: February Fly of the month contest
02-01-2006, 12:23 PM
Tell us your best Trout fishing story and win a Gray Ghost streamer.
Got an interesting story about Trout fishing? Got an interesting lie about Trout fishing? Tell the story here on the FlyfishingForum and you could win the Gray Ghost streamer fly pictured below.
The rules are simple: Attach your Trout fishing story to this thread by February 24 and if our independent panel of judges decides it is the best story we will send you the fly, no questions asked. FlyTalk General Guidelines also apply. The winning story will also be featured on the Worldwide Flyfishing Discussion area for a month for everyone to enjoy. So, lets hear those Trout fishing stories. What do you have to lose?
Good luck and may the best story win.
P.S. The judges can submit stories but they are not eligible to win the contest.
02-18-2006, 07:36 PM
It was my second or third trip out West fishing for trout. After a long day on the Beaver Head River, it was time to get some souvenirs to take home. I wanted an official Western Black Cowboy hat.
Our shopping was done in Dillon , Montana. a real no nonsense cowboy town. I walked into the hat shop and spied the Marlboro Man with a black hat on just like the one I wanted.
“I want that hat”, was my reply to the young clerk behind the counter.
“Oh that’s my father.” she replied, “I want a hat just like he has.”
So I forked over my $75 dollars and had a brand new Resistol Hat. Proud as a peacock I strutted down the main street of Dillon. Next thing I knew was the sales girls had rushed out the store and said to me “Sir, you have your hat on back wards!!!”
“Well, I said, guess you can tell I’m a greenhorn from Boston.”
By the end of the week things had changed. The Black Hat was now covered in a light brown Montana dust. I had a week’s growth and my arms were score from casting toward the banks of the mighty Beaver Head. Numerous Browns had been caught. What a wonderful week we had had.
On Friday before we left for Boston, a trip was made to a local bar. I had the fortune to sit next to Rose and her cowboy companion. After a few drinks I was offered a job on their ranch!!!
Guess they thought that I was a real cowhand out of work. It was the dusty Black Hat that convinced them that I was the real deal.
02-20-2006, 06:08 AM
A long time ago, back in the seventies, I was fishing a beautiful river in Austria, called the Mur. It was one of the three rivers belonging to the proprietor of a fine hotel in Sankt Michael, hotel Zur Post. The 50 miles of water running between the impressive mountains of the Alps were free to fish for those staying in the hotel. Even in those days it was well booked and we shared the hotel with fly fishermen only.
In general this river is not wide and has a strong current on many stretches. In one of these fast flowing stretches there was a small waterfall and I stopped for a lunch at this picturesque spot. As I sat on the high bank on this warm day I stared at the fall. Underneath it, just behind a big rock I thought I saw a huge shadow. Did it move? Nah, just imagining. Just having said so the shadow broke lose of its background and snatched something of the surface. It was a huge brown of about 2 feet. I never even saw one that big. Lunch was forgotten; I was looking for a way to get down and get a fly above this magnificent fish.
I walked downstream for about 100 feet were I could enter the river and waded/half climbed back to the fall. I could imagine why that fish chose that spot. It’s natural food floated nicely towards him and the current behind the fall made it extremely hard to get a fly there which would stay afloat for more than one or two seconds, if at all.
The fish seemed to be taken smallish grey duns. Those I carried with me and I tied one on.
It took me quite some casts I must admit to get the fly in such a way above her that she was willing to take it, but in the end she did and I was able to set the hook. I tried to keep her in the pool at the waterfall, which initially worked but she decided to use the current in her advantage and went downstream. All I could do was follow her, half wading half stumbling. After what seemed to last hours but couldn’t have taken more that a few minutes I managed to get close to her. One more small run upstream followed but she was getting tired as well. I reached down to her with my too small landing net, which still pulled firmly in my hand due to the strong current. She slipped alongside and went downstream again but in between my legs. These are the kind of mistakes you don't forget easily. If anyone had seen me it must have been quite a funny sight; a 6.1/2 foot fly rod bent down and pointing in the water between my legs.
I tried stepping over the line and managed to catch the leader with my felt sole; she was gone.
At dinner at the hotel that evening I mentioned what happened to a German fishermen at the next table. With another week to go I should be able to give it another shot if this magnificant brown would return.
Two days later this guy was sitting next to my table again. He had a big trout for dinner. It was her. He mentioned to me that he had caught her from the bank using a strong leader and a stonefly nymph. I only listened half; at that moment I hated the guy. He was fully entitled to catch her, but killing such a magnificent fish! At that time I was a lot younger and easier agitated.
But God must have been watching us and for once he must have agreed with me as the next morning I saw this guy wading in the river. I was fishing some distance behind him. He had not seen me yet and stopped fishing to let nature have its way and probably get rid of the dinner of the evening before. He withdrew himself behind some bushes at the opposite bank.
After a couple of minutes I heard a loud “Scheisse” which is good German for ****. Apparently he had not pulled down his waders far enough.
That smile never left my face all day.
02-21-2006, 10:45 AM
5 days left in this one.
We have two very good stories but I expected a few more.
02-21-2006, 02:39 PM
Many years ago, when I was in College at Montana State in
Bozeman, two of my buddies and I decided for our spring
break we would back pack up the West side of the Madison
river into the canyon below Enis dam. This was one of our
favorite fishing areas and always produced numerous large
It started snowing as we hiked up the river. We reached a
cut bank overhang where we intended to camp and found four
other fisherman already there. They said they had packed in
a ten day supply of food and it took two trips to do it.
They also told us they had been there for a few days and
even though the fishing wasn't very good they planned to
stay about a week more.
We hiked on up the canyon a couple of hundred yards and
pitched our camp in what was becoming a blizzard.
Than night I slept in a tube tent and kept beating the snow
away from its sides all night. The other two were afraid
their two man tent would collapse so they stayed up and kept
the fire burning all night.
By dawn the blizzard was over. It left about a foot of
fresh snow. My two friends ate some breakfast then took off
to go as far up the canyon as they could. I told them I
would stay at the large pool near the camp and try my luck
there. After breakfast, I noticed the two of them had left
their tent open and their sleeping bags were soaked. I hung
them in a tree and dried them out.
That morning, I caught several 3 to 5 lb. Browns and built a
rock pen for them to live in until I could cook them at
lunch or dinner time.
The four guys down stream saw me fighting the fish and came
up to the pool. They told me that they were very
disappointed with the fishing since they had been there
several days and had caught no fish.
They were amazed at the nice Browns I had and asked if they
could fish the pool. They beat the water to death for quite
a while with no luck. During that time I caught a couple of
more and added them to my pen.
One of the other guys came to me and asked if I would
consider letting them have the fish I had caught in exchange
for all of their food. It seams they had decided the
combination of bad weather and bad fishing was too much and
they were going to leave. They didn't want to pack out all
of the food.
I told them that if they would carry our gear down to their
camp I would take the deal.
When my friends got back after dark they were shocked to
find we had moved. They were also starved, since they
hadn't eaten all day. Both of them were planning to "live
of the land" eating just the fish they caught and some
vegetables they brought along.
I had a couple of fresh caught trout and a large pot of beef
stew waiting for them. They didn't complain about the food!
Anyway, we had several days of outstanding fishing and ate
like kings with all of the food the other guys left for us.
02-21-2006, 03:43 PM
In my younger days the family owned a small camp in north central Pennsylvania. A small freestone creek meandered through the woods on the property and held a fair number of small wild brook trout. Most of the grownups ignored the creek, as the trout in it were all too small to eat. Being about 7 or 8 years old at the time, however, the creek held a powerful grip on my mind. I fished it with my cheep old spin-casting rod whenever I got a chance.
Since the area was and still is one of the last strongholds of the eastern Timber Rattlesnake it was usually required that I be accompanied by an adult on these little trips. On one trip in particular my grandfather had accompanied me on the walk down the creek. He led the way and I followed close behind, jamming the tip of my rod into any bush or tree that I got near. At one point I heard a load buzzing noise in front of my grandfather and he came to a quick and abrupt stop. The stop was followed by a loud “thud”. A rattlesnake had struck my grandfather in the shank of the heavy rubber hip boots he was wearing. Luckily, the boot, which he had put on just for this purpose, did not allow the snakes fangs to penetrate his skin and he was not injured. He quickly dispatched the snake, (keep in mind that this was over 35 years ago and the timber rattler was not yet on the endangered species list and peoples attitudes towards them were a bit different), and we continued on our way.
I fished that day for a few ours not catching much of anything and then we headed back to the camp. Upon returning my grandfather put his hip boots in the camp barn. The next day we went out to the barn to get the hip boots for a second trip down the creek. About one half of the hip boot that had been bitten by the snake was gone! The poison had eaten it away like acid. I couldn’t imagine what it would do to a person. :eek:
Just about the time we were reaching the age to buy cars and canoes, my best buddy got the truck, canoe and chesapeake bay retriever package not to mention one of the best gals at work for a girlfriend. You might say he was the lucky type.
Anyway we used to fish a lot together for trout in Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond and it's lesser known sister pond White Pond.
One day he was admiring his pup sleeping in front of the depth finder and took a nice outdoor mag photo. Well he didn't notice that the dial on the finder had a distinct fat mark about 6 feet down from the surface in about 40ft. As the canoe drifted the rod was hanging over the side and got clobbered by a large brown, one of the biggest I'd ever seen from those waters. He scrambled to keep from losing the rod, the pup woke up and thought he wanted to play, jumping up and down, the peace broken by a comedy of errors with everything out of control for a while until he landed this beauty.
Next picture on the roll - the prize brown and a smiling friend. It wasn't until after developing and he had the pup photo framed that we noticed the lunker on the fish finder!
Yes he was the lucky type alright. Sadly a congenital birth defect in his heart took his life at 27 after a hockey game. He knew about the potential problem and talked about it, but this linebacker and varsity hockey jock / outdoorsman lived his life to the fullest while he could. Still miss you brother but even now when I look at that picture I just have to smile.
02-21-2006, 09:15 PM
Since the area was and still is one of the last strongholds of the eastern Timber Rattlesnake it was usually required that I be accompanied by an adult on these little trips.<snip>
A little OT to the topic of the thread, but a few years ago on my way down to Crane's Beach by a back path I almost stepped on a juvenile rattlesnake of some sort that was sunning itself in the middle of the path. My buddy walked right by it before he saw/heard it and warned me, but I know there shouldn't have been a rattler there. I got close enough to definitively tell it was a rattler though.
That was my second run-in with a rattler in my life, also ran into one when I was a kid in upstate NY. That one was sunning itself on a rock on a broken down old stone wall. In both cases, I know they shouldn't have been there but they were.
02-24-2006, 09:30 PM
To the best of my recollection it was in the early 80’s and I was at my mother-in laws’ place in Falmouth for Memorial Day weekend. The striper population had yet to recover so if you wanted to go fly fishing it usually meant fishing the surrounding ponds for trout or bass. I on the other hand was going to try something different, I was going after the elusive sea run brown trout, the fisherman’s version of snipe hunting. I had recently read an article about the Coonamesset River that had a handy little map showing you where to park and to fish for the sea runs and it was only minutes from where I was staying. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Coonamesset it meanders its way through a cranberry bog and a short woodsy section before it flows under route 28, there it changes into a tidal estuary system and that’s where you fish for the trout. The water in the estuary was the color of coffee, the banks where lined with high grass and bushes making casting difficult at best. Across the pool was a condo and if you just waded a mere few feet from shore you sank down in what seemed to be bottomless mud. In fact later that summer I mentioned to a cantankerous old cape coder that I was fishing the Coonamesset and he said “Oh you mean the cesspool”. It had to be one of the last places on earth where one would expect to catch a trout, but there I was at sunrise on that Memorial Day weekend flaying away
Apparently I wasn’t the only one to read this article because within an hour there were a half dozen of us getting our cast caught in the bushes and our feet stuck in the mud. This futility lasted most of the morning until two fishermen showed up around 9 A.M. I was thinking these late risers won’t even find a suitable place to fish never mind catching them. They surveyed the situation and pointed to the condo side of the pool where an old tree was. The two entered the river just below route 28 (which was now starting to back up with beach traffic) and proceeded to wade towards the middle of the pool. It would be only a matter of time I thought before they started to sink in the mud, but to my surprise they just kept walking until they reached the middle then angled across to the other side. By now everyone had stop fishing to see what these two were up to. When they neared the old tree the lead angler turned to his partner and said in an Irish whisper said “There stacked up here like cords of wood” He executed a couple of cast near the tree with no results, then tied on a lighter tippet and cast again. Soon his line came tight and rod bowed over, the silvery fish ran to the middle of the pool made a couple of leaps and broke off. From what I could see the trout was a good 2-3 lbs. This scene played out 3 other times before he landed one. Now it was angler #2 turn and he soon hooked up with one that looked to be of several lbs. The fish caused such a ruckus with all its jumping and thrashing that people came out of their condos’ to see the results of the battle. (he lost that fish).For the next hr. these two anglers put on a show that was as good if not better than anything would see on E.S.P.N. or O.L.N. Between them they caught 7 sea-run-browns from 2to 4 lbs. and lost at least that many. One fish was even to presented to a condo owner for breakfast. After wading back I just had to talk to them. They explained to me that in all these estuaries on the south side of the cape that hold sea-runs there are underground springs near the shore and that the trout will hold there in the cool water and on some days like today you can get them to eat. Their fly of choice was the sparrow and more than likely than not you had to go with a light tippet. I wish I could say that armed with this knowledge I became an accomplished sea-run-brown angler that summer, but I didn’t. Though I did get quite good at finding them, just couldn’t the dam things to hit.
02-25-2006, 08:56 PM
In the early 90's one of my best fishing buddy's asked if I would take him trout fishing. I asked if he didn't mind being in canoe at night. It was June and the full moon was due to rise just after sunset. Perfect. The Hex hatch on the Wood was in full swing and the state of RI had just purchased a private hatchery that was once also a fishing club with numerous ponds on the property. Broodstock browns had been stocked in the Wood River to compliment this favorite of hatches that would support their voracious eating habits. We put in at the Barberville Dam enroute the Frying Pan upstream at about 8:15. Kelly was full of anticipation of the stories he'd heard about these browns that when cradled in your hands bulged over them as they were so fat with Hexageina Lambatas digesting from the evening before. My patterns were tied in the traditional yellow with fiberous extended body deer hair... calftail wings and white parachute hackles on #8 hooks.
As we paddled up current through the Frying Pan the sun was setting and the hatch was just showing signs of improvement. Best way to describe it to Kelly was those ragweed blooms that dry out and disperse their parachute laden seeds during a strong breeze only BIGGER.
A short while later the fullmoon was just blinking through the dense trees and we weighed anchor off the forward outrigger, dead center in the river. The take was beginning and the hatch prolific. The egg laying resulted in very large boils. We waited and watched in awe as these monsterous browns gorged on the Hexes.
Darkness had arrived. In the bow was Kelly, six weight in hand wondering if he should have brought the eight! Darkness brings out the best fish and the hardiest fisherman. Our patience had paid off when fourty feet up a huge brown appeared under a Hex with a boil I will never forget as long as I live. Kelly made his cast after I treated the fly with a little extra floatant. The fish would not take. Perhaps that is why it was so large having learned to refuse the fakes over the years. Several more casts yielded nothing and his fly was beginning to sink on the dead drift back to the canoe. Out the fly came with a few false casts and added floatant. Still nothing. The hatch was beginning to wane after fourty minutes and I was growing inpatient. It would be over soon. I grabbed my five weight with a fly in the ready and watched Kelly's fly start to sink again. The big fish was still feeding but ignoring his best presentations. About 15-20 feet to the right a smaller fish had begun working for it's dinner. Hummmmmm. I let go a cast to that fish with a strong splash and a submarine size wake ensued. It was Kelly's fish!!!!!!!!!! Oh my God!!!!!!!!! What had I done? The fish ate and after a short battle due to it's gorged stomach she came to hand easily.
Suffice to say, it is to this day, and probally always will be, a personal best. That was the longest, most dreadful paddle back to the car and home I will ever experience. No words appology would suffice for this cardinal rule broken. I still wake up many nights in a cold sweat after a bad dream and the cast I should never had made.
Kelly and I recently attended the Conn/RI Coastal Flyfishing Club monthly meeting together after a long hiatus and it was good. We will give give the Hex's a shot again this year. This time out, my rod will stay in the car! Promise.
02-27-2006, 09:35 AM
Well sports fans, The February Fly of the month contest is officially over and we got some great stories. I was worried about this one at first, it started slow, but you guys came through with some great stories. The judging has started and we will let you all know in a few days who the winner is.
Also, keep your eyes open for the March Fly of the month contest.
03-06-2006, 01:18 PM
Well sports fans! The judges have debated for a few days now and even though we had a hard time picking one, we have a winner. T.Kelly and his Very well written story about Sea Run Browns took the top spot. Great story T.Kelly, PM me with your snail mail and I will send you your fly.
And congrats and thanks to the rest of you who submitted stories. They were all very entertaining and deserve something. Wish I had time to tie all of you a fly.
Also, Take a look on the Striper board to see the March Fly of the month contest.