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  1. #1

    Default Mission Accomplished (finally)

    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.
    Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” –Henry David Thoreau
    Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.” –Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Ray: Great story and even better that you have finally got your buddy hooked on fly fishing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southern California

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    I love the story. Good for you for getting him hooked. This is a great sport to share with others, and that was a very effective way of not just getting him to try it, but keeping him there. Well done.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    On a trout stream/Suburban Pittsburgh
    Blog Entries

    Thumbs up Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    That sure sounds like an ideal day to me. You had alone time, time with your buddy, caught fish and now another excursion planned for tomorrow Glad to hear you're enjoying the rod and have time planned to fish with your son tomorrow. Mission accomplished from my perspective too.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Pittsburgh, Pa

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Go ahead and write it on my tombstone... It's not a fisherman's loyalty to the spinning rod that keeps the fly rod out of their hands, it's a fear of the inevitable addiction that comes with the fly rod.

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Cool story.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    somewhere on a blue line, N.C.

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Busbus..........welcome to the next level........not only do you enjoy the sport, but you have shared it with others.........and succeeded in doing so.......well played........I hope your son follows in the footprints of the "old man"!!!

    Here I walk slowly, deliberately, taking it one step, one trout, one sunset at a time. -Harry Middleton

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Quote Originally Posted by tbum2020 View Post
    Go ahead and write it on my tombstone... It's not a fisherman's loyalty to the spinning rod that keeps the fly rod out of their hands, it's a fear of the inevitable addiction that comes with the fly rod.

    You know, you're right!! My wife is not too happy with my new found, I mean, HOBBY. She asks all the time, "Why did you buy that? don't you already have one? Why do you need three of anything??"

    And Ric did say once something like, "What are you doing to me? Now I have to go out and buy all sorts of new stuff!!!" But at least he has the means and nobody to tell him, "NO!" or "WHY?" all the time.
    Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” –Henry David Thoreau
    Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.” –Groucho Marx

  11. #9

    Default Re: Mission Accomplished (finally)

    Great story! Next time you see him he'll probably have plunked down another grand

    Quote Originally Posted by busbus View Post
    That fly spent more time in the air than on the water.
    Reminded me of this quote from A River Runs Through It

    One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. "Brother," he would say, "there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can't catch fish with your flies in the air."
    - William

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