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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Total Newbie from Pittsbugh

Originally Posted by busbus View Post

I didn't talk about the flies I lost already to the darn fly-eating trees

To tell you the truth, I was intrigued with tying flies years back, almost 20 now. I used to work swing shifts and there was this guy who always worked the night shift who would tie flies on slow nights. He never fished--he hated it. He never even ate fish--he hated fish. But he loved to tie flies and had tied them for years and years. He was tying a salmon fly the first time I saw him tying and it was so cool that I thought "Hey, I want to do that."

Too bad life happened. The second kid came along right after that and I had to pack fly tying away for another day. A couple years ago, a group of outdoorsmen put together a free ten-week fly tying class at a local church (emphasis on the word "FREE").

With the oldest kid in college and the other a junior in high school, I went. I found a cheap-o Thompson vice on eBay and went to the first class. It was more fun than I thought, even after well over 15 years. I was wandering around a Gander Mountain one day and they were getting rid of all their higher-end fly tying stuff and I found a nice Griffith Superior 3ARP Vise for $40! Complete with a clamp AND a pedestal. I sort of had to get it.

I tried using a bubble on my spinning rod that summer and thru last summer. I was always chicken to try it out in the water because, well, I pretty well stunk up the joint in my backyard and I didn't want to look like an idiot on the water.

An older guy I met in the tying class more-or-less forced me to go out the first time. I had made him a basic tying desk and he wanted to pay me. I told him to just take me out and show me how to at least roll cast and that would be payment enough. He was a good teacher. I hope I have 1/10th the patience he had with me that day.

I lost flies in those darn trees that day. I slid down a bank and slammed my rear-end on the ground so hard once that it hurt to walk for two days. I got my line all twisted around me many times. Caught every log in the stream (it had rained the day before A LOT, so the creek was really deep and muddy). I hooked my hat a couple times because I was trying to really cast when he wasn't looking. And I wasn't paying attention once and turned around to tell him I lost a fly when he cast his fly and hooked it on my fly line right in front of my nose.

So, you are right: I have jumped in with both feet but I am a klutz.
Great story. A teacher really helps tremendously. I have traded in my 9' rod for 7'6" and 6'6" rods for those very reasons. My favorite hole is a roll cast only zone with lots of birch trees overhanging.
I have learned to veer off frustration by accepting the fool in me, and laughing at myself when I get into predicaments of all kinds. Norman Maclean wrote that life like fly fishing is messy and we are the mess.
"Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying
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