Things I Think I Know; Things I Usually Do; and Some Things I Just Like.


Things I Think I Know; Things I Usually Do; and Some Things I Just Like.

November 4, 2017

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by Spencer Amend, Wyoming Flycasters

Tip 6

In Tip 5 we talked about the basic stuff one needs to begin fly fishing. In those paragraphs, I focused on the materials: rod, reel, line, etc. But I failed to mention an item that will have more to do with your fishing satisfaction than the hardware you use: your fishing partners. The people you fish with will have much to do with your level of enjoyment.

Shortly after moving to Wyoming, I fished by myself for the first couple of years. That got me a lot of casting practice. But once I got turned on to the Flycasters, things began looking up. I was fortunate to be more or less adopted by several folks who patiently taught me when, where, and how to fish the wonderful waters around Casper. And in other parts of Wyoming and a bit in Montana.

Many folks fish by themselves. I see them all the time and feel sorry for them. Virtually any experience is better if shared. And that definitely includes fly fishing. Maybe you are thinking, but I enjoy the solitude of being alone with my experiences. Been there, done that. And there are some benefits for sure. But maybe you just haven’t found the right fishing partner or partners. And by yourself, you are definitely in some dangers that you might not be aware of. Early on, at one of the local ponds shown to me by my early fly fishing mentors, I made what might have been a very serious error: I attempted to wade in the deep sloppy mud. Although I had only taken a couple of steps from shore I was unable to move. And had it not been for Ed pulling me out of this predicament things could have gotten bad fast. On several other instances on club outings, we have had to pull colleagues who attempted to wade in uncertain situations out; a couple having had to leave shoes or boots behind.

Maybe I’ve convinced you to find a fishing partner or partners. Maybe not. But if you want to give it a shot, how do you do it? The simplest and most successful way is to seek out the local fly fishing club. Typically you will find a group of friendly folks eager to enjoy your company. And if you are lucky you will be able to find one or more whose schedules match your own. Being retired has given me the ability to pretty much fish whenever the spirit moves me. For instance, several of my partners and I mostly avoid fishing on weekends. We don’t enjoy the crowds.

But before you jump in the truck with someone who wants to go fishing, a couple of cautions. And here is where being able to chat with potential partners is helped by being in a club. Find someone or several folks who you can spend several hours with without having them drive you crazy with stories or who insist on talking about subjects that you don’t want to discuss. In my case, perhaps partly due to our career mobility putting us in touch with so many cultures around the country, I make it a practice to never discuss politics or religion. On the frequently hour long trips to and from fishing spots in our area, I much prefer to have the topic be some aspect of fly fishing. If that’s not enough of a shared interest, I’m with the wrong person or persons.

Another consideration is to find someone who fishes about like you do. If you mostly fish nymphs or

streamers, you aren’t likely to be long term compatible with someone who fishes only dries. Or if you want to only fish for 2-3 hours before running out of steam, you aren’t likely to enjoy sharing the trip with someone who wants to fish from dawn to dusk. There is also somewhat of a safety and respect protocol. If you are catching fish regularly, does your buddy sidle right up to you and try to cast to the same hole? It is certainly a nuisance to have them thrashing the same water you are fishing. And I don’t enjoy having to watch out for their hooks. If you are in a drift boat, it can be uncomfortably dangerous if your partner is constantly swinging his or her backcast across your head.

We’re doing well in the river on dries. Get a partner and get out there!

SA.

October 8, 2017

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