Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh! What a Tangled Web We Weave

If ever a single image captured the essence of a fishing trip, the picture above perfectly and succinctly summarizes my first outing of this new year, 2011. Please, please, please may it not be a sign of things to come.  Come to think of it, it's certainly a sign of things past - but one can always hope for some improvement.

And I wish I could say that it was the only tangle for the day, but it was actually just one of my better efforts. It was the kind of bird's nest that drives one to ponder whether to:

A) spend a half-hour solving the puzzle
B) take the nippers to the whole mess and start with a new leader, or
C) pitch the entire shooting match, rod and all, into the deepest hole and take up golf

As tempting as option C was, I went with A. The time was not an issue - I wasn't catching fish anyway.

How did I make such a mess? One word. Nymphing. (As you read that word, imagine the venomous tone of Jerry Seinfeld saying "Newman" and you get an idea of where I'm coming from.) Nymphing.  It's said that if you are not hanging on the bottom semi-regularly, you're not getting deep enough. Well, I was definitely getting deep enough. And the recoil of the clearance of a few of those snags came just a little too close. At least it wasn't a new body piercing.

Do I like nymphing? Not particularly. I'd rather be throwing a streamer. I know. That's blasphemous for a trout fisherman, but then calling me a trout fisherman is a bit of a stretch anyway. And as much as I hate it, nymphing's the way to go this time of year. It's what works.

Just not yesterday.


Clif said...

I don't know man, golf is pretty hard too.

JM said...

HA! I've had backlashes (professional overrun) with some of my big saltwater rods that were bad enough that I thought about building a fire and trying to burn the line off.

Jay said...

A quote by Paul O'Neil...

"I am not against golf, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout."

Anonymous said...

That could be a photo of any one of several thousand trips I've had. :) Starting the new year off with a whimper may seem bad, but not starting it at all would be worse! :)

AZWanderings said...

I see that same picture all too often. Excellent job of capturing that moment...


Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I drove my guide mad with a bunch of those tie ups. I'm amazed he didn't club me into oblivion with my rod. Patience of a snail.

I've been using a floating dry attracter (sliding) with a 40cm tippet with beaded nymph....does that comb work for you?

Kirk Mantay said...

God, you sound like me. Dust it off, cut that leader, and let 'er rip again in a few days.

And I body pierced (a new hole on my side) last summer, yeah that was fun.


I used to take the time to figure out the mess...but, now I just cut my losses and start over. Easier to "snip, snip"! Gee, figures that I usually go the hardest route...ha! Nymphing is my go-to pretty much of the time...maybe I need to learn more about streamer fishing...hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

I wondered how you did. As a nymph fisher I wanted to pass on a couple of ideas that you probably already know. When I'm nymph fishing I shorten the line and open the loop. That way if there is a tangle there is less energy to make a mess. Another option is to do an oval cast, where you take the rod back at roughly a 45 degree angle and forward closer to vertical. That keeps the line in different planes in each direction. Check out this link- .

Years of "research" on tangles has led me to think that the fastest way to untangle a leader is to clip the fly off and then untangle. One item that will help with this process is a wire clip attached to your vest to hold the offending fly. They are available at radio shack and look something like this- . they can also be used as hackle pliers when fly tying.


Ben said...

Went for something similar to option C in my short golf career, i.e broke my club in half after hitting out of bounds three times in a row.

Took up fly fishing instead and never returned to a golf course since.