Down Channel

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

Pre-dawn, but the gate had been left open…and the hatchery gate was too, so I parked up near there and walked through, arriving at the river’s edge as high as a person is allowed–any further and I’d be in the dam release zone. The sky was brightening but I’d beaten the sun to the water by 20 minutes. The 5-weight 9-foot rod I’d made for myself the previous winter balanced nicely in my hand, flexing a little like I imagined a split bamboo classic might flex. I tied a little cased caddis worm of my own tie onto the 6x tippet and stepped in. Cold water drew a shiver right through the waders, but I knew the early June chill would soon dissipate.

Figure 1 — Headwater

A narrow tongue of swift flow needed crossing if I was to get to more comfortably wadable water, and that required some care. Below it was a hole six feet deep and a bit of a haystack standing wave atop it; I did not want to take a swim through that. I had no wading staff but made a mental note to buy one someday, hoping that commitment would be sufficient to save me on this morning. Shuffle one foot, then the other; keep as thin to the current as a man’s profile would allow…inches at a time…don’t lunge…almost across. To free up my arms for better balance, I got rid of the leader between my fingers by casting the fly up ahead of me, into a shallow pour-over against a little shoal. The loose end wouldn’t distract me now…shuffle again, and…uh…BUMP BUMP! Of all the…some early morning trout trying to interrupt my concentration here with a take on my fly! I did the right thing by allowing myself to miss the take, instead focusing on finding a surer foothold. My path shallowed and I climbed onto a gravel bank, now only ankle deep, past the danger. I stood at the edge of the shoal over which I had just cast.

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Choices (Always Choose Fly Fishing)

Guest Blogger: Allen Bell, republished from the Aguabonita Fly Fishers and Southern Sierra Fly Fishers club newsletters.

Expert Fly Tyers Passing Along Their Skills
Expert Fly Tyers Passing Along Their Skills

Young Trey had a choice to make. Would he rather have warm dry feet or does he want to catch a fish? What a dilemma this turned out to be. We were at the Southern Sierra Fly Fishers Club Kids Academy. I had just spent the day teaching young fly fishers how to tie flies. (Might be a good idea for me to learn how to do it properly myself before next year, but that’s another story.) I really enjoy doing the Kids Academy. I enjoy seeing my friends, I always like to give back to the sport in some small way. Mainly though, I like being around the kids. They have an exuberance about them that rubs off on me. That is the main reason I choose to participate in this event every year.

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Creature of Habitat

From Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, Author of ARCHANGEL, a suspense thriller…which has some fly fishing in it, and OPEN DISTANCE, a deep sea adventure thriller…all about watery habitat.

Beautiful River Rainbow
Beautiful River Rainbow

I’ve heard it said that trout live in beautiful places, and it takes no more than a single glance above their fluid world – at snow-blanketed ranges and breeze-cleansed, wildflower-strewn mountain meadows and soaring ospreys – to know that it is true. We do our best to protect their home…but why? Why do I care?

I’d become hooked on fly fishing long before, as a child, probably by reading some issue of Outdoor Life my Dad had subscribed to for my sake, but in those days my focus was on largemouth bass. I was growing up in Ohio, after all, and unless I wanted to toss poppers at catfish and carp, bass was the deal.

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