Maybe there really is a siren song
of Lorelei - or it could be some ancient heritage that
evolutionists credit for our human development. Whatever
the base cause, the effect is I love big water. Read that
any big water, salt water especially!
There is a sense of largesse, and
being totally out of control in the seemingly endless expanse of
water that humbles me. The overwhelming beauty and power
of the sea, teaming with fascinating varieties of life, congers
up visions of all the places in the world that touch on the same
salt water. Constantly changing colors and shadows everywhere
I look. Humbling and tremendously uplifting at the same time.
What a wonderful experience. I don't have to fish to enjoy
the experience. But . . .
There is a special connection between
the fly fisher standing thigh-deep in the ocean, casting for
the fish of the month. The sea is a living breathing thing. The
pulse is the waves pushing rhythmically against my waders is
almost sexual. The ebb and flow of the current and the tidal
changes . . . standing in it I become part of it. My casting,
rhythmic, only adds to the connection.
It's not about numbers, or the weight of
the fish. It is the connection. It is being there. Being part of
it. Catching and landing a fish is icing on the cake. A really big
fish? Whipped cream on the cake.
If you would like to join the numbers of
fly anglers who are making this connection, (some even enduring
wind, squalls and crashing waves,) and have not fly fished the
salt, here are some suggestions - and a warning . . . it is addictive!
Still water fishing, (lakes,) can be a lovely
experience. Quiet, calm, with the challenge of personal knowledge
of the right fly at the right time, and if you are lucky, some idea
of the whereabouts of the trout in a given season.
Fly fishing the salt is not quiet. Although
it can be as peaceful in your own head as you decide to make it.
Wading into the salt does take some getting used to. I had a
student who became disoriented with the waves and current
and wasn't quite sure where he was. He is much more
comfortable on streams and ponds.
Tides become important. When do the
high and low times occur? Some fishers swear by one or another.
Exclusively! They simply would not fish the other. My advice
is try it all. High tide, low tide, slacks, incoming, outgoing - the
whole range. We have taken fish on all of them.
Fishing incoming tides can be a wet
experience if you don't keep an eye on how fast the tide
is coming in. And the speed on the incoming tide changes
from moon to moon! A safe bet is to take a step backwards
from time to time. Or check how close the water is to the top
of your waders. Some of use take a step forward on the final cast.
It's easy to get so caught up in the fishing that you end up
shipping a lot of water. But as my dad used to say, "It's only
water, you'll dry." Gratefully, neoprene waders keep you
warm until you finish fishing. The trip home might be a little
wet 'tho. More on the salt next time. ~ LadyFisher
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