The river appears deep from where I stand, but I see a trout rising on the other side of this riffle, taunting me.
I carefully inch my way out, trusting my wading boots to hold their place. Looking around to see if anyone will see me fall, or save my life if needed, I decide to take the next step into the dark water.
I can hear my breath in the background of my thoughts, criticizing my idea to walk into the unknown. Soon, I realize that the murky water is only misconstrued shallow water and I can move quicker to get to the other side than I terrifyingly predicted. Climbing up on the bank, I start to smile; facing fear is a wonderful adventure.
Once on the other side, I start to notice the mayflies dancing in the air and my eyes find the surface just in time to see a brown trout slurp from the surface. I match the hatch with a Pale Morning Dun and tie it on the end of my tippet. My thoughts are directed only to which way I should float the fly through the riffle, and finding the seam where the faster water eases into the pool. I whisk my fly rod two times and after the fly hits the water, I mend the line up stream to make the fly look as natural as possible. Towards the end of the float, the trout rises to my fly and I set the hook. The smile begins again as I keep my line tight and dance around the shoreline until the brown trout is in my net. She is beautiful, with big round black spots and a large golden belly. For a moment we stare at each other. I am in awe and she looks surprised that I have tricked her. I hold her into the water and slowly release my gentle grip. Her tail brushes off of my hand and I pause there for a while, unaware of anything else around me.
Learning how to cast is the first step to fly-fishing. Check your local fly shops for casting classes, and watch some YouTube casting instruction videos. Start out with about 3 feet of fly line extending out the end of the fly rod, keep your elbow in, wrist tight, and move the line back and forth, keeping a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position on the rod while holding the float line with your other hand. Allow the line to fully extend in each direction, and with each whisk forward, let more line out from your left hand. When you are ready cast the fly, stop the line in front of you and slowly lower the rod. Grab a piece of yarn to tie on the end of the line to practice with until you are ready for a hook. It is essential you spend some quality time practicing and receiving feedback if possible. Wind knots happen, just don’t let it stop you from practicing. You will need to be able to cast long distances once you are truly addicted to fly fishing, so learning the correct form is essential.
Knot Tying…….Followed by a bunch of 101 stuff!
Hope you check out Misadventures Magazine, such a neat place for women to connect to outdoor sports and adventures. Lord knows my blog is full of misadventures. Blog buddies, I have been busy writing for some other things, but I have so cool stories in the works. Thanks for hanging with me and may your New Year be full of family fishy plans and wild adventures!
Cheers and I hope this encourages you to get into fly fishing!
(All Photos in this article are from Kyla Kulp Photography)