Times fun when you’re having flies.- Kermit the Frog
The sport of fishing took many forms. The quest for pan fish such as bluegill and crappie could be as simple as becoming a master bait… really good at threading a worm on a hook. Add a large wooden bobber, toss it in the water to concuss the fish, and wait until the fish float to the top. Scoop with a net. Not really, but that’s how the hubby described my technique.
Ocean fishing was simple but not for sissies. Cut bait, toss, and hope whatever was at the other end of the line didn’t want to eat you. Then make reservations at a restaurant. Support the local commercial fishermen.
By far the type of fishing with the greatest degree of difficulty was fly fishing. Having a masochistic streak of course I wanted to get back into fly fishing post-childrearing years. To trick trout with fake bugs would keep me humble, I thought. The fact that I had nothing to brag about never registered.
In my youth, my dad taught me to tie flies. Making bait was similar to cutting down a tree to make a bat to finally play softball.
Whoever said patience is a virtue never fly fished. Construction of fake bugs to go fishing took too much time. A large percentage of fly fishing was wasted untangling line and another substantial amount was dedicated to attaching new flies to the line after the bugs were eaten by trees. Actual fishing time on a creek was about eight minutes on a six-hour day out.
To get around the dilemma of bait construction, I bought my husband fly tying equipment. He’s a bug-making machine. He spends winter tying flies. He ties the flies. I lose the flies. It’s a symbiotic relationship that works for us (mostly me). For my part, I did pack tasty lunches.
Fake bugs took the names of their creators or from the insects they resembled. As a seasoned fisherman and traditional kind of guy, the hubby might say, “I caught the brook trout on an Adams, #18 hook.” Or, “I landed the rainbow on a Caddis nymph.” Without the active creation of flies, knowledge of their proper names escaped me.
After I landed a brown trout the hubby asked, ”What’d you catch it on?”
Not concerned that the hubby would dig in his bag of tricks for something similar, I honestly didn’t know what to call the fly. Chuck, maybe?
“A Barbie Dazzler,” I said.
“A fly with a pink bead. It looks like a bug a Barbie doll might eat.”
The hubby shook his head.
“What do you have on?” I asked.
“Clown Puke.” Clown Puke was the fly’s proper name.
“That looks fake,” I said.
“If I were a trout, I’d hit it.” A trout did not hit it.
I came up with a scenario of the hubby and me as trout.
Me trout: “Oh my Gawd Becky, look at the size of that bug. It’s a fake.”
Hubby trout: “I’d hit that.”
As a human, my husband is easy to feed. As a trout, he’d be someone’s dinner.
Fly fishing, like life, was as easy or as hard as you imagined it to be. Though I regularly untangled line and had no clue as to what I was doing at times, there was an unexplainable simplicity to the act of fly fishing. One day I may know the difference between an Adams and a Caddis. Until then, times fun when you’re losing flies.
Published in Funny Times– September 2022