Monday, July 24, 2006
Wife's First Fish On The Fly
I finally managed to talk the spousal unit into giving fly fishing a shot. This past Saturday we packed up and drove to a secret pond in the mountains of North Carolina with the promise that she would give it a try for at least a half hour before returning to the book she brought "in case she did not like it."
This particular pond is stocked with a few trout and is absolutely full of bluegill. Once we arrived I strung up the four weight rod and gave her some very basic casting instruction. At first she was prone to trying to throw the line like one would if you were using a spinning reel but we were able to correct that and soon she was making 15 to 20 foot casts without too much difficulty. It was on about her third cast that I saw the strike indicator go under the surface hard. I yelled out, "set the hook!" to which she returned a blank stare as I had failed to mention that part of the equation. I quickly fixed this shortfall in my teaching and it was not long until she had landed a nice average sized panfish. Her first fish ever on a fly rod!
Actually catching a fish brought her a new interest for the sport and she began to work more on her casting. We were fishing near a small dock and I had remarked that I bet some larger fish might live under it. She took this to heart and did a sort of side arm roll cast that put the beadhead hare's ear directly under the dock. I was just about to correct her form (always a mistake with fishing with a spouse) when her strike indicator went to the bottom. I cried out the now familiar "set the hook!" and this time she instinctively raised her rod high above her head. This was a much larger fish than those she had caught before and it put up such a strong fight that she tried to hand me the rod. I told her to land her own fish and that she did, bringing to the bank a big fat bluegill, bigger than my hand, that must have weighed at least a pound. I unhooked it and released it back into the pond (my unhooking and handling the fish being a condition of her trying fishing) after which she took great pride in pointing out that her fish had been much bigger than any I had caught that day.
The half hour turned into three and as we left she remarked that she might like to try fly fishing again in the near future. I told her that if she continued to out fish me, I would most certainly leave her at home! (fish art courtesy of the NC Department of Wildlife Resources)