JP added me to a string of e-mails recently between him and a customer who lives on a tropical island. You know, one of those islands surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean…and my ideas of what fishing was like on one of those islands was all but destroyed. It’s not like I talk to fly fishermen every day who live on an island in the middle of an ocean, so most of my notions are actually nothing more than assumptions. Come to think about it, if you asked me what kind of fish you’d catch in a small fresh water stream on a tropical island five thousand miles from home, I wouldn’t have the first clue. So the only assumption I really made was thinking I might have an idea in the first place.
- Tags: arapaima, Bass, bass fishing, Bass on the fly, beaver meadow, fish bum, fish stories, invasive aquatic life, invasive fish, invasive species, life experience, life lessons, sail fin cat fish, sail fin catfish, small stream fly fishing, smallmouth bass, snakehead, tropical fishing, tropical fly fishing, tropical island fishing
We never got run out, and I have to believe that whoever owned the property knew people fished there all the time by the beaten dirt path from the road down the steep incline leading into the bottom of a deep bowl full of water. I’d never do it today, because I now have a respect for other people’s property and an equal fear of being a father who would have to explain to my children after being picked up at the police station that they should do as I say, not as I do. It seems that I’ve grown responsible, dare I say slightly wiser as I’ve gotten older. All be it with an apparent lack of adventure that can accompany the two if allowed. I’m not saying I’m not adventurous anymore, just that when I choose my adventures, they’re more based on possible outcomes these days than they used to be.
- Tags: balance in life, Bass, bass fishing, Bass on the fly, bronzeback, creek, creek chub, farmpond, fish bum, fishing, fishing lessons, fishing memories, fishing photos, fishing stories, Florida, fly fishing, Fly Fishing Adventure, hair bands, in search of, Largemouth bass, life experience, life lessons, looking back, mental health, no fishing, no trespassing, purposefully lost, small stream fly fishing, smallmouth bass, streamer junkie
I’ll swear to anyone that it’s not about the fish to me when I go out, that it’s about the places. And the farm lake above any other place on the planet is more about the place than the fish to me, but there are great fish in it too. JP and his wife Bobbi were in the second Jeep and I really wanted them to get the full experience out of the trip. For all I know, any trip out to the farm these days could be the last. I expect to pull up to a For Sale sign one of these days, or worse, to the news that it’s already been sold. If this was their one and only trip to the farm, I wanted it to live up to the hype I gave it every time it became the subject of conversation. I realize that no one will ever love your favorite fishing spot as much as you, but like all fisherman, I try to impress its importance to me upon others. Because like all other fishermen, I just can’t help it.
Few words have the impact when spoken that steelhead does. See? You just felt something when you read it. Steelhead. Don’t believe me? Do you remember the scene in Stand by Me, (if you don’t know the movie then stop reading. Just stop. You’re probably too young to have seen it, because everyone else in the world that’s old enough has. Find it, watch it, and then come back to this later) the scene where Ace says to Eyeball and Charlie “You guys are like my grandmother having a conniption fit. I don't see your problem. We brought a whole bunch of fishing gear, and if a cop asks us what we're doing here, we're just here to take a couple steelhead out of the river, and look what we found!” That one line set a tone of extreme maturity and coolness at that moment in the film. Suddenly, a punk, a thug named Ace became a very cool guy for a few seconds. It was a line that would have never worked, never been so powerful had steelhead been replaced by bass, or even trout. Because of the use of steelhead, the line was pure Hollywood gold. I’ve never gone for steelhead, always avoided it because of people, but even I recognize the power in the emotions the name evokes. There’s only one other word in fly fishing that comes close to grabbing the attention of fly anglers by tender regions and making their eyebrows raise, their heads tilt to one side or the other like a dog, listening to the conversation with a feeling of importance. It also happens to be connected to steelhead…Stonefly.
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It’s just barely after 6 am and I find myself standing on the bridge, looking out over a corn field and trying to spot the winding creek through the trees. There isn’t enough light yet to make the water shimmer through the leaves but I still know it’s there under...