Fly Fishing on a stage while playing the Midge

by Rebecca on February 16, 2010

in Fly Fishing

~Working on the self portrait! Almost a whole face this time~

On Sunday I took Bandon the Bashful out for a Valentines Day event I knew she would appreciate more than say, a rawhide dipped in chocolate. We went to the local river establishment. A cheap venue, close to home, no-frills sort of date. She’s a dog, she’s easy to please.

I went to a new section of the river I’d never practised my casting on: a zone of water that I’m now torn over. In one regard, it’s a great stretch of water that provided a few nooks and crannies, seams and pools that I normally gravitate to. On the other hand, this stretch of river ended up (snuggling too close for comfort) right next to the walking path that partners with my local river for miles and miles.

Try as I might, I couldn’t ignore the fact that my choice of river locations for the day landed me square in the middle of lovers lane for Valentine walkers. Who would have thought every couple in my town would think a nice cold stroll along the river would emulate romanticism.

To me, fly fishing is a solitary act. An individual state of being wherein the practitioner goes to their happy place of mind and body. It’s like a Zen Fly Fishing Master whispers in my ear…..shhhconnect, be one with the river….

But on Lovers Lane Sunday, the Zen Master voice turned into a Cage Fight Announcer and chanted in my ear… have an audience! Catch a damn fish, these people are staring, waiting, cheering, watching, give ‘em a show!…..I realized I had waded myself into a spectator event and I was center stage. I admit it, I suffered from various degrees of stage fright. ( At one point I slowly turned around and counted 8 people stopped and watching me, I lost my happy place)

Not only did I have a constant stream of witnesses at my back, I had to submit my poor little flies for inspection several times. I guess if you have enough guys walking their ladies along the river, you’re bound to have a few fly fisherman sprinkled in the mix. Showing my flies in this manner always feels like a slim line between a Miss Fly America contest and the criminal line up at a police department. It’s either beauty approved or the guilty fly that belongs back in lock up…err,,,fly box. Thankfully my choice of flies got several nods of approval and no one said, “Umm, that fly only catches fish in Alabama.”

About the actual fish. I don’t wanna talk about them..(the dirty rotten)….  

~My big catch of the day.. Mr. Midget~

The best thing to interrupt my happy place all day was confessionals from two–not one–but two other fly fisherman. They both confessed they had been skunked. It’s not JUST ME!! Praise the fish gawds ~

Isn’t it time for some fluffy caddis? Perhaps a big juicy salmon fly? Soon maybe? Like tomorrow? I’ve had about all the midge fun I can take…..


Public Service Announcement: A Fly Giveaway! In honor of the big red heart day we just had, Austin from 365 Fly Fish is giving away a dozen #18 Red Hot Nymphs by Feb. 19th. OR by the 30th comment on his blog. All you have to do is leave a comment….so get on over there, cast your comment and you just might score some new flies~ LINK ~~> Red Hot Nymphs Ohh lala spreadin’ the love


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

KirkNo Gravatar February 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Knowing you had an audience you should have started blurting out random profanities (turrets) and having a conversation with yourself (crazy lady).
Have a little fun with the onlookers, ‘y know?

As for midges and skunks, only time will improve the catch rate. I fished yesterday and the river was 39 degrees. 3 of us in the boat, skunks all around. Not a fish gave us a look, bump or even and LDR. Saw one fish rise at a microscopic midge very late in the day and that’s the only fish we saw. Need a few more degrees in water temp, and that will only come as the calendar advances. But desperate angling peoples need to get out and throw some line even before it’s time…so at least you got out. By yourself. On Valentine’s Day, no less.


ZachNo Gravatar February 16, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Conehead streamer and a long backcast. The crowd is sure dispatch.


RobNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 6:58 am

Yes! I’m with Zach….

Since I fish in a lot of urban areas, I get a lot of spectators and question askers….who would ask the scary guy anything? But I try to have fun with them.


RebeccaNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 9:33 am

@Kirk ~ You mean I should have made myself feel like even more of a freak than I already did?? This is a small town buddy, I’m not sure I want to be known as that freaky Outdooress chick ;) Sorry you had a skunk day as well. It’s an epidemic! I’m ready for Spring and warmer weather. Like, today ~

@Zach ~ Good idea! I did have a few casts that I had to adjust to make sure I didn’t harm any onlookers. Maybe I should have been less careful.

@Rob ~ do you ever feel….performance pressure?


David SimmonsNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

Not wanting to be a downer on an otherwise nice blog, but in the future please be careful feeding chocolate to your dog. Chocolate can be a poison to some dogs, fortunately it wasn’t to Bandon this time, who can tell in the future. Many dog friendly establishments substitute carob for chocolates. I did enjoy the blog, sometimes it’s hard to perform for our adoring masses!



RobNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

Nope! No pressure at all. Keep in mind that as a former rock star, i’ve grown accustomed to being in front of people. It’s either that, or i don’t care….take your pick.


Kentucky JimNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Ahhh…I really don’t know what to say. My Valentine changed her mind. Or, she’s playing me. Maybe I didn’t pass the interview. No fish, no women. Oh, sigh… Oh, it was Bob Marley wasn’t it, that said, “No woman, no cry”; somethin like that, anyway. So, Rebecca, no fish, no cry…:-)


AustinNo Gravatar February 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for the shout out.

One of the major perils of fishing in public is the dreaded audience. If it isn’t the pressure to perform it’s the nagging question, “Are the fishing biting?” It’s hard to explain to the non-angler that the sport is more contemplative then fishing. Hell, if we wanted to catch fish there’s easier ways to do so (I’m thinking a bumble bee Mepps or a red/white Panther Martin). I totally understand your predicament.


nimrod243No Gravatar February 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Isn’t it strange how we can be so outspoken in the blogosphere about our passion, but when it comes to talking to people in person, we tend to freeze up or withdraw ourselves. That’s what happens to me sometimes anyways. I usually get over it pretty fast if people are genuinely interested in talking about the art of the sport and they are not intent on making me look like a dufus.

Tight Lines!


whitefish edNo Gravatar February 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm

with the way i dress for the river..nobody thinks of thinking of interrupting my fishing and asking me anything..ever. wink….


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