This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

May 17th, 2004

Sharing Knowledge

Every Fish-In has it's own personality - I've already seen a bit of a report of the Deerfield River Fish-In this weekend, and that one seems to have some battles with nature.

We were very fortunate on the recent Central Washington Fish-In, the weather was great - in fact if anything it was unseasonably warm on Friday. I recall a 90 degree exterior reading on our car thermometer leaving early afternoon - tough fishing. (Well not if you are in the Bahamas,) but not what one expects in eastern Washington in late April!

The one common denominator seems to be the willingness of everyone to share what they have, what they know, how to, where to - all the special things which can make any fly fishing trip more than just going - it translated into catching for most of those attending.

I had a report from Vicky Eagle Elk about how helpful Denny Conrad had been in showing her more about reading the water. He took the time and effort to explain how the currents in a particular place worked, and how the fish took advantage of the currents to bring food right to them. Conservation of energy fits in here, a fish will use as little energy as possible to get its food. If the fish uses up more than he gets from the food, it doesn't grow, much less survive.

Vicky's fishing experience had been on bigger water where it isn't possible to see the sort of things Denny pointed out, so for her it was a super learning experience. Her casting is good enough to put the fly where she was directed, and once she understood the dynamics of the stream currents, it translated into a couple very nice rainbows! There is a nice photo of Vicky with one of those fish in the Central Washington Fish-In Photos page. Just nothing like success is there?

Fly Fishing can be broken down into some very basic parts, which when followed in succession can produce terrific results.

A few years ago we took a couple of our students up to Point No Point on the Admiralty Inlet of Puget Sound (saltwater) to fish for silver salmon. One of the people was a commercial airline pilot, who really wanted to catch a salmon. We have fished there often from time to time and knew what should happen on a particular tide. We walked out to the end of the 'point' and watched as a rip developed where it should. I pointed to a particular spot, and told our pilot friend, Butch, to put a cast 'there.' He did. He stripped as instructed and bang - he was on a nice silver salmon. His first. He was absolutely thrilled. He even landed it correctly!

You could say we got lucky, but we knew the fish were there (but I sure couldn't guarantee that today) and they came in to feed on baitfish on the tide change. Those who fish the salt regularly know where the fish should be and why. It doesn't always work out, but when it does it can be spectacular.

If you are fishing with a guide, that's just part of their job. Yours is to learn from them!

What we had at the CWFI were a lot of folks 'guiding' other FAOL folks to success. We saw it in fly tying, sharing of flies which were working on one section of the stream or another - pointing out feeding fish, fish who were cruising looking for food, and even a word of warning about spotting a rattlesnake on a path downstream.

If you have the opportunity to take part in any Fly Anglers OnLine Fish-In, do it. We have a wonderful group of readers - probably the best you will find anywhere in the world. It's an honor for my husband, JC/Castwell, and I to be part of these Fish-In's when we can.

There are at least three scheduled for the remainder of '04. The Roscoe Fish-In, Monday, May 31st through Sunday, June 6th, the Idaho Fish-In, Sept 19 - 25, and a new one, the Ozark's Fish-In October 21-24 in Branson Mo. We will have more information up on the Ozark Fish-In soon. The others are listed on our Fish-In Menu (just click on Fish-Ins on the main menu). You'll have a great time!

We are looking forward to the Idaho Fish-In - October Caddis time! Join us! ~ The LadyFisher

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