In 1979 I had relocated along the wind blown banks of the Columbia River, and underneath the shadow of Mt Hood in Oregon. This is where I would begin my road to fly fishing. I had found a small creek on the north western slope of this magnificent peak that was just chock full of trout. None of them were very large, but they were everywhere in this little stream, and I began to learn their feeding habits.
Reason to Begin Fly Fishing
At first I tried a spin cast set up with a Pautzke egg and a split shot. It worked kinda, but the shot was constantly getting stuck, and to retrieve the rig I would have to spook a hole wading out to get it. So I began casting the egg without the shot.
I noticed that the motion of casting an egg was much like fly casting, and decided to get a fly outfit and try that. I had a lot of fun that day with the egg toss, and caught who knows how many fish. This would be great place to learn fly fishing!
Off to Payless Drugs I went to shop for a fly casting outfit. I really didn’t have a lot of money to spend, so I settled for a combo rod and reel. The rod was an Eagle Claw, and the reel was a Phleuger. The combo pack was under $20.00, and the line was over $30.00! Imagine my surprise.
Gear Set Up
A couple visits to the Multnomah County library helped me to get the fly line on the reel, and a home made tapered leader attached to the line. I didn’t even have backing material, just the 90 ft floating fly line. Heh, heh. Gotta giggle looking back.
Flies and Catching Fish
Next stop was GI Joes discount sporting goods for some flies. I chose some dry flies to begin with, and headed to my honey hole stream the next morning! I caught a bunch of fish despite myself, and ended up losing every fly in the cup.
I caught fish with each of flies I had bought mostly because of the number of hungry trout in the creek, but learned how to drift the offering into the feeding zone. That was the first lesson for me. It didn’t matter what technique, or equipment was used, what mattered most was presenting the bait or lure in a manner that entered the feeding zone. Learning the flow of the stream was key.
I will have another installment about this key to catching trout in a few days time. Be sure to check back in for it so you can use this information to be Ketchinnee.