About eight years ago or so - me, my dad, and our good friend Kirk went fishing during the trico hatch on the South Platte River in 11 Mile Canyon. I went all out (or so 'I thought) and bought a Quantum Drake combo rod/reel from then Gart Brothers Sports and a dozen or so dry flies from the counter at Walmart. I caught my first fish on the fly that afternoon, a small fry of a rainbow, that ate a size 12 Parachute Adams. Ever since then I have "wasted" more time and money on gear and gas then any one man should.
My dad still goes fishing, but only uses power bait. Kirk and I take regular trips around CO.
LOTS AND LOTS OF KNOTS hahaha but after tightening all the knots down i was able to catch a nice 16 inch rainbow out of HOT creek Cali. on a Beatle it was a fish i will always remember my first trout!!!!
In retrospect, my first flyfishing expierience wasn't "exactly" fly fishing. I had borrowed an old solid white glass Heddon rod, it had a Soutn Bend automatic reel, fly line and leader. But the granny in the family I was with took off her apron, and threw it out like a casting net. She could catch "hoppers" like a pro. She reached under that apron that was spread out on the ground and produced a small grasshopper, and put it on the hook on my rig.
It was a couple of days later, when I had bought my own equipment, that I tied on a fly for the first time. Had to set the record straight !
I had been wanting to try fly fishing for years. The extent of my search for the equipment was looking at the Cabelas catalog. I was not willing to throw down 200 bucks (minimum) to give it a whirl. On a family camping trip we needed supplies so we hit the general store in the nearby town. While wandering around this neat little store in the sporting goods corner I found a Martin ready to fish combo pack for 35 bucks. This thing had a rod, reel w/backing & fly line, leader, some flies, and even an instruction booklet. An hour later I was literally holding the book with one hand and waving the rod around with the other. I set the rod against a tree to read the book then practice. While I'm reading a car comes barreling down the road. The driver locks the brakes up, slides to a stop, and jumps out in one move. She gets out with vest, hat and all the accoutrements of fly fishing. She walks up at a hurried pace, and asks "Is the hatch on?" "Huh" was my reply. "Is the hatch on?" she asks more insistently. "What?" I replied. "Is the hatch ON?" she asks losing patience. "What are you talking about?" was my reply. "Who's rod is that?" she asks. "Mine" says I. "Is the hatch on?" she asked again. I hold the book so she can see it, point to the rod and tell her I bought it an hour ago as a kit and have no idea what the hell she was talking about. So she jumped back in her car, took of down the road, following the creek. I have no idea where she was going as the road followed the creek for another quarter mile then took of to the hills. It's been true love ever since.
I fish for crappie the majority of the time, BG the rest. Unfortnately some bass (green carp to a crappie guy) get in the mix as well. There are numerous methods or styles to fish or catch crappie, tried all I had read bout except for one, which was FF, so....
I've still not caught my first crappie on a fly rod, have caught a BG tho and was definately fun. I've not been fishing in a month due to the weather here and the powers that be over the TVA dams apparently do not like to fish as they are notorious for adjusting the water levels in the local lake(s) which keeps the fish on edge and not biting. This and life in general has prevented me from fishing.
I had the thought of putting my "crappie rods" up for the summer and focus on the fly rods but have not been successful at that either. Maybe when I get all the pending items off my "to do list" (yeah right) I can practice some more and catch my first one.
If I never catch a crappie on a fly rod, this venture has still be a success as I've met some pretty nice guys here.
Specks (speckeld perch) which is what we call crappie down here are tough on a fly rod. Here, they hang deep in the summer so unless you use a sink tip line you're SOL. In the winter they'll come up, but I've still caught a lot fewer than bass and bluegills.
As far my intro to fly fishing? My old man had a fiberglass rod. He was a spin fisherman, but very occasionally he would use this. I was mesmerized by the action as a small boy. It was like a cat watching a string. Plus, being young and hyper I just liked being able to do something like casting rather than watching a bobber. It took me awhile to realize the popper had to be in the water for awhile to catch fish before you caught something. I was probably 8 or 9 years old and I've been hooked since. I was never a great caster or anything, strictly redneck fly fishing, but I love it.
Here's an excerpt from a longer bio I put under introductions.. I think it qualifies as an "in the beginning....."
I achieved my first fishing notoriety on the Smith fishing in a deep hole just behind the funeral home. I was eleven, I think. The local hardware -- Blue Ridge Hardware-- ran a fishing contest on opening day with prizes awarded to the largest fish. There was an under-12 group. On opening day I caught an 8 inch rainbow and marched down the street to enter it in the contest. I recall the smirk on the face of the guy who weighed it and measured it. After 6 pm I stopped by to see the winners announced in the window.. Low and behold I was the winner of the 12 and under bracket. I got 5 shares of stock in Bassett Furniture, a new baseball glove, a Mickey Mantle model Louisville Slugger baseball bat, a case of Dr. Pepper, and a few other prizes: real loot in those days. It seems no one else had bothered to enter. The next year the Hardware announced that there would be minimum size requirements to enter -- sore losers, I guess
I donít think I saw more than two fly fisherman on the river during those days but somehow I got interested in learning. Like most people around there, I was a bait fisherman --corn, salmon eggs, worms, hellgrammites we collected from Town Creek. I later graduated to spin fishing and followed a normal progression. (I guess) I bought a big Shakespeare fiberglass Wonderrod; nine feet long and, by todayís standards, as floppy as a spaghetti noodle. It came as a kit with an automatic reel that I learned to hate immediately. I switched it for a South Bend copy of a classic Pflueger reel. I still have it. Almost all reels then were designed to be right hand crank. The fishing orthodoxy said you cast with your right hand and then switch hands to crank with your right hand. The South Bend is right hand crank so I donít use it. However it is still perfectly fishable.
I tried to learn to use the setup correctly but I never got the whole picture. The problem was there was no one around who could mentor newbies. I found an alcoholic football coach who showed me about three casts in the gym before he felt a huge thirst coming on. My biology teacher was a fly fisherman and fly tier. He spent a few minutes teaching me but it wasnít long enough to sink in. Of casting, I knew little: of leaders and tippets, which fly to use, how to present a fly, I knew absolutely nothing.
I tied lazy ikes, spoons, and broke-back minnows to the leader and casted away. A good cast would send it 50 feet but like as not I would snap it off like a whip and send it flying 50 feet the wrong way. I could only fish facing directly upstream or down as every backcast was guaranteed to become tangled in the trees. Eventually I leaned about dry flies and purchased a bunch from Herterís. Herterís was the mail-order Bass Pro and Cabelas rolled into one. All their catalogs contained only black and white line drawings of the product. Buying hand drawn flies without any prior knowledge is a dodgy business: all mine ended up in size 12 and were patterns that appealed to me rather than to fish! I still have some of these and I still fish them. I ran across some Adams in an original Herterís box not long ago. They sold for 12 cents each! The hackle was very sparse but they fish wet as well as any soft-hackle fly.
I have used a fly rod off and on for many years, but on Midwest ponds for bass and bluegill. Just a few weeks ago my wife and I were taking our 30 anniversary trip through lower Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and ended in Lake Placid, New York......Au Sable River. I had lined up a guide to to fly fish for brown trout but there was a communication breakdown with the scheduling and no guide was available. But the shop owner gave me advise and off I went.
He said the water high and could be challenging. I stopped at his suggested area to fish that evening and had a couple of hits. The next morning I was out at dawn, what a beautiful morning. Again three or four hits nothing hooked up on my line.
That afternoon we went to the ski jumping plaza and watched the young Olympians train in the pool and off the Nordic Ski jump. Talk about crazy, it is a lot different then watching on TV.
For my third trip out, I moved to the flats just down stream from the ski jumps. Stopped at two different places and had several hit at each. Nothing landed. I stopped at a bridge and saw a gentleman fly fishing there. I saw a trout rise.....then another.....and another. I spent time talking with Tom till dusk. I asked if he was going to be there in the morning. He said he was not and gave me a streamer to try.
On the final morning, at day light, I was wading at the bridge. I used a Chernobyl Ant with a soft hackle bead head dropper....nothing. Switched to the streamer and had a big hit!!!!! Two casts later the streamer was high in a tree. Back to the dropper set up. Fished for a couple hours with a few rises on the ant. Then fishing a seam the ant submerged in a riffle....nothing. In the same seam, the ant submerged and I set the hook. Got one!!!!!! Landed an 11" Brown Trout. If someone could had seen a 53 year old man feeling so giddy it would have been priceless.
I started soaking worms at about 5 or 6. After a long day of cutting wood for a pot belly stove we used to spend the evening fishing Eagle Creek in Boone Co. Indiana. When I was maybe 7 or 8 I noticed that just before dark the fish were eating bugs off the surface by the hundreds and I thought there should be a way to catch those surface feeders.
When I was about 13 my dad and I was fishing a lake in northern Indiana and I saw two fellas skulling along a lilly pad bed flinging flies and catching lots of BG's. I knew I had finally discovered the key to my fishing dilemma. A year or so later I met a man that bass fished with a flyrod and I tried to get him to teach me the black art but to no avail. Finally when I was about 20 and I was earning my own money I found a Shakespeare fly outfit at K-Mart and I was off and running.
I went to a local tackle store and spent about $5 on 'flies' and went fish'n. I lost $2 of flies on that first trip and that caused me to get a fly ty'n kit from Herters. I started making small poppers for gills and then graduated to hairbugs for bass. That was 45 years ago. It has been a fun journey and learning experience.