Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
August 28th, 2000

It's All About Technique

By Sam M. Stroder

Nymphing on the San Juan

It's been my general experience that flyfishing is a technical sport, requiring stealth and precision to successfully match wits with a worthy adversary. Particularly as it pertains to nymph fishing on the San Juan River, the drift must be flawless, the strike detection acute, the hook set responsive, and the tight line retrieve carefully controlled. Perfect technique is obviously the key to success.

Just about the time I've completely succumbed to that ego-padding, mano-a-mano promoting mentality, I encounter a trout whose behavior quickly reminds me of its species' true position on the lower end of the animal kingdom's intelligence ladder.

Case in point: On a March 2000 trip to the famous San Juan River I had exhausted my luck in a particular location and was relocating upriver. I didn't mind the boulder jumping, cliff climbing, rock skating effort required to relocate very far on the north bank of the upper main channel (a.k.a. Abe's Run), but I was too lazy to retrieve my line and dual fly rig prior to moving. Besides, my vast fishing experience has taught me that trolling crankbaits through Lake Hubbard Creek back in Texas works well for sand bass, so why shouldn't a miniscule imitation nymph drug upriver in a completely unrealistic, counter-current fashion meet with similar fish-catching results?

While trolling, I mean relocating, I was surprised by what sounded over the roar of my dropper fly's wake. Anyway it sounded like the water re-entry of an airborne fish. My suspicions were confirmed when I turned in time to see the 16" rainbow elevate yet again, this time only 10 or so feet from me. Close enough, in fact, for me to detect a leader dangling from its mouth. Only then did I realize that my flyline was moving as well. Now it's been a while since I played connect the dots, but I did recall select differential equations and other higher level math skills obtained with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. So I integrated, and differentiated, and interpolated, and ultimately succeeded in mathematically proving that the two different sections of moving line were actually connected in the middle. HEY, that fish is on my fly!

The rainbow's subsequent tug confirmed my conclusion, and I promptly proceeded to land the plump trout with my size 22 foam-wing emerger (beautifully tied, I might add) firmly lodged in its upper lip.

So much for my proper drift, strike detection, hookset, or even retrieve, this fish had caught himself. I guess that God just blesses the less-than-competent with an added measure of good fortune occasionally, probably just cause we, . . . 'er, . . . they need it.
~ Sam M. Stroder

All rights reserved by Sam M. Stroder

Lighter Side Archive

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice