Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
December 31st, 2001

How To Save Fish Hooks
Ed Zern

By Ed Zern

Last year I was fishing the long pool below Cook's Falls on the Beaverkill, using my own version of the Dickey Fly tied on a No. 6 3X-long Allcock's Model Perfect hook. This is a freak hook, and even when Allcock's hooks were plentiful it was hard to find. If I hadn't cadged a few from Walt Dette, the Roscoe fly-tyer, I'd have been out of them.

I hooked a twelve-inch brown at the head of the pool, and since I didn't want the fish I brought him in close and reached down to twitch the fly out of his jaw. Somehow I got my hand messed up in the slack leader, and the fish broke off and swam away with the Dickey Fly hanging on his jaw.

I tied on a new fly and was just about to start fishing again when I noticed something flash in the water nearby, and saw it was the same fish, lying on his side in a foot-deep riffle and rubbing his jaw against a rock to dislodge the hook.

Because I wanted the hook back, I unslung my landing net, tiptoed slowly and carefully up behind the fish and slammed the net down on the water. It made a fine, big splash, but when I looked there was no fish in the net. In a minute I saw the fish about twenty feet away, still trying to rub off the fly.

The Best of Ed Zern

Again I snuck up behind him, as cautiously as I could, and slapped the net down on him, and again he ducked away. When the fish and I had repeated this routine three more times I heard voices, looked up and saw that six carloads of fishermen had stopped and were watching me.

"It was had enough when they brought in their spinning rods," one of them was saying. "This goofy bastard don't even use a rod!"

I thought of wading across the river and explaining the whole thing, but it seemed simpler just to throw rocks at the cars until they went away, so I did. ~ Ed Zern

Credits: From The Best of Ed Zern published by The Lyons Press.

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