See that visual on the left there? The one of me holding my fly box open, hand running across possible fly choices? The look of intense concentration? As I went through the pictures taken on my trip to Oregon, there seems to be a lot of those same types of pictures. The, “well hell….now what” pose…
Let me back up: I went to Oregon to visit family (first priority) with the underlying possibility of experiencing some new fly fishing waters. My wonderful hosts, Dale and Barbara, provided safe shelter, a real bed (without the threat of mouse invasion) great food, skilled tour guide skills and a bonus—Dale took out his old fly rod, dusted it off and expressed he’d like to try his hand at fly fishing again with me. Talk about a rare and unusual twist to my fly fishing. I had a fly fishing co-angler! That doesn’t happen very often in my little world.
Since Dale hadn’t been fly fishing in years, or eons, or something like that, he was unfamiliar with the fly fishing ins & outs of his area so we were both going on gut instinct rather than true & tried area river wisdom. That sort of unknown factor put us at the mercy of Fly Shops, rumors and general fly fishing hearsay.
I couldn’t help but notice that Dale held a general mistrust and overall theory about Fly Shop visits. As we would approach each new fly shop with our heads held high, Dale would remark, “Get prepared to be lied to and sold all the flies they haven’t been able to get rid of this year.” ….So either Dale was 1) kicked in the groin as a young boy by a Fly Shop owner or 2) he’s truly onto something with his theory.
That’s the problem with fly fishing in unfamiliar waters. Guess work. So we asked the typical questions at the different Fly Shops and pulled out wads of cash to purchase flocks of flies we probably didn’t need. (That of course is part of the bargain you mentally, and financially, assume as you walk into a fly shop– the price of admission baby!) And then we waded off into the rivers with brand spankin’ new flies and hopeful attitudes.
We both caught fish over the week I was there. Of course, some of the fish had to be lined up head to tail to add up to one respectable fish, but we didn’t mind. Good times were had!
Here’s what I loved about fishing in Central Oregon. Everywhere you look there is a new lake or river to visit. I mean, bodies of water…just…everywhere…It’s like Central Oregon is the ultimate liquor store for anyone with an incurable fishing thirst.
The frustrating part, and I don’t blame Oregon, is not knowing all the nooks and crannies, hatches, quirks or secrets of new waters. Unfamiliar means forgoing that level of comfort felt when I approach a river I’ve previously hung out with.
Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like visiting a new place to fish is a bit like going on a first date. Either there are sparks, or there isn’t. There’s a bit of fumbling around, unsure conversations and awkward pauses. Sometimes there’s just teasing, and sometimes everyone scores. My trip was a memorable sweet first date that I would gladly agree to a second round~ Oregon, I’ll be back ~