Flies and the Driftless

A week from today my family and I will be piling into our cramped vehicle and heading for the great state of Wisconsin to enjoy the festivities of the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world”That’s the official reason we’re heading to WI.

As you probably guessed already, I have my own reasons for making this annual pilgrimage to the land of cheese, and the number one reason is trout. Butter burgers from Culver’s run a close second, but mainly it’s the trout.

Last year was the first time I fished Wisconsin’s driftless region. I did some research before hand, learned about the spring creeks, the hatches, found out what the hot flies were, tied some nice dries, some small nymphs and got there to find out that all the rivers were blown-out due to the two previous days of torrential downpour. I did catch fish, but they were few and far between and all on streamers, of which I only had five of…

This year I refuse to be ill-prepared.

Except, at this particular point in time, one week away from leaving for the driftless, I am woefully ill-prepared.

It’s my own fault. I’ve had time to tie for the WI trip, but I found myself obsessing over getting this bass fly right. In the time it takes to tie one of those I could tie four or more streamers. And I haven’t even started on the dries and nymphs I need to fill  in the blanks.

So, with a heart that would be much heaver if it was for any other reason, I am going on a brief hiatus so I can tie flies and go fishing.  I’ll probably still check out what everyone else is doing and I’m going to test out my new bass fly tomorrow so you’ll get to hear about that, but I’ll probably be pretty quiet until after May.

A Walk the Dog Fly?

I’ve been trying off and on for a while now to come-up with a fly that’s relatively easy to tie that has a “walk the dog” action (for those not in the know check this out.) Last night I think I may have done it.

Walk the frog?

It happened completely on accident. I was playing around trying to make a floating articulated fly with a lip that would have a crank-bait like wiggle to use on a sinking line (There! Take that Every day in May!) for bass. The first one I tied looked awesome but didn’t swim the way I wanted and the lip on the one above refused to cooperate. Well, in a fit of “What the hell, I’ll see what’ll happen” I curved the lip under and filled the space with Clear Cure Goo.

What happened was I took it to the bathtub to see how it would swim and found out it zigs one way and zags the other with every light pull of the line.

Friday I’m taking this fly and a few more like it out for a real test. If it goes well I’ll try to post a step by step on how to tie it.

Oh, and if someone has already tied this or a very similar fly and you know about it, please don’t let me know…

Waders

My first set of waders were, to put bluntly, re-fucking-diculous.

They were at least a couple of sizes too small for me and weren’t much more than rain pants with feet. I think I bought them for something like $25 from a Wal-mart. I still feel as if I paid too much.

Being a non-svelte individual, putting them on made me look like an overstuffed sausage with a dark brown casing.

Like this but lumpier

The first and only time I wore them on the stream a random stranger saw me and started laughing.

My fondest memory of these waders is when they split at the crotch mid stream on that first and only trip with them.

The next pair of waders I bought, which are the ones I still use, are much better.

Southern Sportsmen and The Disconnect

I try very hard not to discus my political views in public. It’s not because I’m ashamed of them or anything, I’ve just come to terms with the reality that I can actually enjoy talking to and being around people who hold a completely different world view from mine.

Many people haven’t.

I found it’s easy as long as you have the ability to find the common ground, which for me is usually fishing, hunting or guns. I know a good bit about these subjects and the love of these three things are how I usually find myself being friends with people who have political views that don’t hold with my own.

See, I’m a sportsman, I’m proud to be a southerner and (this is where I may lose some readers, but oh well…) I’m a liberal. That’s right. A woolly headed, bleeding heart, up with the people, down with the man, tax loving, religion and politics should never meet, government interference wanting LIBERAL. I feel confident in saying most of the people who enjoy fishing and hunting here in the south aren’t. I’m honestly perplexed by this.

I’ve spent the majority of my life fishing and hunting on public lands next to people who actively support politics that would be more than happy to destroy those public lands if it put money into people’s pockets. These pockets don’t belong to any one of the people I hunt and fish with.

From family and friends I hear complaints about how the new sub-development over on such and such road has wrecked the hunting or fishing in the area but they support politicians that support developers. I hear people praising the local DNR for buying plots of land that go up for sale before developers can get to them and yet these same people bitch about having to pay the taxes go into buying these lands. I hear about how the government should leave businesses alone but how the factory they put on a certain stretch of river completely ruined the fishing. I hear from people how the environmentalist are destroying America but who hate the fact that the Forestry Service plants pine trees in the National Forest instead of something deer and turkeys can eat all for the sake of making a quick buck.

The disconnect baffles and quite frankly infuriates me at times. You want good fishing? You want good hunting? You want undeveloped public land? Support the people who support the environment!

Working

Right now I’m working on this post.

Earlier today I was working on leading the Mongolian civilization to victory. (New phone app.)

The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on filling my fly boxes for an up-coming trip to Wisconsin.

should be working on my casting every chance I get, but I don’t.

And I’m always working on keeping the house clean, keeping the children fed and keeping my patients.

 

 

Fishing

Well, today’s Every day in May prompt is a wide open one, isn’t it? I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing though. On one hand, almost any fishing related topic will work. On the other hand, too much freedom can feel completely overwhelming sometimes, as it leaves one to feel as if one is drifting alone on a vast sea of possibilities. Or, in other words, I can’t think of anything on my own to write about this morning. (I have three young children and weekends are rough.)

Luckily for me and my poor sleep deprived, child rattled brain, Chadd, over at How Small A Trout, asked an interesting question in a recent post that has kept me from having to come up with something creative on my own:

I’m honestly curious: ever get the feeling you’re fishing for your blog instead of yourself? Ever ask yourself what you’ve really gone fishing for?

The first part of this question is an easy one for me to answer: Hell No. Fishing for my blog? Not even close. I was obsessed with fishing before I could read or write. I’ve always fished. Most of my early memories are of me fishing with my grandparents or my father. Fishing is as natural to me as breathing or eating. I blog because I can’t go fishing.

Now to answer the second part of that question: yes, every time I go fishing and often the answer to what I’ve “really gone fishing for” is different every trip. It used to be about food. The majority of my life I fished for meat and sometimes I still do. Now I’m more likely to go fishing to just get out of the house or to test out some crazy-ass fly I’ve been toying with. I go fishing to test my skills with the fly rod and to solve the never-ending series of puzzles a trout stream can produce. I go so I have an excuse to hike or paddle around in my kayak. Every once in a while I go fishing as an excuse to drink beer in a boat with my buddies… Oh, “and to catch fish” should be added to all the reasons above.