Overall, outdoor enthusiasts also seem to be do-it-yourselfers. The kind of people who not only love, but take pride in making their own gear. Examples that come quickly to mind, especially when the subject of interest is trout fishing, would be tying flies, making line spinners, and even fishing rods themselves.
My dad was an active fly fisherman who, with the help of a few books, managed to learn the basics of fly tying. He transmitted this interest to me. Even though it’s been years since I’ve been an active fly tyer, I still remember how much it meant to me when I caught my very first trout on a fly I created myself. . A fly that I’m sure was far from perfect, but good enough to fool a foot-long rainbow.
I was 11 when my dad started trying to pass on the basic skills needed to rig a trout fly. My flies looked fine, let’s call them scary – but I felt I had done my best and they deserved a chance to float past a trout or two.
About a week after trout season opened, my school district held a half day on Wednesday, releasing students at noon. After a bit of begging and begging I managed to arrange a ride for me and a school friend to the village of Cowan where we were going to fish Buffalo Creek until my dad could pick us up tonight -the.
For us, the young people, it was a great adventure. If I remember correctly, my friend and I managed to catch a trout or two each using bait. By mid-afternoon, as the sun was starting to warm things up, the flies started hatching. It wasn’t long before the fish began to completely ignore our bait, instead feeding heavily on the hatching flies.
Putting aside my spinning rod, I assembled my fly rod – a present for my 10th birthday the year before – and tied one of my roughly knotted flies. A few casts later I was hooked with my very first trout on a fly rod. Whether the fish hit because my offering looked like the real thing, or because it just looked scary and the fish felt threatened by the rumble of feathers and thread I called a fly, I don’t will never know. But somehow he broke the water, sucking in the fly.
Later that evening when Dad arrived, I’m sure I was beaming with pride when I showed him my catch. This rainbow might only be a foot long at best, but to me it was a trophy. Until then I had only caught bass and bluegill with my fly rod. Now I was a seasoned trout angler and the creator of a bait that brought a trout to the net! For a young boy who loved to fish, this was one of the best days of my young life.
Although I was still a number of fish under the limit, I told my dad that we had had enough and were ready to go home. Dad however, who also suffered from the same addiction, suggested that my friend and I instead sit down and relax for a short while first.
Soon Dad was putting on his boots and casting a fly of his own making. Being much more knowledgeable than me, dad quickly caught several fish as well, before agreeing that if we were later, mom would be upset that we missed supper.
Whether it’s a fly tied by your own hands, a spoon you’ve made, or a fishing rod assembled on your workbench, there’s a special sense of accomplishment when they’re used. to net a fish. If you’re one of those guys or gals who take pride in making things yourself, consider making your own fishing tackle. It can add a whole new dimension to the sport of angling.