Learning To Fly Fish: An Essay From Farmer Nicky

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I'm going to start out this post with a poem I just wrote. Enjoy:

I was all alone, just me and the river
I saw a fish rise, and it gave me a shiver
Being as green as I was, I setup to fast
Blowing it all, with a nice pile cast...

Don't let this happen to you! We've all been there, and if you're anything like me, things of this nature still happen all to often. I still get too excited when I see a big fish chomping dry flies, but let's take a few steps back and assess the situation.

I learned something... It doesn't always have to be perfect.

I recently went out with a friend who primarily fishes salt, and was not used to casting the light weight hopper dropper setup we had for him, or fishing with a current for that matter. Even if you haven't experienced it first hand it's safe to assume that their are vast differences between saltwater flyfishing and casting for trout in a mountain stream. I personally don't want to admit how many snook I missed off dock lights in Florida this last trip because of the infamous "trout set", with that being said you can understand being familiar with the tools of the trade, but having to perform a completely different job with said tools. If you're a car guy think carbureted small block 350 compared to a fuel injected Japanese four banger, and if you're not a car guy, well then I don't know what else to tell you. I don't claim to be an expert on either of these wonderful disciplines of fly fishing, but I'm going to tell a story that probably applies to both in one way or the other.

Now to start, his casting was great, but his presentation was a little lacking in the ways of trout, but you know what? Sometimes that doesn't even matter. I'm sure the scenario I'm about to describe has happened to you, or at least something very similar. So, I get him positioned to cast up and across to the far bank under some trees, and VOILA! He gets snagged. "Pop it off and we'll just re-rig!" And that's exactly what he does, he breaks off his nymph, which sends his grasshopper flying out of the tree landing directly in the middle of the run setting up what is probably his best drift of the day. Of course this all takes place while he's looking away. That's when it always happens, his fly violently plunges below the surface for what seem like seconds "set!" I yell. He turns around, lifts his rod and catches his first Colorado brown. What's the lesson here? Expect the unexpected, I guess. I mean, really, take my advice with a grain of salt. Like I said I've only been fishing for 8 years.