Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Forty and a Dog; A weekend session

Here's a report from a weekend session I did a week ago. Over here it seems that every session I do something odd, profound, inexplicably and unpredictably weird happens, and this was no exception. I turned up at the lake much later than I had planned because of the hellish traffic I got caught in heading out of town, So I turned up right after nightfall. I quickly got bait in the water with the groundbait sling, 34 balls of method out at around 70 yards on the snags and got my rigs out. I landed two small catfish which is the usual bycatch, but other than that it was a very quiet uneventful night. I got everything sorted and went to sleep. That was around 11pm, so around 2 or 3am I wake up to this horrifying barking, like a dog that wanted to kill me. Being alone on the bank in the middle of the wilderness it frankly scared the bloody hell out of me, but I couldn't figure out how far away it was and if it was someone's pet or a stray that lived in the woods. Needless to say I didn't leave my bivvy that night.
The view

Morning came early and I recasted everything and put 15 more balls of method mix out. I quickly landed 3 catfish then nothing, so I began to cook breakfast. I was in the middle of making a cuppa when I spot a black dog about 100 yards away skittishly hiding behind a fallen tree. I could tell it was only a pup, a year or two old at most, and a male Labrador retriever. I motioned for it and it slowly took a few steps...a few more.. then it just broke into a full run and jumped on me. This was really odd considering I’m literally in the middle of NOWHERE. I couldn't figure out where the dog came from, and no one was near. I decided to try to keep it around in case someone came looking for it, but of course that never happened. It got to where the dog was sleeping in my bivvy, which wasn't bad at all. I could tell he was a bit skinny and hungry, so it almost seemed like the dog had been dumped at the lake. 
Dog- now since been named "Buff" 

The day was quiet, and I spent the first half of it waiting for my mate Shane to show up, after being extremely delayed and went from possibly arriving before me to arriving in the morning after some miscalculations, to my dismay. He finally did and with how quiet it was I had it in my mind that I wanted to get moving and pick a different swim in hopes of getting into some fish. I started to pick up one of my rods to reel it in when Shane convinced me to leave them in for a bit longer in case something came by. I began to dismantle my bivvy, and almost finished it when I looked up and my middle rod tore off. I lifted into a heavy fish and started running backward toward my truck to get the fish turned out of the snags. After a few minute's brawl the fat Buffalo rolled into the net and I was well made up. The dog didn't know what to think, and we were a bit shocked to say the least at our change in luck.
The fish went 40lb 11oz, and is my seventh largest from Lake Fork.

Almost immediately upon releasing the fish, I hooked into a high teener carp and landed that along with a few more catfish. After that...nothing. Our luck changed just long enough to stop us moving to a new swim, then the action petered off when the wind died.

Later in the day we found ourselves baiting up before dark. Here's a shot of Shane baiting with his new partner in crime.

The night began quiet, with some fish showing themselves but definitely not many. Toward the end of the night we landed two high teeners each and some cats, but nothing decent. Morning came, and Shane followed with a common that was literally the length of the rig he caught it on, about seven or eight inches. I had a small one then Shane had a mid twenty. We started baiting again and The buffalo came back into the swim, giving us each one, mine at 25lb and Shane's at 28lb

That brought us to the end of the session. Shane ended up getting attached to the dog, and due to the fact that it seemed an awful lot like someone had dumped it on the side of the road he decided to take him home and keep it at his fishing dog after verifying that he wasn't micro chipped at the vet's office. Another fun one!
The Snags

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Long Absence

I, like many other modern-age fly fishermen, am a twitter addict. I don’t even tweet that much, I just feel that I use it quite a bit to keep up with what’s going on in the scene, more so than the once popular Facebook and the numerous and not-so-different others. I recently (today, actually) read a tweet that seemed to evoke quite the response from me, sort of made me think. It essentially said, “I think that too many folks are looking at fly fishing as a competition.” It was sort of an epiphany for me, as it sort of summed up a lot of my thoughts about the recent fly fishing comminuty as a whole. It’s part of the reason I sort of withdrawed from it for a spell, but I am slowly coming back into what I was a part of.

I have a lot of people ask me why I quit fly fishing. In reality, I never really “Quit”, I just sort of got frustrated with it. I did the same with bass fishing. I always thought bass fishing was way too overly dramatic and competitive for me, like everything was a race to prove that one was better than you. Fly fishing, sadly enough, seems to be exactly that as well, and there really are some people that are turning it into a sort of arms race of who can be superior and more competitive than their “opponent”. I do realize and see that there are a lot of honest folks in both sports, most notably fly fishing, that don’t partake in this style, but it’s the few that are turning fishing into a numbers game that are putting people off it. I see too often on the numerous forums people proclaiming their triumphs with their personal bests listed in bold and italicized to represent importance, or people making posts with such titles as “I caught 75 bass today!!!”-Oh you’re so cool, I want to be like you- that’s not the immediate impression I get. It’s not a numbers game, fishing is about getting out and doing what you like while enjoying the beautiful places that fishing is synonymous with, without the competition and the bickering that comes with this behavior. I don’t really understand why these tightly wound personalities are creating this image in the sport, but it really gets under my skin to say the least. To each their own I guess, just the constant bragging and competing started to get to me.

This may sound like a complete rant, and that’s of course exactly what it is, but I felt compelled to put it into prose for one reason or another. I guess you could consider this my welcoming back into the fly fishing blogosphere.