Well, I finally succeeded: I got my buddy to actually toss his spinning rod aside and try fly fishing.
It took a looooong time. I remember I bought my fly equipment about a year-and-a-half ago. I have to admit, I was extremely nervous about starting, too. I remember I tried it, poorly, but I said it seemed like a lot of fun. He was even there the first time I tried it and he thought it looked okay.
Now, he is a lot younger, in his early 30's, and not married. He has a good job and always buys what he wants and he always wants the best. So he gets a bug up his butt and buys a Ross reel and a Helios rod! Plops down more than $1,000 for his outfit...and promptly never uses it.
I have bugged him and bugged him and bugged him to go out. Nope, he said he is happy with the spin rod. I finally talked him into going today. Woo-hoo!!
Of course, he is a little lazy and refused to meet at the lake until 10:30...he finally showed up at almost 11:00. Geez. Day is mostly over, in my book. I went out around 6:00 and got my "fix" in.
When he finally showed up, he started to get interested right from the start. He 'forgot' how nice his rod felt and actually thought it was cool just putting everything together. He said all he wanted to do was use a dry fly. I give him flies all the time that I tie trying to entice him, and he brings out a little yellow foam fly, so we tie it on.
I wanted to start him out in a spot where there were no obstacles: no tree, no bushes, no rocks, no people, but wanted to make sure there were hungry bluegills there because he gets bored unless there is fish. (I will work on that next. One thing at a time.)
He started out pretty good, especially since he never cast a fly before. He was certainly trying to muscle it a lot. And once he "figured" it out, he would let the fly land on the water, count to two (I swear), and he would lift it and cast again. Lift and cast and lift and cast. I couldn't slow him down! He wouldn't listen.
That said, in way less than five minutes, he caught a bluegill. That actually pumped him up even more. Durn! That fly spent more time in the air than on the water. I had to stop trying to help him because I wanted to throttle him! But, doggone it, another five minutes, another gill. He was ecstatic--this die-hard, spinning fisherman who looks down on lowly gills.
I figured I needed to work on my roll casting because I really need it. I also wanted to try it with Jason's Browning rod. I have to admit, I really like that rod. Maybe it is the action or maybe it is the length but, whatever it is, I was roll casting like a demon. (Well, maybe not that good but, for me, it was awesome!!)
After about 30 minutes or so, people started to show up around us. Two families with a bunch of kids who were just as content to throw stones and sticks into the water as they were to hold a rod and listen to dad, so we migrated to the edges under the trees.
I showed him how you can sneak into places you always knew had fish but could never cast a spinning rod. I would show him and then make sure he spent three or four times the time in these spots just so he would be the one who caught the fish. And he caught them! He caught about eight as we meandered back toward the car.
He walks to his car and pulls out a couple cigars. I could tell he was excited, so he lit it and said he wants to do the same route all the way back to where we started. We did that and he caught some more. He finally figured it out and started to nail casts. Darn kid: he is already a lot better than me.
By the time we get to the far end, everybody is gone, so he said he wants to sit where we usually spin fish. I didn't think it would be good fishing there at that time (about 2:00 in the afternoon) but I wanted to make sure I had him hooked good. I was wrong. We caught another half dozen when we shouldn't have caught any. Then we work our way back. Finally, around 3:15, we decide to call it a day when a couple women came walking by and they let their pit bull mixes jump in the water in-between us. (Another knucklehead thread....)
We were breaking everything down when he said, "You know, I really had a good time today. It was MUCH
better than using a spin rod. I see now why you talk about it all the time. I didn't want to stop. I want to fly fish all the time now. I never knew catching bluegills could be fun but it was!"
He talked about his next purchases: a vest because it just looked cool(?), waders, wading shoes, and some fly boxes. He went on and on for 20 minutes. Being Italian as Italian can be (his parents walked off the boat), his hands were flying and his tongue was wagging a thousand miles a minute.
As he drove off, hands still waving out the windows, I knew I had him hooked and he would fly fish again. He is a little, uh, animated to fish with and is a ball of energy but I finally saw a glimmer of patience in him as the day progressed. He finally listened to me and let the fly sit there for a while, give a little twitch, and let it sit again. It did take most of the day but I think once he slowed down, he was enjoying it more. He said this was the first time he ever saw a fish stalk his "lure" and when they attacked it, he said he became mesmerized.
"Good," I thought. He will be okay. Next? My son. He actually was supposed to go with us today but was called into work. I thought he was going only because he felt obligated but he just now asked me if we can go out Sunday evening. And he wants to use the fly rod.
I can't wait.