Monday, June 11, 2012

on the fly

Woke up yesterday morning with a purpose. That purpose involved a 5wt fly rod and a river just over the state line. I was going to meet my good friend Chrissy Penn for a morning on the river. We were hitting the Battenkill, a well known New England Trout stream.

Fly fishing is different than spin casting. You aren't trying to trap a fish by luring it with delicious smelling bait and then hooking it. You are instead trying to mimic nature, making that little fake fly on the end of your line land on the water the same way a Caddis or Mayfly would and get the trout to react in an instinctual way and hunt it. You need to be able to read water, know insects and hatching times, cast in gentle ways that "present" your target to an animal in a way that convinces it you are a simulacrum of a wild moment. And if you do it right you get a fish to bite, and if you got the skill you can set a hook and pull it in.

I didn't catch any fish yesterday, but I did get a few bites and it was thrilling! I found a spot to cast near where an old log and calmer water seemed to mingle and could see the flashes of native Brook Trouts and decided to use a small streamer and see if I could catch their eyes underwater instead of on it. I cast the sinking "fly" and it shimmered as it was pulled through the water and that's when I got a nip and saw the flash of an almost hooked trout fly out of the water and my heart raced with the excitement of it all.

Chrissy didn't have much luck either but that isn't why we go out there. We go to try, and because holding a fly rod gives you an excuse to start your morning standing in the middle of a big clear river. I could hear the birds, and the sound of water over rocks, and wave to passing cyclists and kayakers. It felt nice being one of 'The Outsiders' on this beautiful summer day. Just enjoying our daylight as a community in our own ways.

Can't wait to get back out there. I see a lot more time on the fly this summer....


Blogger Meredith said...

Sounds like a beautiful way to spend the morning. Yesterday was a perfect summer day.

PS - having your truck still parked in your driveway at 6:30 on a Monday is a great feeling, huh? :)

June 11, 2012 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I love the zen of flyfishing. So very cool to be out on the river. I have been very fortunate to have fished a lot of major fishing rivers on the west coast. The Deschutes in Oregon is awesome with it native "red sides" a native rainbow that leaps in the air when caught. Too exciting!

June 11, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

I don't believe that fishing with a worm or lure is unnatural, you are just targeting a different fish. You can't fly fish and expect a northern just as you can't troll for trout. But I do miss fishing in the early mornings. Heck, I miss being on the water, period. I don't care if it is for fishing or just dunking my sweaty bum in the river for the heck of it.

June 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger K. Jean said...

Sounds wonderful! Hubby the trout man suggests a size 14 gold-ribbed hairs ear under a strike indicator...good luck!

June 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM  

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