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What NOT to do when you go Fly Fishing.

April 14, 2009

-Today I took advantage of another beautiful day to get out and enjoy some fishing at Birch Stream. With the wind finally down below 5mph, I was excited to get out and cast a few streamers into the current like I had only 4 days earlier. Driving back from home on Monday morning I had passed over a section of Birch Stream that was severely flooded, which led me to believe that my spot would be just as high and fast as it had been the first time I went. Because of this, I broke every rule in my book and left my fly boxes home, bringing 5 different streamers and leaving the rest of my fishing gear behind. For the first time all season, I also left my waders home because I KNEW the water would still be way too high. Was I ever wrong! I pulled up to the bridge to find that surprisingly enough, water levels in this section of Birch Stream looked like they had dropped an easy 3 feet. The giant rocks and deep corner holes that I had been told about were clearly visible and looked full of potential for hungry trout. Having just driven 40 minutes, I was instantly kicking myself for leaving so many essential items behind. My waders would have given me access to at least 5 different holes within viewing distance of the bridge, and my box of nymphs would have been more than useful. Angry and frustrated, I decided to fully utilize what I did have and quickly got to fishing the holes around the bridge. I instantly found myself unloading as much fly line as possible to reach out to the holes I was missing out on.

BEFORE! Birch Stream with major flooding and fast currents!

BEFORE! Birch Stream with major flooding and fast currents!

AFTER! Birch Stream only days later at close to normal Levels with calm flows and crystal clear water!

Three hours went by, and with it came more frustration and headaches. I changed back and forth between streamers so much that I eventually ate through my 4 foot tippet. This is when I discovered that I had left my chameleon 3lb test tippet spool in my vest. I did have clear tippet on my lanyard, but at 6lb test it was awkward to tie and proved itself to be extremely week and of low quality. By the time I finally got my knots tied, by tippet ended up twice as long as I had planned, and my fingers were numb. To make matters worst, I made my first cast in pure anger and once again caught the power lines, which pulled my newly tied tipper from my leeder and claimed my freshly tied Grey Ghost. After another 15 minutes struggling with knots, this time because of glare caused by the setting sun, I decided to risk a jump across a 3 three foot section of water that would allow me to cast into a few additional holes from a small Island. I made the jump fine only to find that the Island was not solid ground, but soaked grass and twigs from the early Spring flooding. Not only were my boots swamped, but my reel had taken a dunk into the mud and would need to be cleaned. This was officially my worst day of Fly Fishing EVER.

What I'll be wading in Friday afternoon!

What I'll be wading in Friday afternoon!

How could I have let such a great day and prime conditions go to such a waste? Because like an Idiot, I was not prepared to fish in such perfect conditions. With my waders and a more versatile selection of flies, I have no doubt in my mind this post would be about my first fish of the season. I understand that fishing in this region is much more difficult than I’m used to, but today I really wasn’t helping my own case at all.

The Moral of the story, Always bring along a variety of gear to fit a wide range of conditions. Over packing is much better than muddy boots and missed opportunities!

Happy Castings,

-Ben

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2009 10:44 am

    Box of nymphs and a spool of 5x fluorocarbon tippet is all a man needs. You need to get into that first fish already Ben, you’re slackin!

    • April 15, 2009 1:19 pm

      I need to get somewhere that has fish before I can catch any! I can’t wait until school is finished so I can go fishing for more than an hour at a time.

  2. Wishy permalink
    April 15, 2009 6:20 am

    Sounds like a rough day Ben but always remember….. “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work or school!”

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