Fishing On The "Fly"
Fishing On The "Fly"
I have a good friend who is a member of a private fly fishing club, with amazing grounds complete with several good sized ponds. And these ponds are full of huge trout. Monster fish. Now the only trouble is that these "ponds" in particular are concrete enclosures where the breeding stock is held for this club/fish farm/hatchery. The very best of the best. Sure there are good sized trout in a series of natural ponds that are meant to be fished for. And the fishing is quite good. But those fish available are "smaller". And these natural ponds are some distance from the concrete enclosures.
This friend of mine loves to take his Labrador Retriever with him everywhere he goes. And that included going to the fishing club. His loyal Lab loved to go fishing with him. Occasionally, when she was allowed to, she would go swimming in the same ponds where fishing is "allowed". Of course, this only occurred when nobody else was around. My friend only took his dog with him when he was sure there wouldn't be any other club members present. He did not want to offend anybody out for a day's fishing. But surprisingly, there were many moments when there wasn't another fisherman to be seen, especially in the daylight hours of the "dog days" of summer.
This Lab really got "into" fishing. Besides the opportunity for a dip in the cooling waters, she became quite the "retriever" of fish that my friend caught. When he began to land the fish, the dog jumped into the water, even diving under if necessary, and most times coming back to the surface with a trout in her mouth. Now she's been fully trained for hunting and has a "soft" mouth. So a fish was never harmed. But the Lab didn't seem to accept the practise of catch and release. She got visibly upset seeing any trout let go. They were "her" fish after all. She had to work hard to bring them in.
Not long ago, my friend was fishing at the club. He was having a good day of angling, catching more than the usual amount of trout he'd expect to. His Lab was close by, making a record number of retrieves as he landed trout after trout. For a long stretch of time, where he was catching fish on almost every cast, the dog was obviously being kept quite busy.
Suddenly she disappeared, either becoming bored or worse somewhat put off by the constant return of each trout. My friend couldn't find her for a while, despite his thorough searching of the club's property around the fishing ponds. Then he heard splashing coming from one of the concrete "ponds". Sure enough, there was his Lab, with a huge trout in her mouth, trying to corner a second one. She had "cornered" most of the fish down at one end. Now the water in the breeding stock's holding tank wasn't very deep, but the dog would have a very hard time attempting to struggle out of the steeply banked cement enclosure. Especially with the sides now slick and wet where the water had been splashed around by the Lab's "herding" efforts.
So my friend realized he would have to "rescue" his dog, as she wouldn't be able to get out on her own without being able to get better footing than was available. Setting his rod and reel quickly down on a nearby picnic table, he began climbing over the fence that surrounded the concrete pools holding the breeding population of fish. This fence was there to protect these trout from predators, mainly unscrupulous fisherman unable to stave off the temptation of such huge fish. How the dog got in there was a mystery to be solved later. He had to get the Lab out of there immediately, before anybody saw her, especially any of the club's management. So he was in a hurry and not as careful as he might normally be.
Halfway over the fence, he got his pant leg caught in the barbed wire that was strung along the top, supposedly to make the fence look more impregnable to any outside onslaught. So there he was stuck with his pants hopelessly tangled up in the metal barrier. He made a prompt assessment of his situation. He didn't want to rip his trousers and have to explain such a predicament to others. So he decided his wisest choice at the moment would be to free himself from his pants entirely. Loosening his belt and undoing the garment while practically hanging upside down was not as easy as it might seem. But eventually he was able to do so without that much difficulty. In fact he practically fell out of his pants. Well actually "fall out" is a perfect description. Suspended as he was, once he was able to unzip his pants enough to extract himself from his bondage, he fell head first inside the fence and bounced into the water below.
His dog had been watching his progress over the fence, tail wagging and swimming all over the place just beneath where he was attempting to make his entrance. When he made his unscheduled dive into the breeding "pond", the Lab sprinted to his side, doing her best to "save" her master. It seemed like she was right in his arms. When he came to his senses, he realized he was "hugging" a large trout, not his dog. Somehow when he rolled into the water he had "grabbed" onto the large fish. He let the trout swim away free, even if it was the largest fish he had ever "caught".
Once he was able to regain his bearings (something about bouncing your head off a hard surface into cold water that can cause you to lose track of your surroundings for a moment or two), my friend was able to climb out of the breeding tank. Then he proceeded to haul the dog up and out of the concrete "pen" too. At that point, he heard a voice behind him exclaim, "Nice catch". He turned to find his best fishing buddy leaning against the fence, with the biggest grin possible on his face. My friend was standing there in his underwear, soaking wet, with his somewhat tattered pants blowing in the breeze like a glorious banner from the top of the enclosure. The Lab danced around, still proudly holding onto a huge trout, very pleased with herself. After all, she had "caught" her own fish. And after all her effort, she would be very reluctant to give up the trout.
Somehow, my friend (with the help of his buddy) was able to get the fish from the dog, not to mention "retrieve" his pants from the fence. The big trout was safely returned, no worse for wear. And the hole in the fence that the Lab had originally made her way into the breeding pond was found. It was large enough for a man to crawl through, dragging a very unhappy dog behind. Luckily, nobody else had seen this unusual display of fishing as it could have meant instant dismissal as a club member. Something to do with "catch and release" rules not being properly followed.
These days, my friend doesn't take his dog with him to the fishing club. And she can't come back until she works on her "catch and release" technique. But occasionally, my friend and his closest fishing buddy will share a laugh over the whole incident. His good buddy loves to remark, "Certainly brings a new meaning to the phrase "double haul" when you remember you both caught two great trout. Then again it also was an innovative way for you to fish on the 'fly' too".
Somewhere on a river (hopefully?!?!?)
(posted on General Discussion board but also here because of "humorous" content -- at least I hope you find it so)