Line of Sight – Part 1 of 3

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

The breeze is very light, with hardly a ripple on the surface; the high cloud cover comes and goes. Right now, somewhere between my rod tip and the fly that’s down there bumping along near the bottom of the hole or pin-balling from rock to smooth round rock, a rainbow trout has taken an interest. It’s not an admirer of fine art (I know that because I’m the one who tied this fly). It sees the soft hackle wave gently and does a quick mental comparison against its inborn list of colors, sizes, shapes and memories. It makes a decision, since in another moment the subject of its attention will sweep silently by.

What does it decide? If it passes on the offering, the path by which the fly is connected back to me makes little difference (unless something about my leader is what convinces it to ignore).

But if it chooses to grab, then either it can do so aggressively to ensure another nearby fish doesn’t beat it to the prize, or it can just delicately inhale the lump of feathers and fur. The choice is up to the individual fish.

Fish will strike depending on their species personality, availability of food, degree of competition for it, apprehension about lurking dangers, and attitude of the day…the last of which we can only guess at until it reveals itself to us. I’ve always loved the aggressive take; it sends the electric charge through my heart and soul that I came hoping to feel. But there’s a subtle joy in capitalizing on the soft or stealthy take, too, and it’s only experienced by those who have meticulously tuned themselves to it.

I don’t use strike indicators. I can’t say for sure why, although I can babble out lots of reasons. I know that the indicator technique has resulted in probably 10x the number of trout taken annually by average-joe anglers like myself…yes I do know that. I know that avoiding indicators may have ensured that more strikes go unseen by me than the strikes I’ve noticed, across the years. I know that indicators are cheap and come in a wide array of types and are easy to attach…and I know that large dry flies serve as indicators (and on some waters can also realistically serve as a fly offering too). I know all that.

I just can’t use them. I would first of all have to heave an unwieldy string of objects out there, all hinging and plopping…and my casting isn’t that good to begin with. I HATE ugly casts…and I make enough of them as it is. And then I’d have to watch a little round floating thingie, which by its very digital nature does one of two things: Disappear, or not disappear. Oh, I guess maybe it can sometimes also slide slightly in a direction while it disappears.

Continue reading → Line of Sight – Part 1 of 3

Enjoying Fiberglass Fly Rods

Written by Paul Beel: J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team Leader and owner of FrankenFly

Through the years I have owned and casted many fly rods and for a good portion of those years I used what I could afford to use at the time. At one point I purchased an Eagle Claw Fiberglass Fly Rod for $45.00. It was a 4/5 weight and I used it exclusively. It performed very well and at such a cheap cost, it was most definitely a bargain.

As time passed by I purchased other rods which were mostly graphite. However, that first fiberglass rod had an impact on me and I began reading online websites like The Fiberglass Manifesto and joining the forum The Fiberglass Flyrodders. These places love fiberglass fly rods and discuss them still to this day.

I then bought my first custom built fiberglass fly rod from Midwest Custom Fly Rods.  The advantage of a custom built fly rod is that you get to select what you want on the rod. You can select the cork, reel seat, guides, hook keeper and color of wraps around the rod. Sometimes you have the option of picking the color of the rod, but that’s not always the case. Some rod blanks only come in a specific color and some of them have limited colors.

Of course receiving and fishing this custom build just added to the fiberglass rod enjoyment that I had already experienced in the past and just made me want another one.

Continue reading → Enjoying Fiberglass Fly Rods

Averting Doom – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Part I of this article dealt with wading mishaps. Part II will discuss other risks.

Myself, if I ever actually took a swim while wading, I’d be thinking, “Now keep yer head. Avoid the primary catastrophe here. People have gotten wet before…no biggie. That fly box I just dropped can be replaced…I can ruin my electronic car keys and camera and phone…all replaceable…my waders can fill and drag me down and I can go unconscious and end up miles downstream with amnesia…I can even never come up at all and wind up a statistic in tomorrow’s newspaper…all that I can accept. What I can’t accept is if I break this fine hand-made fly rod.”

So keep the wand above your head, or toss it out in the water in front of you, or flip around and splash down nose-to-sky. Just don’t land on the rod.

Figure 2

Gear risks are common in gear-intensive sports, and the finer the gear the more nervous we get. Among the most common risks I’ve fallen prey to is hiking down riverside paths to a likely or favorite hole and finding myself being lightly caressed by briars. It’s not a big deal until I realize there’s now a leak in my prized waders. It’s worth carrying a stick to ensure a clear path, or failing that, to carefully “walk down” those wispy briar branches until there’s zero chance of getting grabbed by one. But then don’t make the mistake of thinking later that the path is clear on your return hike! Other anglers may have come by, and even if not, briar branches have a way of getting themselves back up across paths, like sinister spider webs intent on snaring a hapless fisherman.

Continue reading → Averting Doom – Part 2