Saturday, March 28, 2015

Introduction to Fly Fishing

First off, don't let the title fool you.  I'm not here to try and teach you anything about fly fishing....yet.  At this point, if you've ever picked up a fly rod, you're probably as advanced as I am or possibly more.  I just wanted to share with you how I got started in the sport.  15 years ago when I was in college in Western MD, I was given a fly rod along with a DVD copy of "A River Runs Through It" for a birthday present.  I had no idea what kind it was, what weight it was or how to cast.  All I knew was that I had every intention of figuring out how to use it effectively enough to catch fish. Somebody at a local fly shop had told me to tie a soda can tab onto the end of the tippet so I could practice casting without hurting our pet ducks, friends or myself.  It worked and yes we had pet ducks in college.  While my fraternity brothers were playing horseshoes on a Saturday morning and drinking beer, I found myself out in the parking lot practicing casting to designated areas (while drinking beer).  Slowly but surely I was actually able to hit what I was aiming for.  Now, being new to the sport, I thought fly fishing was only for trout and I could only use the rod when I was out there.  After college, I went back to bass fishing with traditional tackle in rivers, ponds and reservoirs where I lived in the central part of the state.  The fly rod and the DVD both collected dust.

Many years later, after getting married and getting more traditional pets, I was out in the garage arranging my hunting gear after the season ended and saw my fly rod laying there.  Sure, I knew that trout fishing was little more than an afterthought at that time, but I started to wonder if I could take the little I knew and target a different species of fish on larger waters.  After a quick YouTube tour and reading several articles online, I knew how I was going to revive my fly fishing hobby.  I found a gently used Orvis Clearwater Rod and Reel combo at their outlet store in Rehoboth Beach, DE while I was there on a work trip.  I added the bass bug line from Scientific Anglers and I set out on my first adventure.  With a handful of poppers and streamers, I headed to a small lake down the street from where I grew up. Almost every fly I threw was lost in the trees behind me.  Luckily the only thing that was hurt was my pride.  Fishing from a a bank was way different then wading out into a stream in Garrett County.

I have come a long way since that first day with my new "bass rig" and now chase bass from my kayak where I know I only have open water behind me.  As mentioned in the "About Me" tab, I just started tying my own poppers and streamer patterns ( I will have more about that at another time.  This is the next phase in my fishing life and I'm excited for what lies ahead.  I am looking forward to learning new fly patterns, learning to fish for new species and trying new waters.  I hope you visit again to follow along with the successes and failures.

Whatever your choice of gear may be, or whatever you enjoy fishing for, it's always important to remember how you got there and where your own journey started.


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