"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Friday, September 23, 2016

Washing the Vest

I don't know if you knew this, but it's kind of a well-known fact that you should never wash your fly fishing vest. Over the course of time vests absorb layer upon layer of good juju, which is an essential ingredient in catching fish. If you were to wash your vest, all that good juju would be lost, and then you would have to get by on your own cunning and guile, which most humans have very little of, in my estimation.

Proudly, I can say that I have never washed my fly fishing vests. I am on my second one, a wonderful Simms vest which I have now had for approximately 15 years, but I still have, and sometimes even use, my original Columbia vest, which I got 32 or so years ago. That first vest was quite large for a skinny 10-year-old like I was, but I eventually grew into it. Nowadays it doesn't fit as well as it did a few years ago, but I can only assume that is because all the fish slime has caused it to shrink, and not that my waistline continues to expand... Keep your rude comments to yourself, please.
My vest.

I keep both of my vests, along with my chest pack and waders and hip boots and other fishing paraphernalia, in the gentleman's closet in my fly tying room. If you are unaware of what a gentleman's closet is, like I used to be before I became a gentleman, I will describe it. It is a tall piece of furniture with four drawers in the bottom and a large open space with a closet rod in the top. You can use that large open space to store large things, or to hang up clothes. I use one side of it for the former, and one side for the latter. Or is it vice versa? The nice thing is that the gentleman's closet has two swinging doors on the front, so I can close them to keep everything out of sight, and to keep the aromas on the inside...

I am telling you all of this to set up the rest of my story. My friend Bryon and I went fishing a couple of weeks ago. It was a strange day, weather-wise, as it went from hot and sunny to cool and windy and back and forth, and some rain drops even fell every once in a while. During the hot times, we both got super sweaty in our hip boots. We eventually just took them off and fished in our shorts. Taking off my hot rubber hip boots helped a great deal, yet I still was very sweaty and stinky for much of the day. Then I realized, "Hey, I might very well be stinky, but I sure don't smell as bad as my vest does!!!" It was at that moment that I realized that I am not superstitious in the least bit, and that juju is over-rated when it comes to catching fish. Cunning and guile is where it's at! Oh, and a nice, clean, fresh-smelling vest doesn't hurt, either!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sage Glass

It had been quite a while since I had gotten out trout fishing. It had been quite a while since my buddy, Bryon, had gotten out trout fishing, as well. So, when he suggested we go trout fishing, we both thought it was a swell idea!

We decided to go to our favorite western Wisconsin trout stream last Monday afternoon. The weather was strange that day, in that it would cloud over and sprinkle on us for 10 minutes or so, then the sun would come out and we would instantly get hot and sweaty, then it would cool off and the breeze would come up, and then it would do it all over again. It never rained hard enough to be annoying, and the wind was never so strong that it affected our casting, but it did get hot enough that we both decided to take our hip boots off and fish in our shorts. The area we were fishing requires very little, to no, wading, so the hip boots weren't necessary any way. We were both quite relieved when we took them off.

The fishing was good all day, no matter what the weather was doing. This river is not well known for
its insect hatches, but there were caddisflies fluttering around all day, so Bryon fished almost exclusively with an elk hair caddis, and slayed them. I tried about a dozen different flies, as I am known to do, and caught fish on most of them. At first I fished with my Poor Man's CDC-Enhanced Copper John in red, then I switched to an olive/brown mottled wooly bugger until a big fish broke it off, then I tried a small Madame X, and so on and so on. The caddis hatch had become quite epic right at dusk, so finally I got it in my thick head to put an elk hair caddis on, and I slayed them, as well. It was a great day!
A selfie of Bryon and one of his many trouts. You get to guess if it was Bryon or the trout that took the pic.
As far as equipment goes, I fished two rods that day. First was my Cortland Pro-Crest 7.5' 5/6 weight glass rod. This is a very smooth casting rod, and easily handled all the weighted streamers and nymphs I was using. Next I broke out my Sage SFL 476, which is a 7.5' 4wt glass rod I got a few months ago. I had never had it on the water, so I thought it was about time. Let me tell you, that is about the nicest dry fly rod I have ever cast. It is smooth yet powerful; it handled big and small flies with ease. When I switched to the elk hair caddis to finish off the day, the Sage put my fly wherever I looked, which doesn't happen often when I am casting. If you can get your hands on one of these classic old Sage glass rods, I suggest you do. They are awesome!
My first trout on my newest Sage glass rod.