Monday, May 2, 2011

Are you kidding me?

I took off today to do some more yard work but before I dived into the raking, bagging, weeding etc. I decided to go to the river and do some fishing, watching, exploring, etc.

The river has changed dramatically since I was last here due to the water level falling. I was able to see rocks that were invisible  before. In addition, I found new places to stand (e.g. large, flat rocks a couple of feet from the river's bank) to cast from.

The anxiety of being a new fly fisherman that I had beforehand has all but dissipated. I know that it will be several minutes before I get going, I know that I am going to get caught up on the brush, I have learned  the few knots that I need to connect  my leader and tippet together and the tippet to the fly, etc. The last major hurdle is knowing what fly to use but even that is coming along.

When I got to the river today I didn't see any bugs flying about and I didn't see any trout rising to break the surface tension. So I decided to use a Caddis Larva. Why? Because the guy at LL Bean told me that he uses them successfully on the river that I am fishing .

Shortly after I started casting I saw a fish rise about 20 yards down stream from me. I decided to change my fly to a BWO and this was a first for me (i.e. changing a fly while at the river). Why a BWO? Because that is what I read Howard (aka cofisher) said he did recently. I tried that for 20 minutes or so without any luck. So I decided to change my fly once again. This time I went to a Pheasant Tail (PT) and you ask why this one (see previous reason).

This is where the title of the blog was hatched. As I threw the PT into the spot I believed there may be fish, I let it drift in the current for a bit. As I drew the rod back to load the line again, there appeared to be a wet leaf on the hook. I cast the line anyway hoping that the leaf would come off. When I drew the rod back again, the leaf was still on the hook. So I reeled the line in and low and behold what did I have on the line but the smallest fish I have ever caught. His "buddies" must of been "thinking" where the heck did Charlie go now? Charlie must of been "thinking" what the heck is going on here?

I could not believe something that small would go after the PT.  Would someone like to hazard a guess about what kind of fish it is because I am not sure?

After I stopped laughing, for a split second I thought about leaving it on to catch a bigger fish; however, I quickly decided that was not what I was here for so I let the fish go on its way.

The rest of the time I spent fishing from different locations, looking at the water flow and what it carried in the current and moving rocks about to see what was under them or attached to them.

Although you may not be able to see them, there are several "things" on this rock that I will have to  match up with my Hatch Guide by Thomas Ames. The process has begun to think like a fly-fisherman and I am slowly putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

I also am looking at the river from different perspectives (see above picture) and am planning on  exploring more parts of the river tomorrow before I do more yard work.

I am not counting this fish as my first on a fly but I couldn't keep this to myself because it was too comical. Go ahead and have a good laugh because I certainly did.


  1. Ha! Good one Mac. Just remember, a fish is a fish is a fish. Don't know what that monster is, but it is your first fish on a fly rod and that's ok. You got it (for better or worse) on a fly rod with a fly. I love it.

  2. Howard I wish someone was videotaping these escapades because I would be winning a lot of money on America's Funniest Videos.

    I wanted to start out small but this is ridiculous. I am guessing that the next one will be bigger because I can't imagine that a fish could be much smaller and go after a fly.


  3. That is the trouble with flies they take all sorts of fish. I always call those there such thing as a red fin shiner?

  4. are right that it looks like a shiner. I looked up all different types of fry and could not find a similar looking one. I reached out to the US Fish & Wildlife Department to see if they can identify this "monster". I haven't heard back from them yet.

  5. I agree with Howard. A fish, is a fish, is a fish. Although, I would spend more time cleaning my sunglasses. That didn't look much like a leaf to me. LOL


  6. Mark....I hear you about the glasses but in my defense one time in the same area I pulled some leaves in thinking I caught a fish. You are right that is was a laugh out loud moment though. Going back tomorrow morning to see if I can actually catch a Rainbow.

  7. So how far into your backing did it take you? lol Like others have said, a fish is a fish. As far as stories of that first fish go, this one is pretty good.

  8. Anthony I was definitely sweating it if I was going to have enough line left the way this thing fought me.

    Anyone can catch a big fish but how many novices can land such a specimen for their first fish on a fly?

    I had to share this because I thought it was pretty funny.

  9. Better luck than ive been having... still nothing... got my hands on one of the green wooly buggers you suggested, but I had no luck with it this weekend.

  10. Greer...I caught that monster on a Pheasant Tail.

    I also saw bugs flying around that looked(from the untrained eye) like the Hendrickson; however, I didn't see any trout rising for them.

    Have you gotten the Hatch Guide by Thomas Ames yet? It gives you a good idea of when to use a particular fly.

  11. I have not but, I will as soon as I can. I also have a buddy who brought his fly tying stuff up to school so I am thinking about getting into that.

  12. I hope you catch your first fish on a fly you tied.

  13. This is my first stop on your blog, I'm glad you have a great attitude toward your endeavor into fly fishing. Love the site and the post! I'm looking forward to reading more and wishing you the best out there on the water!

  14. Welcome backcountryfishnerd. Thanks for the kind words and best wishes. I have been fortunate to have some good people from all around the country provide me with some invaluable information.

    I stopped by your blog and you are fishing in some beautiful places. One day I plan to visit that part of the country. Nice pictures of the fish and the crystal clear water.

  15. If you do find yourself in my neck of the woods, look me up and I'll try to point you in the right direction (while also trying not to be like the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz).

  16. Thanks...I appreciate the offer.