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Fur and Feathers

Over the past couple years I haven’t done nearly as much fly fishing as I used to, and this year I missed the opener as we were away at Merlefest. I’ve finally got around to going through my gear, making sure everything was in order. I sifted through my boxes of flies, doing a little sorting and organizing. I think I need to tie a dozen or so Usuals but aside from that I think I have the major hatches covered. I’ve been fishing for trout since I was a little kid. I can hardly recall a time when I didn’t. Much later I took up fly fishing exclusively and began releasing just about all my trout. That interest took me to many places, including Pennsylvania, NY, BC, Alberta, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Yellowstone. I learned along the way that while trying to catch trout was the aim, there was a lot more to the activity. Standing in a trout stream, observing nature, slowing down, getting into it like a meditation, watching for rises and swirls, identifying mayflies, caddisflies, stone flies and terrestrials, figuring it all out, the whole package was really interesting to me.

A box of small flies

A box of small flies

Since we got the dogs, I’ve been doing a lot of mushroom foraging instead of fly fishing because taking two Newfs to a trout stream only means they swim in the best pools. I really enjoy wandering about forests with the dogs, and they clearly love it too. They get very excited about a trip to a forest. And mushroom hunting has some things in common with fly fishing. There is identification of fungi instead of bugs, and there is the search for the elusive treasure, and of course there is the opportunity to enjoy nature. Lately I’ve been itching to get back on a stream.

I’ve promised a lad who lives down the street I would teach him fly fishing. We’ll be practicing some casting out on the street or over in the park this weekend and once he learns how to more or less handle a fly rod (I’m still learning and I’ve been doing it for many years), I’ll take him out to try his luck on a nice stream. If he really gets into it, I might even teach him how to tie his own flies.

Next week I have a couple days off work scheduled and I’m going to make one of those days a stream day. I haven’t decided where to go yet. Maybe one of the usual places around here. Or maybe I’ll go to another little stream I know, a little further away, that doesn’t get much play. It’s small but it holds surprisingly big trout.

I’ve already mentioned here that in June I’m going to go on a fly fishing and camping road trip. I can’t get it out of my mind, thinking about the last time I was up that way.


  1. Your spousal unit is lucky enough to have one of the best trout rivers on the planet run through your city, not to mention the Crowsnest, which just might be the perfect trout stream (even if I was run off the river by a bear one trip)

  2. The spousal unit is going on the first fly fishing camping trip of the year next week, and he too has been pouring over his flies in anticipation.
    Good to hear that you are passing along your learning to the young uns.

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