Saturday, September 4, 2010

Old-School Dry Flyin'

Like a lot of things, fly fishing has gotten gadget-happy, with all sorts of toys and accessories ranging from the ornamental to the useful.  I'll admit to having spent my share of dough on some bells and whistles over the years, but I've tried to make sure that I keep the hobby itself in perspective.  I fish with a pretty cheap rod, a small bag to hold a flybox, and a lanyard around my neck for quick access to tippet and various small tools (nail clippers, forceps, etc).  The frame on my net is aluminum; while I prefer the classy look of the wooden frame net, my wallet prefers the aluminum.  When the water cooperates, I go without waders, which always seem to spring a leak anyway. I did, for obvious reasons, recently splurge on a new pair of boots - the old ones were becoming a safety issue!

When you get right down to brass tacks, fly fishing doesn't really need to be all that complicated.  My most enjoyable days on the water have been those that required the least amount of planning and the fewest number of logistical challenges.  So Doc and I went old-school yesterday afternoon - pretty much on a whim, thanks to the Poudre's proximity.

The river is lower than I've seen it in months, and the nightly caddis hatches have been ridiculous lately.  When you combine those two variables, you've got an ideal equation for some good, old-fashioned dry fly fishing.  Grab your 5-wt, tie on a big ol' stinkin caddis with plenty of hackle, grease it up with some Gink, and cast to the rises.  Old-school.  No frills.  The way you did it when you learned as a kid.

Turned out pretty well.  The Poudre continues to fish great.  Numbers-wise, I had a solid double figure day, and Doc did the same, only he nailed a couple with some serious girth.  I toyed briefly with a Prince nymph when the surface action seemed to slow up a bit, only to abandon that idea as Doc tied into a big rainbow.

Doc puts a bend on the rod.

Fat Poudre rainbow

By 8:00 p.m., we were looking for any excuse to keep fishing.  The flies were impossible to follow, but we rationalized that if we could simply follow the flyline downstream, it stood to reason that the fly would be floating somewhere in the near vicinity.  Just before the last bit of light, Doc saw a fish rise not too far from the end of the fly line and instinctively set the hook, landing one final chunky rainbow to end the day on.

Tough way to spend a Friday afternoon.  Somebody has to do it, and it might as well be me.


Gordon Mathews said...

Love the story and minimalist approach! Looks like you guys had a really nice day of it. I only have one comment in that the plastice knottend nets you're using are inexpensive and serve the purpose, but they've proven to be really rough on the trout's skin and mucus layer. There you should spend a couple of bucks and go to a cloth or rubber bag. You can find some cloth bag nets that are relatively inexpensive.

JEG said...

Well, there you have it...again, I learn something new. Many thanks for the tip, Gordon.

Jim said...

Nice job, John! Looks like a fun "old school" day with your pops!