Fly fishing adventure par excellence...
I'm a fly fisherman. I'm well equipped, even unto the point of behaving snobbishly to other, less enlightened, less skilled pseudo-fishermen.
For the past forty 45 years, I've fished only with fly rod and reel.
But I'm almost unique in the fly fishing fraternity in lots of ways. First, I don't tie my own flies; shucks, I buy'em at Wal-Mart. In fact, I use wet flies only in a double lure set-up. That is, I affix a popper, then, about 12 to 14 inches below the popper, I"ll add a fliy, something maybe looking like a bee, or similar bug.
And second, I've never caught a trout. Oh, I tried, 40 years ago in the Firehole, the Gibbon and some others, but managed to catch only my right ear when a forward cast went wrong. And the cast went wrong because a couple of playful, cute otters boiled out from under the undercut bank on which I was standing, and I foolishly mistook them for a big bear.
But bass? bream? crappie? white perch? catfish? Oh yeah, I'm walking fly fishing death on these species.
Just last night, I attended to a farm pond, couple of acres, clean banks with no trees or bushes, about 8 years old, and stocked with grain fed hybrid catfish and bass. In fact, in 4 years of fishing this pond, I've never caught a bream, bluegill, red ear, whatever. I assume the larger fish in the pond take care of any such food fish whenever they attempt to gain a foothold.
And since I'm the only fisherman the owner allows to fish the pond, it's pretty much mine anytime I like. The fact it's only a 5 minute walk from my house doesn't hurt a thing either.
So, I always fish a pond clockwise, since I'm a right handed caster. I have a lavish of fly rods and reels, but of late have given the nod to a pair of 'crappie rods' (one with an ORVIS reel, and the other with an Ozuma large arbor reel)that I've altered and turned into fly rods. They're ten and eleven feet long, and give me a tremendous casting distance, as well as a doggoned good fight. And not only so, but in remodeling them, I've kept 'fighting butts' on them, so I can find a place on my stomach or chest to anchor them when fighting a big catfish.
And those fighting butts are important when tussling with a five pound cat. Last night, it took me 29 minutes from hook up to bank touch, in order to land this one. And that's pretty tiring. The fighting butts help a lot here.
So anyhow, I rigged up the ten footer with a small popper (I rig for bream, but catch bass, catfish, whatever. Pure bass poppers are too big) on top, and the usual wet fly 14 inches below.
And proceeded around the pond, moving forward a couple of feet with each cast and jiggle.
The total? 12 bass, numbers 4 and 5 caught simulaneously on a single cast, one on the popper and one the fly. They did indeed fight well together, but I prevailed as I most often do.
The best catch on this set I've ever managed was a 2 pound bass on top, on the popper, a mite near pound red ear on the fly, and a 2 foot long alligator gar (I was wading a nearby river), which was savagely intent upon keeping the red ear in his mouth. However, when I got the threesome to the bank, the gar dropped off and managed slip out of my hand. So, the total, landed three, caught two, dropped one.
One other bass last night, succumbed to the wet fly. All the others were on the popper. The twelve were all of a size, about a pound and a half.
And then, when the catfish dinner bell rang (when the catfish started rolling or wallowing on top of the water) just past sundown, I hooked the big one.
Catfish don't jump like bass. But they rise to the top and give a mighty jerk, while changing directions and heading back down. Each time this happens, it is followed by a truly mighty strong swimming motion parallel to tha bank, so that I'm kept walking or running bankside, of course, all the while keeping as much pressure on the rig and the fish as I dare, trying to wear him out.
And as I noted, 29 minutes after hooking him (had to call the wife, to come over and hold a light for me), I landed the gent, and released him back into the pond (out of many such catfish I've caught, I've kept only one, which was a mighty good eater. Generally though, I buy my catfish dinner at the restaurant).
Fly fishing is good work. You are called upon the read the water, to know the habits, the 'dinner times' of your prey. You need some skills, which are very easily learned in order to cast effectively, and a minimum of fly fishing equipment.
But I'll warn you, it's addicting, fun, and life-giving.
Give it a shot, you'll be glad you did.