Tag Archives: fly fishing advice

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. more…

Averting Doom – Part 1

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

I sit here recalling with an occasional shudder the close calls I’ve had while fly fishing–situations either foreseeable or unexpected that could have been very bad. I thought I’d recall a few of them here.

Naturally risk to self outweighs risk to gear, and as a wading angler most of what I’ve come up against involves danger of drowning. I drove from Ohio to the American west coast as a college student once, got myself up into the High Sierra, and found a little trout stream near a campground. I could see the small pebbles on the bottom so clearly that I knew it was only a foot or so deep, so despite its swiftness I donned my four-dollar vinyl waders and stepped off the bank. And I was in no way a stranger to the wild, or to Mother Nature, either, yet still I was caught by complete surprise that the shallow clear water was actually at least eight feet deep, and that those pebbles were boulders far down below me. “Where the @!*%[email protected] did the bottom go…I was aimin’ right for it, how could I have missed?!” I thought as I went in over my wader tops, saving myself from a brutal flume ride down a swift narrow mountain gorge by clinging to some thorny briars that had thankfully elected to hang over the edge right there. A bad experience turned into no more than a night of shivering in an open-air sleeping bag and a couple of bloodied-by-briars hands to remind me that I was in The West, dang it, where water was clearer than Ohio’s air.

Figure 1

As I wised up (across decades, I admit), and especially now that I’ve spent the last few years teaching my child fly fishing and wading…and thinking about the perils in a more serious way, I found that the primary risks to taking a swim while wading are: more…

Nymphing Subtleties: Part 1

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

This is a two-part series on nymphing in low water conditions.

A few years ago, Wisconsin changed the opener of the pre-season catch and release season from the first Saturday in March to the first Saturday in January. If you live in the upper Midwest, you know that January is usually when we experience a stretch of sub-zero weather. You may be thinking, is this guy nuts (That’s a separate discussion we can have over a beer or two!)? However, in this case, we were experiencing a heat wave with temperatures approaching freezing and bright sunshine. The radiant energy in the sunshine is enough to minimize the ice in the guides and the reel, so I decided to go fly fishing.

I checked my fishing log to see what I usually use in the early pre-season and proceeded to rig my rod with a float indicator, a #6 bead head olive wooly bugger, and an 18-inch dropper to a bead head silver lightning bug. Within a few casts it became clear this was not a good choice as I was spending most of my time walking through my best spots getting my flies unsnagged from rocks and other debris on the bottom of the river. more…