I can already tell.

After my certification was through, I went to the store and bought my own rod, reel, and fishing vest. Thanks to our discount I was able to afford slightly better gear than my tax bracket would usually allow. On the way home from work I stopped on the Batten kill to practice my casting, and relax from two days of classrooms and instructors. It was sunset, and the Hendricksons were hatching and wafting around me in little clouds. I wouldn't know what a Hendrickson fly was, or any fly for that matter, before my fly-fishing course. Now they seemed to be everywhere. Every now and then a trout would rise to meet one. I got excited at the sight of them. After a while I stopped trying to catch fish, and just focused on my casts. I listened to the redstarts chattering around me, (a bird I didn't even know the name of until I came home and looked it up) and felt the water rush over my hips. I didn't have waders, I just let the river get me wet. The sun set in the green mountains. I counted breathes like I would in Zen meditation, and thought about nothing. Thoreau wrote that, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.” There certainly is something to that. And since spinning reels weren't invented until after WWII, he was talking about fly-fishers.

I pulled in my dry fly, cut if off the line, stuck it in my hat and went home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried, I really tried. I wanted to learn to flyfish so bad. I went on a weekend course. I did my best.

I may have a pair of waders if you want them.

May 14, 2008 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger 80R6 said...

Glad you got a lesson in. You are totally right about fishing, its great just to be out there in the middle of fast powerful water, the fishing part always seemed like a good prop if someone happens to see you. Good luck with your farming frenzy next weekend.

If you run across anyone looking to get rid of [or sell] a few extra chickens let me know, I think I have to start out with full grown incase stella takes a fancy to them.

May 15, 2008 at 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried "the reel angler" in manchester vt? it's a great shop with REEL fly people they love the skill etc and are the experts in the area. see you in the water.

May 19, 2008 at 6:46 PM  

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