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Saturday marked the first day of my foray into the wonders of fly fishing.  Since I have this love affair with trout, I decided in order to properly pursue my passion I must take up fly fishing.  After all, Dustin told me I would not catch any Montana trout on my spin rod.  Having been with Dustin 2 1/2 years and never witnessing a catch on his fly rod, I enter this hobby with trepidation.  During a dreary, damp, rainy day my introduction to this hobby began.  Matt, owner of Rainbow Fly Shop in Independence, served as a great instructor.  He worked with me one on one for nearly three hours.  Not to mention, all the help and encouragement I received from the guys hanging around tying flies.  It was a quite unique and spirit lifting morning.  Casting a fly rod is a lot more in depth than one would expect, it is more like an art form.  Its wrists(for me, more wrist than it should be…argh!), shoulders and forearms working in a fluid motion to get the line where you want it. 

After learning just enough to get me into trouble, it was time to select a rod.  I have very small hands, and this proved problematic in finding a rod I was comfortable with.  I finally chose an Orvis Silver Label from the trade in rack.  I liked it initially because it fit in my hand the best, (save for the TFO rod I loved, but only was a 2 piecer) but after using it in the field, it seems kind of stiff.  I was getting a good arc in my rod during class, but I seem to have a harder time getting that with this one.  I’m going by the fly shop tonight to talk with Matt a little more.

As for actually using my fly rod to fish, well that time came Sunday morning at Bennett Springs.  To say it was a catastrophe might be down playing it just a bit.  Dustin, already pissy because of the rain and 3am wake up call, was impatient with me.  Me, being already frustrated and consumed with trying to fly fish, turned pissy with him.  I had a fish on, but I had no idea what to do.  I had line everywhere, but no tension.  The fish swam free.  It sure was a rough start.  After composing ourselves out of the water, we ventured back down to the spring.    Things were better for us here, but still no fish.  After about an hour and a half with no bites, we decided to get some coffee.  We got back to the car just in time for the torrential down pour.  I said to Dustin, “lets wait it out”, but was interrupted by a NWS weather alert that warned of slow moving thunderstorms producing over an inch of rain an hour, and of course a subsequent Flash Flood Warning.  Our first fly fishing trip came to an abrupt halt.  Equipped with wet clothes, growling bellies and no fish stories, the 2.5 hour drive home was less than fun.  Be as it may, I am not deterred.  I know this will take practice, and I plan to do just that. I think we had grandioso ideas for my first time.  Tonight, I hope to fish somewhere more appropriate to my level of fly fishing prowess; perhaps I can convince Dustin to take me to a pond this evening.   

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This is the fish that hooked me on trout. He may be itty bitty, but he jumped out of the water, and to me that sealed the deal.  Someday, I’ll get one on my fly rod…I just know it.  

Ever hopeful,

Stephanie

Written by Stephanie Mullins

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