Casting Contrast May 8, 2018 – Posted in: Adventure, Vedavoo – Tags: adventure, fly fishing, vedavoo, vedavoo vise
I left the Boston suburbs at five in the morning.
I was walking on the Pennsylvania spring creek at one in the afternoon.
A lot happened from dawn to dusk. Traffic, cold water, gas station hot dogs, rising trout, mountain overlooks, lost flies, sleeping in the backseat, and lots of other little things. A long day of non-fishing stuff is the quintessential day fishing.
Objectively, there is a huge contrast between casting delicate dry flies in a meadow stream and doing 74mph, windows down, cranking Pink Floyd. But if you fish, you know that they go hand-in-hand. Getting to fishing is part of fishing, eating and drinking after (and during) fishing is part of fishing. Getting lost in a mildly unsettling backwoods town looking for a gas station hot dog is part of fishing. Adventure is part of fishing.
Adventure certainly includes backpacking into remote wilderness spots and canoeing into the relative unknown. But there is a lot to be said for the urban escapades that typify so many fly fishers’ experiences. Whether it be chasing carp in city canals or casting to wily trout within earshot of the highway, a lot of anglers go where so many already are in pursuit of fish.
The sunshine meant fishing big streamers in the deep pools and undercut banks.
The arrival of twilight meant switching over to tiny BWOs and sulphur emergers.
Actually, there can be contrast even while fishing. Even within fly fishing, throwing a Euro nymph rig on a ten-foot graphite three-weight is a far cry from stripping articulated streamers on a fiberglass six-weight. Or, you might even see someone doing the novel thing of casting dries using bamboo.
All have their place. Sometimes, that place is the same place at the same time. Two anglers, two preferences. Or: one angler, two rods, a lot of machinations, but inexplicably a lot of fish.
If fish are anything, they aren’t consistent. Size 16 March Browns might have worked yesterday, and they might have worked a year ago today, but for some reason today you can’t buy a fish with a size 16 March Brown. They want woolly buggers, egg patterns, and… mop flies. But try that tomorrow and they’ll (rightfully) spook.
“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.”
– Herman Melville
The different parts within the culture of fly fishing come together to make fly fishing what it is.
One caddisfly species might be in the nymphal form today, whereas tomorrow the fish will be looking for the emerger. But another mayfly is in the spinner fall, and some fish are keying in on that. And, of course, you can always drag a big streamer through the deepest pools.
In the bigger picture, the morning coffee is so amazing because it is tied to putting on waders in the dark – which is wonderful because it means you get to walk into the river. That just might lead to catching fish. If not, at least you had the coffee and the experience of being in the water.
Recently I had the Boston to Pennsylvania, streamers to dries experience described above. Even though I did my research on what hatches to expect and what weather I’d encounter, I’ve fished long enough to know that I shouldn’t drive 400 miles without bringing some “contingency” gear.
And while I wasn’t ever too far from my car, I chose to wear my Vedavoo Beast Sling. The Beast is the largest of our three core sling packs. If you wanted to, you could put a dozen Tacky boxes in one. I had a box of dries, two of nymphs, one of little streamers, one of big streamers, one for midges, and a little cup with a few mice in it. I had other gear in the main pouch, too. Plus, all my tools and tippet were clipped to the outside of the pack.
Just as importantly, it stayed right where it was supposed to be – squarely on the center of my back. Even though it was full, it didn’t cause any fatigue after a long day of casting and walking. Like all the other Vedavoo slings, it was built to ride on the non-casting shoulder.
If you’re going to be on the water all day and away from the car, need a big box of meaty streamers, or just like having everything you might need, check out the Beast.
Vedavoo VISE is going to be on May 21st
If you are anywhere near our Leominster, Massachusetts workshop we’d love to have you join our growing community! Fly tyers of all skill levels are welcome to come on out for food, fun, and fish talk. Head to the VISE page to get signed up.