Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Overwhelming Flies

This post comes from a column I submitted to the Kings County Record.  It was published June 18, 2013 in the paper.  It is a follow up to a previous post - Crown Surprise.  I am incredibly excited to be going to Depot Pool to try my luck salmon fishing.

It has been a wet spring but it hasn't dampened my enthusiasm about my upcoming fishing trip to the Miramichi.  I wrote in an earlier column that I am a novice fly fisherman and I have been reading as much as I can about fly fishing techniques and requirements.  I have been practicing my casting regularly and I think I have that skill set to a passable level.  My challenge now is learning about the flies and what flies work best in what conditions.
Wow, I have a ton to learn.  What is the difference between a wet fly and dry fly?  Streamers, nymphs, and terrestrials all have different applications and target different fish species at different times.  Different flies work better in different geographical regions.  Different size hooks will likely yield different size fish.  So I have been trying to find out what flies will work in the Miramichi for early season salmon.
Cossabooms, bombers, blue smurfs, green machines, shady ladies; the names alone are enticing and poetic.  The colors are as varied as the names and when you gaze upon the shelf at a fly shop its like looking at a rainbow without the rain.  The difference for a novice angler like me is that you feel overwhelmed and not awed.  I'm starting to think that I might be just as lucky to close my eyes and pick a few off the shelf.
From some accounts they are already catching chrome salmon, a salmon that is coming up the river to breed, on the Miramichi and so my odds are improving.  I will spend 2 days fishing for the famed fish and I want to make the most of my time so I need to understand what flies work and go from there.  Contrary to some belief, anglers are willing to provide novice casters like me with pointers and tips.  There are a ton of online resources and chat communities dedicated to the sport to prove it and I have yet to come across and angler on the water who won't talk briefly and quietly about his fly of choice.  Again these conversations are increasing my odds and if I can't at least raise a fish then I'll have no one to blame but me.  Honestly, I think that is part of the hook of the sport. 
About three years ago my journey into fly fishing began with a workshop organized by the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee.  They are hosting their third "Beginner's Fly Fishing Workshop" on July 10th & 11th so if you have an interest in this sport you should check it out.  They will provide the rods, flies, and some great instruction and the cost is free.  Not too many activities come at that price anymore, nor do they offer the scenery and peaceful enjoyment you'll get while casting a fly onto the waters of Trout Creek and Cedar Camp.  Registration is needed so find them online and sign up.
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