Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just another victim

   There are those among us that are 100% dedicated to the idea of catching fish with maximum efficiency.

   These folks utilize the methods and tactics that are best suited to generate photo-ops and elevate their status as heros among men. Having become familiar with a range of tactics myself, I will freely admit that if you want to "git 'r' dun" (sorry about that) some methods are more productive than others.

   I have observed with regularity anglers utilizing spin fishing tactics gloat over the fish they catch when they do so in the presence of a number of fly anglers. It just does not make a lot of sense to me that they would do so, as spin fishing is so goddamn easy compared to fly fishing that it is almost laughable. If there is a better way got get trout stink on your hands than tossing a black marabou crappie jig on four pound test I for one have yet to find it, and this includes the time tested technique of free drifting crawlers.

   I am willing to bet that these guys would get a real crack out of a canned bison hunt.

   Hey, I don't care how a person gets their jollys, but let's have some perspective here! I like to fly fish because it is not a mechanical method for dredging out volumes of fish. You do at times lay down the law, but this tends to be an exceptional circumstance. I hate to say it, but this is why you will not find any wooly buggers on my person. Just too damn easy.

   When I first began to fly fish a few years ago, my first instinct was to go where the fishing was tough. I asked many people where that was, and the answer I got again and again was Cheesman Canyon. I got the feeling that if I could get a few fish in that place, it would be cake to do so elsewhere. Therefore it was where I went. I fished "the" canyon as much as possible, not because it was easy, but because it would force me to learn some things.

   One of the greatest strengths an angler can have is an open, inquisitive mind. The willingness to zig when others zag will put you in the position of being one of few anglers utilizing a method. It may not always guarantee success, but at least you won't get stuck in a rut.

Mike DeMarco with a chromer.



  1. I couldn't agree more.

    You won't find streamers or even terrestrials in my box...just small junk.

    For me, the sport is in the challenge.

  2. Colorado Angler, do you enjoy fishing single flies? I have done more of that lately, and I get a crank out of it. One fly, one shot, no bobber. Just an absolute hoot I tell ya. The RS-II was (literally) made for such a tactic.

    I got on a PMD hatch a month or so back in the lower section of Cheesman that had me fishing one of those Idylwilde split-back PMD nymphs to trout on edges taking emergers and cripples, and an epic day ensued. Cant remember many days like that in there... one additional benefit is that you never get the dropper in your thumb or in the fishes ass. Neat!

    I have not graduated to the one size #30 tactic yet, but I can see that being a real kick in the pants.


  3. Shaun - yeah, one fly, some split shot and it's off to the rodeo. It's the only way I've ever fished.

    I also have only a limited selection of flies that I rotate through - so I really have to do a good job of convincing the fish to take what I'm offering.

    I guess I'm a masochist when it comes to angling.

    If I see them taking from the top, I'll grease up an RS2 or PT and drift it below the surface and usually have a great time. Dries? Who needs 'em?

    Nothing beats tossing a #24 into an impossible drift, finding the depth and yanking out a 23 inch tub.

    That for me is the juice...and it sounds like it's the same for you, to!

  4. the ONLY way, 'eh? that is cool...

    I keep playing with my tactics... I fish in different ways to try to come to a better understanding of the fish, their preferences, and the limits of my abilities.

    One of my core beliefs is that as anglers, (or humans, for that matter) we can learn more by learning more. That is to say, I can learn a lot as a fly fisherman from a guy trolling for walleye. I may or may not directly duplicate his methods, but I can learn either way.

    I always used to hang out in fly shops and talk to fly anglers, despite the fact that I did not fly fish at that time. It helped me a ton! Now that I spend most of my time fly fishing, I still look at bait rigs, terminal tackle, hardbaits, blah blah blah... and it still helps.

    my main weakness as an angler is a lack of patience and poor hand-eye coordination. If I have a strength, I think it would be an open mind and a fascination with natural processes. As a student of both anglers and nature, I feel that I can do a lot to overcome my basic deficits.

    I do fish two flies as a rule, because it has been productive for me to do so, and even more basic, it is how I was taught. I like a shiny attractor pattern followed by a drab, mellow bug like my B3, an RS-II, a WD-40, etc. I do or do not use a strike indicator, depending on conditions. I hate all strike indicators on a basic level, but will use them for slow, deep, blind fishing as a rule. If I can see a fish, I don't feel like it helps me more than it distracts me... perhaps 50/50. I have missed a lot of fish because I can't keep my eyes on both the fish and the bobber.

    One thing I think about a lot is the center pin system... 40 yard dead drift, that get's my attention! But I am still learning a lot about basic nymphing, so one thing at a time! Besides, our rivers just are not that big out here, we don't need it.


  5. Patience. Oh yeah...that's something this sport is great at teaching.

    You know, one of the greatest aspects of fly fishing is the fact that there are no set rules - that everyone is free to define their own styles and it makes talking to other people that much more valuable. Since no two people fish exactly the same, you learn a lot by interacting with others.

    Indicators are one of those topics - talk to ten different people, and you'll probably get ten different answers.

    For me, I will use a pea-sized indicator to mark my fly when sight-fishing. Blind fishing deep runs or cloudy water, I'll fore-go the indicator and rely on instinct and a tight line.

    That's why the putty-type indicator is my best friend - can put on as little as I need, and easily remove it when the situation calls for it. Love that stuff!

    By the way - glad to see you mention the's a fly that doesn't seem to get a lot of love out here, but it is an effective fly on most of our waters. Ever use the red 'Christmas' version?

  6. No! what is the recipe? I'll check it out.

    Does the putty adhere to the leader and stay put? Are there any tricks? I will check it out too. Thanks!

    True story: A customer and myself were talking at the store one day, and he walks over to the Loon Bio-strike and grabs a tub of the pink. He then proceeds to tell me that he buys such an item, throws away the contents of the tub, and re-fills it with pink power bait. "so I never get caught with my bait in fly only spots!"