Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Long Game Might Be Paying Off...

After being gone for over a year living in Alaska, Hadley is home for the summer before she starts college this fall.  In what seems like the long game paying off, she wants to learn more about fly fishing and even talks about taking a fly rod outfit with her to Michigan when she starts college.  As she and Finn were growing up, I never put any pressure on either of them learning to cast a fly rod.  It was always there if they wanted to try it but I never wanted either of them to feel forced into it.  Now at eighteen, she's interested and I'm more than happy to help her learn. 

We have a warmwater stream not too far away that absolutely blew my mind the first time I visited it with a friend who shared it with me a few years ago.  You can read about that afternoon trip called HERE.  I've been back there a couple of times with Finn (HERE and HERE) but Hadley and my wife hadn't been there at all.  We decided to change that with a Saturday afternoon drive on back roads through small towns and fields of peach trees.  There were some storm clouds building in the distance that I hoped wouldn't come into play.  It was worth it to find out.

We arrived and walked through the woods to the stream.  We made our way downstream a bit to a rock bar where Melissa settled in her chair with a book while I readied a fly rod for Hadley to use.  It felt good to be in the water and enjoyed working with Hadley on her casting.  A roll cast along with a simple lift off the water, pause, and push the fly rod forward were good places to start.  The little foam fly was bumped a few times by small fish with mouths too small to suck it in.  And, a couple of missed hook sets on larger fish were a good reminder that they were around.

Maybe forty-five minutes into the session, a wall of black clouds rolled in with wind gusts, thunder, and a not too distant streak of lightning that gave us a prompt we needed to pack it up.  Hadley was bummed out that we were getting chased off by a storm and is already wants to go back.  We might make it back for an afternoon session after work soon and in the meantime will likely get on the pond together to continue working on her fly casting skills.

Even though this was just a short session, here are a few random gear notes...

BOX FULL OF SMALL GAUDY FLIES - I've had this slender no name two sided fly box for years and on one side are flies that float and on the other are flies that don't float.  They are all sized for panfish to bass and just handy to have a couple of hundred warmwater flies with lots of mojo from being tied by a long list of friends over the years.

HEART WOOD TRADE POQUITO NET - I'm not sure if Dustin is still building nets or not.  I assume yes since the website is still up but the Facebook page hasn't been updated in a few years and the Instagram page is gone.  That said, this little Poquito Net continues to be one of my favorite landing nets.

KERMIT CHAIR COMPANY - Though I didn't get a photograph of it yesterday since we so quickly left the water, we have a couple of these chairs and they are just so great.  Lightweight, wood frame with nylon, and pack down into a easy to carry case.  Think ultimate camp chair but these will be in our car kit here on out. 

- I have a couple of favorite short 5-weights and the 7'10" Diesel fly rod is definitely one of them.  I have the older three piece version as it's now being made as a four-piece fly rod and it's really perfect for this kind of fly fishing.  The outfit is matched with a Diesel Click fly reel.  It's classy.  It's fun.  And, it's yellow. 

(Want one?  Use "TFM10" for 10% off your order on the Red Truck Fly Fishing website.)

- There's a reason why you're seeing these speakers everywhere.  They rock.  Our children seemingly don't go anywhere without tossing one (or two) in the back of the car.  Some light tunes going from the rock bar while Hadley and I were casting nearby was kinda nice.    

UMPQUA NORTHFORK SLING PACK - This was the first trip with this sling pack and I really like it.  It checks the boxes of being large enough with a lot of usable space.  I also like the net slot pass through which fit the little Poquito landing net perfectly.  I'll deep dive more into this sling pack soon with a future gear review but in short, it's a keeper.
Do you have a story or experience of the long game paying off with fly fishing?  Send an email and tell me about it.    

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