Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sunny Days

What would southern fly fishing be without brim? Be it bluegill, pumpkinseed, sunfish, shellcrackers, crappies, whatever, there's something quintessentially Carolinian about taking a whippy little 3wt fly rod and a rubber legged yellow popper and catching a big mess of panfish. It just feels like down home.

Sure, most of us would choose to be sneaking up on native brown trout in the Smokies, throwing big deerhair poppers to lunker largemouths in the Piedmont, or chasing tailing redfish on coastal flats, but there is an undeniable charm and quiet satisfaction to strolling down to the neighborhood pond and whiling away an hour or two watching brim nip at your simple offerings. Oh, and catching fish in great numbers is sort of a kick too.

To the child in us, a light fly rod is not too far removed from the old cane pole. In fact, many of the most beloved rods are still made of bamboo and the new Tenkara rigs now finding enthusiasts are essentially graphite versions of the simple cane shoot. They may be the new thing, but Huck Finn would know exactly what to do with one.

And while chasing the big fish is fun, how better to teach the next generation of fly fisherman than to put them on a pond’s edge with lots of room to cast into water teeming with willing and enthusiastic targets. Nothing will get our successors more excited about the sport than catching these feisty little fish.

So chase your cuts and bows and browns and brookies, your large and smallmouth predators, your reds and bones and reel shredding albies. I love them all too. But don’t forget to occasionally spend a gentle hour keeping it simple. Appreciate what’s in your own back yard and catch a few sunnies. You know, they’re called that because they brighten your day.

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