Is That a Maggot in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
So yesterday Bob and I woke up at the ass crack of Jack to head out for a day of winter trout. The weather report had indicated that we should be in the 40’s…. yeah… I wish I had a job where I could be wrong 85% of the time and still get paid! Luckily there was almost no wind because when you hit the stream at first light it is COLD! I think the fish thought so too because they were far from awake early.
As they day wore on, I thought we would get warmer…. maybe a little but not really. Luckily however, the fish did and we managed a pretty good day of winter nymphing bringing 11 fish to hand between the two of us. At one point, Bob stepped out of the water to warm his feet and do some bank side spotting for me. He managed to put me on a nice Brown. He struck up a conversation with a few other “fly fisherman” while he was there. They were within ear shot so I could hear most of the conversation.
“Oh yeah, we had a 50 fish day a few months ago fishing upstream……. (with spin gear)”
“On our last trip to Alaska the indicators we used were sub-surface”
“So what is he doing down there flipping his line upstream after he casts?”
No mind you these dudes were decked out head to toe with $90 Tilley’s on their heads. I looked over to the next stretch of water and they were standing there with fly rods in the air, line stretched taught downstream…. not casting, just standing. I was intrigued to say the least. One guy lifted his rod and cast it. It looked like he was fishing with an oversized sucker spawn. Bob came back down to the stream and I asked him what they were doing. Apparently they were skewering 6 maggots onto a size 2 hook and waiting.
I couldn’t help but start to laugh. OK…. so you want to be in the club…I get it, so did I! But here’s the deal, if you want in the club you have to pay the entrance fee. Take the $10 you spent on bait and buy a damn book! Hell, get on the world wide web and read for free! But take the time to learn your craft.
We have all been new at one point or another. It is a question of how you embrace your “newbieness” that defines you! Put the Tilley in the closet until you learn how to cast, mend, set, fight, and land…. Then bust out the Tilley and you will look stylish and competent at the same time! Until then it makes you look like a poser and the maggots on your oversized hook make you look worse! Nobody wants to be regaled by tales of fishing prowess in Alaska by a dude who is standing in a stream with a taught fly line with six maggots on a bass hook. If you are just learning, great! Do so… ask, listen, learn, don’t posture. We were all given two ears and one mouth and from what I understand they should be used accordingly!
And by the way, same goes for you “experienced” anglers. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t learn something new if I ask a few questions, pay attention to others around me, and most importantly, LISTEN to what the river has to tell you. It can be the best teacher around if you are receptive to its lessons. The guy across the river got skunked yesterday but he was nice enough and polite and asked what we were doing to get on fish. I met him mid current and handed him a hand full of the flies that were working well and told him how we were managing our presentation. I hope next time I am on the skunk someone will extend the same consideration in my direction!
Yeah, I know some of you probably roll your eyes at me as I stand on my soap box but hey, It’s MY BLOG! So I have that luxury. If this is you, take my advice…. Do not pass go, do not collect $200…. make your way to your local fly shop, get a free casting lesson, buy a good book, sit down and read it. Come to the stream with a smile! Don’t get frustrated if you don’t catch fish in the first ten minutes and make an investment in learning something new! Most of all…. LEAVE THE MAGGOTS AT HOME!!!!!!
Good luck and Tight lines.