Adventures in Fly Fishing
The season of smelt fishing is upon us here in Chicago. This made me think about my efforts a few summers ago to learn how to fly fish. This was shortly after my big trip out west to the Grand Canyon. I fell in love with nature again, that I wanted to increase my outdoor hobbies. Thus, after I went to a Wisconsin BOW (Becoming An Outdoors Woman) weekend, I settled on learning how to fly fish. Not the easiest (or cheapest) sport in the world, but it’s a lot of fun. I got so engrossed that I bought gear from ORVIS and went on a few trips, mostly to Wisconsin. At the time, my goal was to perfect my skills so I’d feel confident about going out West to fish one of the big rivers in Montana. I haven’t made it out there yet. Hopefully I will one day soon. I still have my Orvis rod and reel, so maybe I’ll practice my casting technique when it get warmer down at the lagoons. As Norman Maclean wrote in A River Runs Through It, fly fishing
is performed on a four-count rhythm between ten and two o’clock. . .the rhythm, of course is functional. The one count takes the line, leader and fly off the water; the two count tosses them seemingly straight into the sky; the three count was my father’s way of saying that at the top the leader and fly have to be given a little beat of time to get behind the line as it is starting forward; the four count means put on the power and throw the line into the rod until you reach the ten o’oclock – then check-cast, let the fly and leader get ahead of the line, and coast to a soft and perfect landing.
Right now I’m a long way off from perfecting that technique. I lost so many flies that summer and the one that followed. They simply snapped off the line. But, oh what fun it was to be out there trying.