Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today, I sucked at fly fishing

There are days when I feel like I absolutely suck at fly fishing. Today was one of them. I hit the Little Lehigh sometime around 1pm and it was extremely cold and a lot more windy than I had expected it to be. I despise fishing with half gloves but they were on most of the day today, even though my hands are still cracked to the point where they are bleeding now. It also didnt help that my guides had to be cleared of ice every 5 minutes.

I started working my way downstream throwing scuds, pheasant tails, and eggs. In the first 20 minutes I was there, I lost 5 flies. I was roll casting and getting caught on branches, getting caught by the wind on my back cast, and trying to free a snag which would send my tandem fly rig rocketing into the trees. I went on to lose a total of 8 flies today. I even had a few wind knots that forced me to re-rig. These are mistakes that I am quite familiar with because they happened to me constantly for the first year of my fly fishing. I've since then had to deal with them less, but they came back with a vengeance today. I just wasn't on point.

To make matters even worse, the fish had lockjaw. I couldn't even get a fish to follow anything I was throwing at them. They weren't spooking easily, but they weren't taking anything. Even size 24 midges could not draw a strike.

I was about to pack it in, and then I saw it. One tiny BWO, about a 24, buzzed quickly in front of me. I only saw one and I didn't see a single rise, but I quickly hoofed it back to my favorite hole when olives hatch and tied on a size 20, which was the smallest one I had.

After ten minutes and not a single rise or bug siting, I decided to pack it in. As I'm reeling in my final cast, I finally see a rise. I immediately cast to it and connect with a 10 inch brook trout. I get him to shore and start fumbling for my camera. Before I could get out the camera or touch the fish, he popped himself off and swam away. Some people consider that a landed fish or a long release, but I still felt skunked.

About to snap my rod in half, I start walking back to the car. I look down and see a fairly deep pool at the tail of some riffles that I've never fished before and something told me to make a few more casts just in case there was a fish there. So, I tied on the Slumpbuster I mentioned in my previous post and it broke my slump on the first cast. I finally connected and landed a 12 inch wild brown trout. He wasn't huge, and he didn't really put a big fight but damn, it felt good to finally land a fish, plus he had beautiful coloring.

I released him after admiring him for a few seconds. I headed back to the car still pissed off, but relieved that the Slumpbuster saved the day.


  1. Sucking at fly fishing is better than no fly fishing. While you were picking flies from tree limbs, I was amongst the mobs at the King of Prussia mall. You tell me who had the better day. :)

  2. I feel your pain. I was at Lehigh Valley Mall for an hour before going fishing and wanted to kill myself.