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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2000 06:50 AM
RE:First trout on a fly?

Poor me, first fish on the fly was a little little... The thing was only about 4 inches. Still it was caught by a ten year old version of me. The fly was a sherry spinner, fished wet. It was my first time with a fly rod so the fact that I was drowning dries was not surprising. What was was catching a fish. The hungry thing burst out of the water after it! I had let the line drift all downsttream so that I was fishing with no style, not wet nor dry, and the wake the fly caused when the fly swung up to the top and around changed that beautiful baby trout into deadly killer.
It was beautiful, gorgeous red spots, a little wild gem. That was April 1983, my first day flyfishing, my first on the fly. I'd love to do that day again.
02-01-2000 09:35 PM
RE:First trout on a fly?

Still mourning the passing of my father in law but what better way to improve my mood than to relive my first trout on a fly. It was a brown trout taken on a #10 Haystack on the Ausable in New York. It was about 13" and probably a holdover fish (maybe even wild) judging by its perfectly curved and pointy fins. I fumbled around trying to get a half decent cast upstream. He missed (or maybe I missed) the first whack, but he came back and he was mine. I almost swang it across the road on the hook set <g> That's got to be over 20 years ago... late seventies, and remember it as if it was yesterday.
02-01-2000 08:27 PM
RE:First trout on a fly?

I flat out don't remember. Grrrr. It was probably a brookie in the way upper reaches of the Squanacook, or evan up beyond that in good old Willard Brook. It took me a long time to "trust" that I could produce on flies. So my conversion from spin tackle was back and forth in those teenage days way back (hint: I'm 3 months older than Juro, and he's an old cow now, so that oughta tell ya). But I really enjoyed your stories above. Brings to mind something. I've always had a knack for brookies. Crawling on your belly, behind boulders, long cast under alders, bushwacking etc. If there in there I can present a fly and hook them. But i never could get the hang of Browns on size 18 and smaller flies. Or, for that matter, any size. One of these days....Bob D, show me the way.

Terry (who suffers from CRS)
02-01-2000 07:59 PM
RE:First trout on a fly?

Ah the first trout on a dry fly. You'd have to be a cold one indeed to let that memory slip away. This is piece of a post I wrote to "another" board.

There have been many who have imparted their fly fishing wisdom to me over the years but this is a tale of my cherry trout and one special man. He is nameless to me and he would have no idea how his few minutes of generosity affected me. I was seventeen and I had just become the proud owner of a 7 weight berkley fiberglass fly rod and a very simple single action martin reel. It was nearing dusk on the Mohawk river in upstate New York and the trout were greedily slurping flies from the surface. I made cast after cast to no avail and I was getting quite frustrated. An old man walked up to me and asked what I was using and I showed him the big bushy thing at the end of my line. He said I could fish all night with it and probably not catch a thing. He then dug into his vest and pulled out a magnificent assortment of flies. Truly a treasure and wonder to my eyes. He selected a fly, clipped the monster off my line and with hands shaking from age or some other unkind ailment he tied the new one to my line. He missed the tag and clipped the line and muttered something about damned old eyes. He handed me the fly and another like it off the patch on his vest and said I could probably handle tying it on myself. He watched me cast a few times then gave me a quick lesson on line mending and the importance of a drag free drift. I started getting rises to my fly but I kept missing them. He said I was being to rough and all I had to do was lift the rod to set the hook. Cast, cast, cast and finally I did it right! What a thrill it was and soon a beautiful 10 inch brown trout came to my hand. Grinning I looked up to the old man and he was not there. I wish he could have seen me catch my first trout on a fly. I can't remember if I thanked him and if I did it was not enough so I try to make up for any lack by following his example and being generous with what life has taught and given me. Who knows, someday somebody might write something like this about some old guy who shared with them and they will be writing about me. Kind of makes me smile to think about it.
02-01-2000 06:27 PM
First trout on a fly?

My first trout on a fly rod was very memorable. Yeah, I had trolled them up on streamers, and piled my line into the currents so I could strip the fly back and hit a few that way - but I mean the selection, the cast, the retrieve, the hit, the fish.

Mine came in stillwater, a stocked fish but glorious for me just the same. Don't even get me wound up on commentaries about the damage native populations sustain from truckfuls of finless pellet-fed heiffer trout pushing delicate fry from their fragile domains, eating them at will, sucking the food source dry, etc. I didn't mean to talk about that.
But that spring day, the promise of a new season was in the air and the bright green buds were pushing colors from the gray fingers of winter-stripped trees along the pond, and the birds were singing their sweet songs. I had gotten into this intense obsession about catching trout without Pautzke's Balls o' Fire or marshmallows after I saw the old timers on Walden and Whites and Scargo and Cliff Pond gently lay funny looking fat lines toward the sipping rings of trout, finding fish after willing fish while I and the rest of the forked stick crowd sat like Norman Rockwell's mischevious boys on buckets wishing we had a rock in our hands. These splashes would drive me crazy, I just had to figure it out.

I had an old fiberglass rod someone gave me and set out stubbornly to defeat this conquest, getting rides to the pond from my sister who had only just gotten her license or even taking the bicycle on the highway to get there. We even hitchhiked (I'm dating myself there, eh?). Eventually, I would be ornery enough to bring the flyrod even though I couldn't cast to save my life and the whole thing felt like I had two left feet on my arms whenever I tried.

But I tried and I tried, buying flies with my spare change whenever I could, at Sears, at Zayre's at any shop that my folks brought me to or that a bus went to. When I tied them on they seemed so stupid, wet, and ineffective. It really took me a long time to get a clue.

One day I was standing on a stone wall at the waters edge with my flyrod, feeling stupid. From the corner of my eye I saw the unmistakable speckled form of a trout, cruising just below the surface. It turned and rushed over to a spec on the surface, hesitated and gently sucked in something. I looked at my fly - which I now know as a blacknosed dace streamer and thought "that ain't somethin, gotta find the something!" and dug thru the box. Seeing as I was surrounded by gnats, it only occurred to me then that they could be feeding on them. I selected a tiny gnat and proceeded to tie it on. Being unaware of things like tippet and bloodknots, the leader was cut down by streamer abuse and I could barely get the line thru the eye. The knot looked bigger than the fly. I tried it anyway. When the fly began to sink every cast I stopped to think things over.

Looking in my corny green fabric creel, I found a spare not-a-knot leader. Wasting no time, I replaced the leader I had with the new one using a whatchamacallit knot. It was bigger than my fly too, but the tippet was as light as a spiders web and I got excited about the sense of renewal.

I set out to find these fish again, and luckily they were still rising. It took a while before they came within my range (20 feet max) but they did. I laid the fly on the water with a delicate kersploosh, and then I thought.. now what? If I move the fly, it sinks. If I don't I feel stupid. I sat there a little longer, and the wind began to move my line. The fly formed a tiny little wake as it slid to the side, and I decided that the spaghetti like trail of line that lay between me and the fly was not going to do me any good, so I began to retrieve some line using a motion that remotely resembled something I now know as "stripping".

Then it happened... with a subtle slap, a flash of scarlet and silver, and a moment of disbelief, I had a rainbow on the line as I fuddled to pull in the slack and feel the fish in person. And feel I did! When I made contact, the fish bounced the rod with a vigor that nothing with a trailing egg sinker could produce, and I let out a strange noise that you could never spell. After a little nervous give-and-take, I slid the flooping trout onto the sandy gravel and pounced on it like a cat.

Yeah sure, I ate it - but I was a kid, and you've never seen someone so damn proud of a little stocker trout. For some reason, every spot and scale of that fish radiated with the sheen of accomplishment, and I'd swear it's pale pasty flesh was exquisite if you'd asked me then.

Well, millions of false casts later I've been pleased to say that I have been fishing the same kelp beds as orcas on the Olympic Peninsula, and swinging Spey flies in the same waters where Haig-Brown caught his first steelhead. I've laid crazy charlies into the patchwork of turtle grass and fine coral sands to entice bones on the Keys, and wrestled big 'cuda from the deep dark trenches on an 8wt. I've seen bluefish blitzes a hundred yards wide and cruising stripers so big that I was afraid to cast, and hope I've got a whole lot more to go before it's all said and done, but in the scope of things that little rainbow was a milestone I should never forget or forsake.

Every one's a keeper, in the mind's eye.

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