The warm evening settled gently about Caster as he delicately let the 16 Adams
dance the eddy off the end of the fallen cedar log. Presenting upstream at a slight
angle, he stripped in line as the fly drifted back. The take was nearly imperceptible
and solid. A slight roll by the aged brown drove the hook well into the corner of his
mouth. With years of practice Caster picked up the tip of the rod and held firm to the
line. As with browns, it went deep and help briefly, then out into the current and
upstream, mist from the obliging reel mixed with the tension of the moment.
But, unlike a younger fish, the seasoned veteran of the pool turned abruptly and following
one of the weed channels headed downstream past Caster. He tried to keep control of his
line by winding the reel, then choose instead to strip great lengths of line with his left hand,
the coils falling about his feet.
This would ultimately be his undoing as the line eagerly entangled itself with some of the
grass in the moving water. He would not notice until the great fish reversed course a
second time and bore back upstream. Poor Caster did not have a chance. He could not
get the line loose from the grass fast enough. The score? Old Brown trout one; Caster zero.
My point here. Do not let this happen to you. Well, at least try not to let it
happen. How? Use the reel! Oh, but why bother, most of the fish are so small that you
can handle the line. I can't argue with that. Except, I do not. I put every fish on the reel
as fast as I can. For me, it is good practice. And has paid me well for the effort more
Usually I will be fishing areas where the water is moving; sea shore, stream, or float-tube.
Ever have a fish get tangled in your fly line as you are trying to land it? Can be loads of fun.
So far as I can see there is no good reason not to put the fish on the reel as
soon as possible.
And a whole lot of good ones to do it. ~ J Castwell
(PS) I don't care if the 'Big-Boys' on TV don't do it; they should.