Flyfishing

I resolve, To Be Nicer to White Fish in 2010

by Rebecca on December 30, 2009

in Fly Fishing

~South Fork Of the Boise River~The week between Christmas and New Years (in my humble opinion), is a blank void that seems to stretch for weeks. I’m sure others have found a meaningful and time worthy purpose for these 7 days, but I just feel a dull space before the clean slate of a new year. With nothing better to do than count the hours, my mind tends to ponder the meaning of my previous year and the potential of my upcoming year.

Maybe that’s the reason for the 52nd week. This week long holding pattern is like false casting. A time to dry off the fly, look around and think carefully about where to make the next cast. Such hang time encourages one to take stock of  their life, and the panic or inspiration (depending how one looks at it) is probably why New Year Resolutions were born in the first place……..

2009 wasn’t such a great year for me and that’s all I’m going to say about that. I know as time meanders down the swift and choppy river I feel like I’ve been drifting in, the reality will calm into still water and memory will hold passionately to the good times, the big fish, the little fish and the ones that got away.

For me, that’s what a life spent outdoors does. It eases, heals, reminds, balances and teaches. During rough times, I only need to sneak away for a few hours on a river bank to ensure that eventually good memories will supersede darker times while lifes many turmoils are carried away with the current. It’s as it should be……

I titled this entry before I started writing and although I’ve gotten sidetracked with my thoughts I think I’ll leave it. I covet some good karma for the year 2010 and I shall start cultivating those good vibes by extending a Prince Nymph to the bane of my fly fishing world. The Whitefish.

Until I read this entry over at The Unaccompished Angler, I was under the assumption that ‘all things are created equal’  didn’t actually translate to ’Whitefish included’, but looking back, perhaps I was wrong. So now, today, I offer up my first New Year resolution.

I, Rebecca Anne, lady who wields a fly rod, hereby swears not to cuss, kick water, roll my eyes, yank in or otherwise throw an un-lady-like fit when she discovers a whitefish has ruthlessly grabbed one of her flies in the year 2010.

That resolution alone should earn me three good months of slack water and calm times! Ok, never mind, subtract one month off for the negative thoughts I just had about sucker fish. I’m not ready to be nicer to them. No way, not at all, not gonna happen…this year~

Rebecca

{ 10 comments }

Murder of a Fly Rod: Till Death Did Us Part

by Rebecca on November 13, 2009

in Fly Fishing

~Reds Final Fish, captured Forever in Picture and Thought~

~Reds Final Fish, captured Forever in Picture and Thought~

My first Fly Rod was a Redington Redstart. I purchased it when I was in my twenties and at the time I was about as broke as a twenty year old could be. I knew I wanted to fly fish, I knew I didn’t want to buy my fly rod from K-mart and my soon to be full time Fly Fishing mentor suggested that if I could come up 300 dollars, I could buy a package deal and be off to a great start. My goal took awhile, a lot of pennies saved, a mini-car wreck with a $240 dollar pain and suffering check (yay me!) and I was finally able to purchase Red, my new best friend.

A full time relationship blossomed. There should have been a commitment ceremony to symbolize the love, trust and monogamous relationship that formed between Red and I. An ordained Entomologist could have wrapped leader around my hand and the cork of my Red and pronounced us, ’till death do you part.”

Like any true relationship, Red and I were put to the test occasionally. A 7 year inch almost ruined our relationship when my eyes wandered to the sleek new designs of younger, more flexible models. I learned it was safer to stay out of the red light district, specifically, the ”Fly Shop Brothel” and ignore the sexy options with first names like Sage and Loomis. Each time I put myself in front of the almighty temptation–rows and rows of new fancy fly rods,  I walked away a one rod loyaltist rather then succumbing to the allure of fly rod polygamy.

I also wasn’t into swinging with my Red. For the most part, but not always, I kept Red out of affairs and trists, with other hands. But swinging seemed the unavoidable pitfall of fishing with others. It would always start out innocent enough, someone would ask to ‘give ‘er a try’ and if I couldn’t come up with a dire enough reason to say no, I would reluctantly relinquish my tight hold and pass Red off with a Mama Bear list of cautions and warnings.

If life was fair and just, I would have been the one to eventually kill old Red, but life generally doesn’t subscribe to the fair philosophy. Robert, Russ and I traveled to No’tellum creek in Wyoming for a weekend of fish frolicking fun. They with their spinning rods, me with reliable Fly Flinging Red. The first morning I was up and on the fish. Big Fish. Beautiful Fish. I couldn’t not catch a fish it was so good. Red and I were beyond thrilled and even delighted in the jealous spinning rod eyes trained on our good fortune.  

Hat and sunscreen, I had forgotten both and the sun was blazing down on my skin. I told myself, “One more fish and then you have to run to town, the fish can live without you for 30 minutes.” So I caught that one more fish, and in hindsight, I thank the river gawds I asked Robert to take a picture of the beauty. As I told the boyz I was running to town, one them, who shall remain un-named spoke up, “Hey, if you’re running to town, can I use your fly rod while you’re gone?” Gasp. Double Gasp. Alone I thought? Without my supervision?

But since I didn’t think, “Hell no, old Red needs to rest up, it’s had a strenuous morning” would pacify the eager (jealous) guy, I buckled under the pressure. I gave my normal run down of instructions, rules & regulations and abandoned Red for 30 minutes.

Return
Him: I broke your fly rod.
Me….Stunned silence… Blink, Blink…Blink…. 

Until that point, I’d always wondered how a person “snaps’ or goes to the lands of lala in the blink of an eye. The defining catalyst that spirals a person into a moment that would blacken the sky and sound would suck into a vortex of silence where all sense of reality evaporates. I know that place now, sat right down in the lap of crazed devastation. I didn’t commit murder which seemed a reasonable retaliation for such an atrocious crime, instead I gathered up Red in my arms, and walked to a serene place next to the river to (curse the day the fly rod murderer was born) soothe my broken heart.

I had been fishing with Red for over 12 years without so much as a eyelet guide breaking and in the absence of 30 minutes, Red was in pieces. I’m quite certain the story the boyz offered up was intended to paint a good light on Reds final moments, but it sounded rather fishy. Supposedly a huge fish was on the line, so ginormous that the strain didn’t break the line, oh no, instead the raw power of that fish magically transferred into my Red and snap, snap, a two piece became a four piece…..Although I would like to imagine Reds last hoorah was fighting a fish, I’m still not buying it.

For almost two years now I’ve felt like a fly rod widow. At first I thought I’d never be able to see another fly rod without thinking only of Red, but as time eased the pain I started dating again. My first purchase was another Redington. I imagine I did that because there was comfort in the name, but I’ve used it, a lot, and it still doesn’t feel the same. My next dating came in the form of a Sage rod. It’s fine as well, does the job and all that, but it still doesn’t feel like commitment time.

Maybe I’ll never commit to another fly rod again the way I did with Red. Maybe each fly fisherman only gets one true love and after that love is broken all fly rods will simply be stand ins…just fly rods. Only time will tell……….

Rebecca

{ 12 comments }

Olive, The Little Woolly Bugger

by Rebecca on November 12, 2009

in Fly Fishing

Accomplished!

Accomplished!

Recently I was able to help Author and Fly Fisherman, Kirk Werner of the Unaccomplished Angler do some technical adjustments on his blog. I’m sure I impressed him with my coding and teaching skills and in turn he made me proud by not turning his blog into an error-404 disaster zone. Once we achieved virtual success, Kirk emailed me one last time and it went down something, sorta (creative interpretation applies here) like this….

Kirk, “I’d like to compenstate you for such highly advanced coding skills!”
To which I replied, “Oh you don’t have to do that, but if you insist, the standard developers rate will do, about $15 zillion dollars.”
After a long email pause, Kirk offered, “Ummm, how about I send you a set of my children’s Fly Fishing Books instead.”
Trying to contain my excitement, I responded, “Even Better, we have a deal!”

((editors note: Ok, I’m both writer and editor, but that’s beside the point… Truth is, I didn’t expect anything in return for helping out, at all, but Kirk surprised me by sending along his books ~ Kirk has a humorous point of view about the fly fishing world and I highly recommend checking out his newly improved blog.))
~~~~~~~~

~Tightlines and Fun~

~Tightlines and Fun~

So that’s how I got my hands on a fantastic set of books about Olive The Little Woolly Bugger. (Tech skillz and negotiation tactics!)

 My daughter Kaitlyn and I read all three books and we both fell in love with little Olive and her adventures.

I really loved how Kirk wove together a delightful story about a little woolly bugger and real fly fishing lingo into each and every page. As a parent, it’s an easy way to introduce fly fishing into a child’s world that is both fun, entertaining and teaching at the same time.  

The illustrations are wonderful and each book tells a new story about Olive. I can’t recommend these books enough to parents that would like one more way to show their young ones the joy of fly fishing. Christmas is coming and I have no doubt Santa would approve as well. Treat your little one to a new adventure and bring Olive the woolly bugger, Andy the Adams, Ernie the Elk Hair Caddis and many more delightful characters into your home~

Rebecca

Olive2_bigLink ~Olives Website : “Now those who love the sport of fly-fishing can share it with the children in their lives through these wonderful children’s books about fly-fishing. An astute angler knows that presentation is everything, and now children will get hooked on fly-fishing with the help of Olive the Woolly Bugger and a colorful cast of characters. From earning a coveted spot in The Fly Box to catching a wild trout in The Big Stream, Olive discovers that everyone has a special purpose in life. Featuring eye-catching illustrations, delightful dialogue and kid-friendly facts, Olive the Woolly Bugger will make a big splash with fly-fishing fans everywhere. These books are keepers, and are the perfect gifts for the young angler, or the angler who is young at heart!”

{ 5 comments }

Fishing Companions: Ones that Don’t Talk

by Rebecca on October 29, 2009

in Fly Fishing

~Bandon and I, heart to heart~

~Bandon and I, heart to heart~

I fly fish alone the majority of the time…..now, now, don’t feel bad for me. I consider my solitary fly flinging excursions a result of natural selection and been there, done that. Apart from going with a few select individuals, a few predictable fly buddies, I’ve found fly fishing is on par with a trip to heaven and I see no need to drag a few potential sinners along to tempt the water gods. (again, been there, done that)

However, I do have one very predictable and always loyal fishing companion and she is the El Dog. Also known as Bandon. A sweet tempered Golden Retriever who is my constant shadow.

Bandon wasn’t acquired to play the part of constant fishing companion, no, not at all. She was purchased to be a reliable duck/goose hunting dog but despite her neurotic fetching addiction, a duck or goose is completely beneath her girly tastes. Essentially, the dog wouldn’t touch anything with a feather even if you slathered it with bacon grease and stapled a lamb chop to it. No freaking way she declared as she stuck her nose in the air and pranced back to my side during many (many MANY) feeble training sessions.

A Hard Day on the River

A Hard Day on the River

Going fishing however, was right up her alley. Because she’s so girly, and polite, with a set of impeccable dog manners, she’s never, ever, a pain on the river. She’s content to stand chest deep in the river with a stick in her jaws for hours waiting for her big chance to fetch something. She doesn’t move an inch towards random people as they walk by and other dogs are irrelevant nuisances she sometimes encounters but typically won’t give them the time of day. She’s got me in her line of sight and that’s the only thing that seems to matters in her world.

Must Not Look

Must Not Look

I have come to the conclusion that once a decision to go fishing has been made, we humans must give off a certain excited aroma or aura that only dogs….or maybe it’s just my dog…..can pick up on. The moment I decide to go fishing, without saying anything, without even going to the closet to get my gear, Bandon picks up on the ”going fishing” scent and darts to the front door, guard style, as if to remind me that if I am going fishing it would be blasphemy, a true mortal sin of dog ownership,  if I left her home. Because she knows that’s exactly what my plans are.

Nope, NOT going to Look

Nope, NOT going to Look

This is a good time to mention that my darling timid companion is also terrified of cameras, so the odds of ever taking a decent picture of her and posting it is slim at best. I think I have 2, maybe 3 where she didn’t have a chance to twist her head sideways. It seems at some point in time she deemed the camera her version of potential ‘death by looking’, a Medusa like contraption that will turn her into instant stone if she looks directly at one. Maybe that will change as we continue with, “project desensitize Bandon to the camera” but so far the therapy isn’t working.

For many, many years I simply went fishing by myself, but now that I have Bandon, I can’t imagine not taking her. She’s excited for me when I catch a fish and always there to encourage me along. Now if only she could learn how to collaborate my claimed fish stories I’d be doing good.

Rebecca

{ 5 comments }

Fly Fishing Attire: Runways On The River

October 27, 2009

I haven’t seen him in a few years, but there was a flyfisherman I’d occasionally catch a glimpse of in Yellowstone Park (on the Yellowstone river) while I was fly fishing for gorgeous cutthroats. Truth be told, there was no way to miss, or forget  the man because he was always decked out in NEON GREEN among other [...]

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Fishing Mentors: My Dad Inspired Me

October 26, 2009

There are two people I can credit with mentoring my fishing evolution. Today’s entry is about my first mentor. I credit my own Father with introducing me to the Great Outdoors and specifically, fishing. He christened me when I was a 6 week old baby with a Mepps Treble hook to the forehead and I [...]

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Fly Fishing Identity: FlyLady? Flychick? Flygirl?

October 24, 2009

Men have it easy in this department and I imagine they have never looked at this name thing from a female perspective. They are Flyfisherman. A.K.A. Fisherman, the universal meaning for those that cast a line. Considering guys started the activity, I guess it’s only fair they get the easiest designation. But when you are female, the lines [...]

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Fly Fishing: Fly By Questions

October 22, 2009

One of the best parts about fishing is the people one meets while charting their own fishing destiny. Paths cross, people toss lines into the same body of water and we all share a similar goal—-catch fish. We share nods or smiles as we respectfully adhere to wide margins of personal fishing space (except in salmon fishing, [...]

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