Part One hundred sixty-four
Panfish Chat- Host Ron Kusse
Monday. 6-8 p.m. PST (9-11 EST)
Share the Fun
By Richard D. Zieger, O.D., Lamoni, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
Because I am never sure that I will not mess up a rod or line I always
have two rods, minimum, with me. This has allowed me to let several
folks try fly fishing.
First let me tell you that me first fly rod came from a hardware store
that was selling out. I walked in and pick the rod, with an automatic
reel on it, to look at it. The owner told me that f I gave him ten
dollars it was mine. I have a hard time walking away from a deal like
that. I ended up walking out of the store with that outfit.
I bought a line out of a catalogue and tied some 4 lb test line for a
leader. I was in a sporting goods store a few weeks later just looking
at things and they had a bunch of flies there were trying to get rid of.
There were about three dozen odds and ends flies left. When I asked what
they would take for the whole bunch the manager let me have them for
five bucks. Having tied a few of my own I know why they were so cheap.
The next weekend I was out fishing with my usual spinning gear and just
not catching the fish I could see because they were tight to the bank
and the splash of the lure spooked them. In desperation I grabbed the
fly rod and with brute strength and great determination threw the fly
about twelve feet, without parting the Red Sea from the force of the
cast. A really dumb gill hit the fly and I was hooked. I caught about 65
gills from 7 to 10 inches. I lost about six flies to bass that hit them
and went into the weeds.
I knew there was a guy in town who went to Montana to trout fish and I
pestered him to give me a short lesson on casting. He gave me a ten
minutes lesson on what to do.
Made me keep a bottle of Pepsi under my armpit while I was casting. Gave
me the idea of what to do and I practiced some after that.
Caught a lot of fish on that rod and then began to collect some more.
One of the companies I do business with was having a promotion for doing
business with them and I won a Berkley outfit from them. I have picked
up many more rods and reels since then.
Several times when I would be out fishing someone would come by and say
that it sure looked like fun to do, but that they had never tried it. I
pick up that first rod and tell them that they will never learn any
younger. I give them the rudiments of casting and let them try. All of
them have enjoyed the opportunity.
I know of four of these individuals who bought fly outfits and have
done some fishing for warm water species that are in the ponds and lakes
here. I see them out fishing ever once in a while. I have tied flies for
all of them to use. None of them have gotten into tying but that may
The big thing, I think, is that I have the rod that they can use. I have
had much more than $10 of fun out of it. If it does break or get messed
up it will present me with the opportunity to upgrade with another rod.
It is great fun to watch someone cast with the fly rod and see that it
is not really impossible to do. It is also fun to see them catch fish on
the fly and to land it. Most of them want to keep on casting and
catching fish. Most are amazed that by buying a combination outfit they
could get into this for the same amount they have spend on conventional
I also have started giving them the fly they used on the rod. It is
a way for them to remember the experience and to have something in hand.
This is not a great expense. I end up giving about two dozen flies
away each year. Most of the flies I tie probably cost less than 25
cents to make. Probably is better for me to do this with
the money than to buy a candy bar to stuff my face with.
I would encourage you to think about doing this with one of your first
rods if you still have them around. If not you may find one at a garage
sale of estate sale that you could pick up to use for this. Simple way
to introduce people to the sport.
My favorite story is of a business man who lives about forty miles from me.
Met him at the lake one day as we were both fishing. I was catching fish
in about a 10:1 ratio to him.
He came over to see what I was doing and I got him started. He now goes
out on his lunch hour and spends 30 to 45 minutes at a pond near his
town. He has told me that his wife says he is easier to live with. His
blood pressure is down and he has lost some weight. Says that it is very
relaxing to him.
At least give it a thought. ~ ~ Rick
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