Hooked at Mirror Lake
Last weekend I took my first official fly fishing trip. My wife recently bought me my first fly rod and I've been chomping at the bit to get my leader wet. The novelty of fly casting in the grass in the front yard wore off after a few days, as you could imagine.
Saturday morning I headed a few hours north to the White River in Arkansas. Although the weather was cold and rainy, I was determined to make the most of the trip. I set up camp at Sylamore Creek and walked to the water with my tackle. Because of all the recent rain, the water was fast, high, and muddy. Nevertheless, I fished to no avail. Regardless of the lousy weather and lack of fish, being an optimist I simply saw this as an opportunity to hone my technique, which I did. A lot. I went to bed that night with a belly full of ham sandwich and beer as opposed to the big fish dinner I had planned.
I rose the next morning to birds chirping, blue skies, and the awesome Ozark Mountains all around me. ...and also a slight headache from the Pabst Blue Ribbon. I packed up my stuff and headed out to Blanchard Springs, which was only about 30 minutes or so from where I was. There I found Mirror Lake, which is a dammed up spring stocked with trout. I hiked through the trails around the "lake" and found a spot that looked promising. I set my tackle down and just had a look around. It was absolutely beautiful out there. More than the scenery, though, I was looking at the ground, the water, and the bugs buzzing in the air. After some deliberation, I chose a floating cricket as my weapon of choice. And a good choice it was.
My first 10 casts or so proved fruitless, or fishless, rather. I began to have doubts about my technique, my fly, my location... just about everything. All of a sudden, BAM! From below, something had come to the surface and seriously wanted what I had offered up. My heart leapt into my throat as I fumbled nervously with my line, rod and reel. I had played this moment over and over in my head, but when the time came, all rational thought flew right out into space. After a moment, I remembered all I had read and kept the line taught. We fought each other for control of the situation for what seemed like forever. Apparently, he didn't want that cricket as bad as he thought he did. I pulled in the last of the line and brought him close to my feet. Like a gunslinger, I reached behind my back and grabbed my net. I dipped it in the water and scooped out quite possibly the most beautiful fish I had ever seen. After I unhooked him, I held him in my hands down in the water for a bit. At that moment I realized that that rainbow trout and I had something in common: we had just both been hooked.
Re: Hooked at Mirror Lake
Well Done! And I mean the trip, the catch, and the report.
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