The stream was only about twenty-five wide, flowing
from my left to my right, but the wind was coming up
and from my casting hand side. Perfect place for an
almost automatic left-hand curve cast. Unfortunately
the only person I impressed was myself. But those casts
did look great.
I was at the throat of the first pond at Rocky Ford
spring creek on Mother's Day weekend. A motley crew
had assembled for our annual 'Central Washington Fish-In,'
and this day most had actually gone to some lakes for
some giggle-fishing (C&R panfish), so my wife and I had
this area all to ourselves. She had crossed a small
bridge and set up shop right across from where I was
fishing but she was casting into the wind, out onto
the pond itself and I was concentrating on the flow
There were some dandy rainbow there, most of the
time I could see the fish and would be trying to
present my size 20 bwo so it would neither drag
nor sink nor scare the bejeebers out of any when
it had swung through its drift and I picked it
back up for another cast. I was standing on a
sloping bank and you can see her in some pictures
I took from where I was fishing.
OK, so my casts were good. After all these years
they better be. I was using a Sage ultra-fast TCR
because I (make that, we) needed often there to
drive our casts into or alongside of the wind in
this spring creek valley. Now, these 'bows' were
all pretty big. Bigger than many of are used to
finding. Well, at least I am used to finding. Small
would be sixteen to eighteen inches ranging up to
whoppers of twenty-eight. Most of the ones we caught
ran around eighteen to twenty four. Remember, barbless
little size twenty bwo.
To make it all possible we used a hunk of really
stretchy (Frog-Hair) tippet material. The fish
never got anything much to pull against. That's
a good combination and we have done that many
times in the past. We are fortunate to have a
wide range of rods to choose from. Yes, it does
make a difference. And I still admire the guy
who fishes for everything using just one rod.
Those guys are good. They have to be.
Anyway, I would make my cast quartering about
forty degrees upstream, stop the rod just enough
to make the line straighten out in the air and
recoil enough to give me some controlled slack
for the middle of the stream, while allowing
the wind coming from my right hand side to blow
the fly to the left; upstream. Throw a quick small
roll-cast mend upstream and drop the rod tip and
control the slack. Lord, those casts were text book.
But there is a problem to doing it that way.
Accuracy. It can leave a little to be desired.
Why is it that when I, and several guys I
personally know, why is it that when we make
a cast and the fly doesn't go exactly (I mean,
to the inch) of where we think it should, we
want to rip it up and re-cast it? I know I am
not alone on this. I have asked around, even
on this last FI. Yup, they all admitted the
feeling is there.
Don't get me wrong, I don't do it anymore, but
that old urge is still there. Fish them out. I
know most of you do that but I wanted to make a
point of it for the newbies and a reminder for
us old birds. I am not going to say, "How many
times I have caught good fish on the end of a
swing of a broken cast," but I am sure I have.
I do know of one for sure. My dry Adams type
fly sunk at the end of the drift and some fish
took it about two inches under water. Humiliating.
Anyway, fish out those broken casts for both
reasons. You probably won't scare any nearby
fish and you just might catch one. After all,
when you have a really good, high riding,
dragless dry fly out there, why not leave it
there? So it's not in exactly the best spot
according to you. Big deal. You could get
lucky. Fish them out.
I fished from this spot for at least half an hour,
Deanna had caught a nice bow from here a few minutes
before me and I liked the conditions. Those were some
of the finest, best presented, well mended casts I
have ever done. Never got a hit, but did see one
nice one drift back under it for about two feet
and then stick his nose back down and wiggle back
to his resting place. Like I said, I never had a
hit from there, but it was mid day, the fish were
full from the morning, the sun was high, the hatch
was over and the spinner fall had not started and
the solunar tables were in bad shape and I was not
wearing my lucky argyle socks.
I had a great time. Actually did catch some fish
at various other spots on the creek, just not
right there. Had a nice chat with a guy and his
wife who drove into the parking lot but could
not fish as they could not buy a fishing license.
It seems that on Sunday, Mothers Day, the state
of Washington's computer system (where you buy
your licenses) was 'down.' No one could buy one
anywhere in the state they told us. They were
not really happy about fact. They had fished
there for several years and were astounded when
I told them I had been using a dry fly. No kidding.
They always used scuds and didn't know that these
fish could be caught on dries.
I also was informed that I should fish here in
the winter, January is best, the wind blows hard
and it knocks the scuds off of the grasses growing
along the shore line. The fish go on a feeding
frenzy all day long. See, I learn something new
Oh, by the way, I have removed the posting from
the Bulletin Board. It was getting out of control
and I was only kidding when I suggested a banding
project for mayflies to follow their mating habits.
And the guy who put up the posters of a 'found cat'
and used the pictures of a possum made my day. ~ James Castwell