Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Art of West Texas Fly Fishing

I've run in to so many  people who have never thought that you can fly fish in West Texas. Texas isn't known for it's mountain streams filled with big beautiful Browns, or throwing a fly the size of an ant at a curious rainbow trout. All with a background set to the cover of a 1940's Field and Stream magazine cover. No trout around here, but you call yourself a fly fisherman? That is a common misconception by those who might not fully understand the sport, or just know what they've seen on tv.  If you google saltwater fly fishing, or warm water fly fishing, you're going to get thousands and thousands of hits. Fact be known, if you have fish in a lake, river, pond, or any fishable water, you can fly fish. Oh, and catch fish. Anywhere from the largemouth bass, my favorite, to smallies, sunfish, crappie, catfish, carp, you name it, and i've probably thrown a fly at it. Since fishing is one of my favorite subjects, I talk about it to a ton of folks. It's amazing how many people I know that fly fish, but have never done it around these parts. Just once a year on vacation in the Rockies, or the mountains of Montana...you know, just like the movies. But once I start telling my tales of big bass on clousers, poppers, or wooly buggers, they start to ask where I go and when they can come. It's just like any other kind of fishing. It just takes a little more practice, and maybe a little more patience. I'm starting to leave my conventional tackle at home more and more, and just take the fly rods. There's just something so peaceful, and gratifying when you get a fish on the end of your fly line. A one pounder feels like a 6 pounder. And you fooled them with little more than feathers and fur. So I do spread the word, to any and all that will listen. Just give it a try, but be careful, you might like it.
 My brother in law has been talking about learning for a long time. So I decided to give him one of my good rods I don't use anymore since I upgraded. I also put together a fly box full of flies to get him started. About half store bought, and half I tied.(a whole other addiction) We headed to Abilene for the weekend and as soon as he got out of work, we headed to the river. Well, really just a small pond-like river, but great practice area though.  I realized immediately I need to brush up on my instructor skills. It was harder than I thought. I surely didn't want to teach any of my bad habits, so we stuck to the basics....casting. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. He was really getting the hang of it, with his casts getting better and better. The time came where a fly would be tied on. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.....then booom!
"I got one! I got one!"

No way, I thought to myself. We have been casting in that same water for the last 30 minutes hookless, and after only a few casts with a fly, a fish. Needless to say, I was excited. I think more than he was. It was a little crappie, but the first one on the fly for him. There were high fives and yeehaw's getting thrown around everywhere. So, of course, I had to start casting too, and after a few minutes, another crappie. Sweet! Although it was another little one, it meant one thing...no skunk for me today. :)

We kept at it for a while as we watched a gorgeous sunset display it's changing colors in front of us until it finally disappeared. Maybe not a Field and Stream cover, but it was the next best thing.

 I think we have another fly fishing convert. You couldn't of asked for a better evening. Sunsets, fly fishing, and crappie. Now that's a good day!

Thanks for coming along,
Scott

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