Once again the time has come when I can no
longer deny that the fishing season is almost
here, for us at least. No longer can I put off
deciding what gear I should get ready for our
first trip of the '08 season. The annual
'Fish-In' at Ephrata, Washington. The tiny
berg in the high center of our state is for
us, our 'opening day' and with it comes the
warm and fuzzy mix of emotions all fly fishers
are blessed with. How to take the necessary gear.
By that I mean, not to take too much and not to
leave anything really important out.
That makes me nervous. As you may figure, we
are expected to have just the right stuff and
never make any mistakes. Ya, right. Perfect
casts, always the correct rod, reel, line,
leader, tippet and fly. And not lose fish
either. Fun. Well, really, it is fun. We
are blessed to have a great assortment of
fly fishing gear and plenty of friends who
take pity on us occasionally with the loan
of a fly or two. I have started to make my
little piles of reel and rods on one end of
the davenport (living room of course) (remember,
I am married to the LadyFisher!) (I can get away
The actual fishing will take place on a spring
creek south of town which starts at a hatchery
and below their fence anyone can fish. Free.
But it is catch and release of course. The
little stream wanders along the bottom of a
wide desert type valley creating a series of
runs and pools. Very little drop to any of it
so there is no white water or riffles of any kind.
The rainbow will take almost anything that resembles
food. There are a lot of scud-type bugs crawling about
on the weeds and a nice pale morning dun hatch almost
daily. Casting can be anything from practically dapping
from a stream bank to long and delicate dry fly
presentations. Best fishing is like anywhere else,
mornings and evenings. During the mid part of the
day, about ten o'clock really, the breeze picks
up and can make putting a fly where you want it
a bit of a contest.
Because of the conditions like that we both
use very fast graphite five weight rods. Not
the greatest choice when you have a big trout
flopping on a 5X or 6X leader but it works
for us. Times like that a nice soft rod would
be fun, but it takes the fast rods to get the
line out there. Often, on the pond sections,
I have laid forty or fifty feet of line tipped
with a size 18 dry. That's a long way for a
dry-fly cast; when you see it get sipped in,
you really need to pay attention.
Another element enters our venture, the arrival
of the new bamboo fly rod for the LadyFisher.
It's been a long time in the works and I have
been informed (Ron Kusse called me) that the
rod will ship on Monday to be delivered Wednesday.
This is a very special five weight, a quad (square,
four strips) rod; very smooth and powerful. She has
been waiting for this for a few years now and will
make the first casts of it on the upper main pond at
Rocky Ford. A couple of years ago she was awarded
a special commemorative fly reel by Hardy and I
bit-the-bullet and bought her a brand new silk
line for the combination. Ron Kusse is a close
friend and he went the extra mile on the rod;
she is thrilled and honored to have it.
So much for 'opening day jitters,' on now on
to the packing and more piles of gear. We both
look forward to seeing old friends again and
hopefully making new ones. It's been a long
tough winter, both time wise and health wise.
We need to get out and make some new memories.
See you in two weeks, unless you can join us
at the 'Central Washington Fish-In.' ~ James Castwell