Looking back over my blog, I realized that I've never posted anything of substance - anything that can be deemed useful to someone interested in the sport, or looking to expand their knowledge base.
So this time around, I've decided to be a pal and provide some useful information to anglers of all skills levels - for free. Ain't that nice? I even went so far as to hit the water this morning, to test all of the information that I am about to share - and as I write this, I reek of children's sunscreen and bug repellent because I'm that dedicated to making you a better fly-fisher-person(s). The shower can wait....
Rule #1 Don't forget Stuff at Home
I know - sometimes, when you're going fishing you get so giddy and excited your voice churns up a few octaves and you run around the house making squealing noises while prancing around like you really got to pee (aka The Pee Pee Dance). So, knowing this, that's exactly what I did this morning - I basically made an ass-hat out of myself for the sake of this post - to put myself in the mindset of the 'excited angler'.
Now, being excited about something is all well and good, but in this case, it can be a painful mistake. Research has shown that running around like a dip-shit in the early morning hours, trying to get all of the gear loaded into the truck (which should have been done the night before) can (and does) lead to stuff being left behind. What kind of stuff, you ask? Important stuff, kids, such as:
- Cutting devices (which were used the night before to tie on a new leader and then left haphazardly on the table when they should have been returned to your fishing pack).
- Sunglasses (which should not have been removed from the fishing pack and worn, even though HD TV looks 'cool' when viewed through them).
- Cell Phone (the fallout from this blunder could be huge).
- Comfort Items (for some, this could mean a flask or a Filipino hooker. In my case, it's a can of Copenhagen, which is a necessary evil for me when out on the water).
- Fishing Socks (you know, the thin type that you wear inside your waders to wick the moisture away from your feet and to prevent blisters? Well, I got blisters on my feet).
Oh, and I didn't have any indicators, either - not that that would have mattered, since I probably would have left them at home, too.
Rule #2 Don't Believe McDonald's
As a kid, I always trusted that clown and his gaggle of goofy friends: Mayor McCheese, the Hamburgler, and even Grimace and the Fry Goblins. I believed in them. So, when I see a sign on a local store that says "Drive-Thru Open 24 Hours" I believe it. And why wouldn't I? Why would someone lie about something like that?
Being that I was going to hit the 24-Hour drive-through at Mickey-D's (like I've done in the past), I neglected to bring a coke from home. After all, being open 24 Hours, the employees at the Golden Arches would be more than happy to handle my dietary needs at 4:30 in the morning, right? Wrong. They were closed.
Now let me say this: my ice cold coke in the morning is akin to other people's coffee. It's my 'go-fast' and I need it to get my day started off right. If I don't have one - things just ain't right. And neither am I.
So, in the future, always be prepared and don't rely on deceitful corporations to full-fill your needs. Bring your own stuff (just don't forget it at home) and you won't end up hitting the water coke-less and hungry.
And speaking of hitting the water...
Rule #3 Silly Rabbit, Hooks are for Fish
That's right - for fish, not fingers. The last two times I've been on the water I've managed to set some hooks pretty deep into my digits. Now, it's not like it never happens...it just hasn't happened with this frequency. And never this deeply.
So what to do when this happens? Grab your hemostat and rip the damn thing out. After all, I'm now on the water without any means of cleanly cutting my line, I have no sunglasses whatsoever and I am without any indicators. What's a little tearing of flesh going to matter in the grand scheme of things?
The really pathetic part about it all? A little while later, I set yet another hook, in the precise same location as the last one. It all has to do with how I hold the hook when tying it on - the problem is, one overly-anxious tug on the line to cinch the knot, and I'm reaching for the clamps, because I sure as hell ain't going to the ER to get that thing removed. Besides, a little #22 doesn't tear things up too much when being ripped back out, especially the second time around..
Thankfully, some more severe weather was on it's way, and by 1 pm it was time to high-tail it out of the canyon - with the way my luck was running, the last place I wanted to be was in a narrow canyon, on the side of a river during one of these nasty storms we've been experiencing as of late.
So the lesson here is, tie your flies on like a normal person, and avoid the overly-spastic motions - your fingers will thank you, and you'll avoid wasting 20 minutes of your life performing an impromptu surgical procedure in the field.
Sure, my eyes were strained and felt like they would bust out of their sockets from trying to peer through the glare on the water. And yes, my head was throbbing from a lack of caffeine and sleep....and I was hungry as hell and my finger looked like something from an Evil Dead movie. But it was still a great time. I was not at work, I was outside, in the mountains, on a river, fishing.
And yes, I did manage to hook some fish...but that's not what this post is about. It's about throwing myself into the strike zone and taking one for the team. Because I'm nice like that. Plus, I'm just feeling too damn lazy to process videos and pull screen shots.