Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ultimate Crappy Rig

I now have the ultimate crappy fishing rig:

Albright 9ft 10wt XX Rod
Lamson Guru 3.5 Reel
Scientific Anglers Bluewater Express 500 Grain Sinking Line
6ft of 40lb test leader
1/0 Gulley Ultra Craw Fly

What's that? You think it's a little on the stout side for farm pond crappy?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Try Something New Day

One of the nice things about fishing a particular waterway regularly is that, on any given day, there’s typically no real pressure to catch anything. And without that pressure, every now and then you can take a “day off” and try something new – a new fly, a new technique, a new section of water. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter because you’ll be back soon. But if it does work, well, you’ve just expanded your fishing options.

This morning, I mixed it up by:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dimes, Dogs, and Dear Ones

“Well, I think we’ve figured out what’s wrong with him” said the emergency veterinarian as she snapped Wilderness Dog Sammy’s x-rays onto the lightboard. And while I’m no animal doctor myself, it seemed pretty clear to me as well. His discomfort, no doubt, had something to do with that shiny coin-shaped object, lodged mid-dog.

Dammit, Sam. What were you thinking?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Longest Silence

What is most emphatic in angling is made so by the long silences – the unproductive periods. For the ardent fisherman, progress is towards the kinds of fishing that are never productive in the sense of the blood riots of the hunting-and-fishing periodicals. Their illusions of continuous action evoke for him, finally, a condition of utter, mortuary boredom. Such anglers will always be inclined to find the gunnysack artists of the heavy kill rather cretinoid, their stringer-loads of gaping fish appalling. - Thomas McGuane

This opening paragraph from McGuane’s The Longest Silence simply stuns me. In four short sentences, he’s expressed my deepest feelings, thought impossible to communicate in such stark and eloquent language, about my sport. It describes precisely why the one fish day is the cornerstone of my fly-fishing passion.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

River Largemouths

This is not your daddy’s bass fishin’.

And it wasn’t mine either, until not all that long ago. Since my childhood, largemouth bass fishing meant farm ponds and spinning rods terminated with purple worms, Original Rapalas, and jitterbugs. Good bass were fat, chunky pigs, lazier as they got bigger, not unlike we fishermen, and a good bassin' day was spent casting from the bank, preferably with a cooler beside you, and filling a stringer.

Today’s incarnation of accepted bassing is fast boats, rods that would yank a tuna from the Mariana Trench, jerk/crank/swim/buzz baits designed by computer, and hard-charging, aggressive fishing. Tournament style. I never got that far, though I probably would have liked to.

But that was before. Before fly-fishing and before river bass.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Three Rivers

The more time I spend on the water, the more I realize that rivers, like people, have personalities and a fisherman sympathetic to his environment establishes relationships with waterways in much the same way as he does with the folks around him. This past week, I had the great pleasure of spending time on three rivers - the Roanoke, the Haw, and the Smith - a renewed acquaintance, an old friend, and a new companion.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Striper Master


Well, perhaps hailing is a bit extreme. But, thanking is certainly in order. Pipes, gracias for a fine day aboard the Z.Z. Pipes, chasing striped bass on the Roanoke River. I had a great time.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yard Work

It's a sad fact, but you can't fish all the time. Sometimes there's yard work.

This is our lawn mower...