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 Post subject: Raisng the Bar
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:49 am • # 1 
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Joined: 08/13/10
Posts: 135
If you will indulge me I would like to tell you about my good friend and fishing buddy. The first time we met it was in an out door orientated shop that has a fly fishing section. We started talking about where to fish and I gave him my e-mail in case he had any questions. I thought nothing more of the exchange presuming it would be like so many such meetings that simply fade away.

Later that evening I got an e-mail from this fella with a few questions. Needless to say I was quite surprised and excited at the opportunity to pass on some of the information that had been shared with me over the prior 30 years or so of fly fishing. I answered the questions and invited Dale to head out on an evening trip my son and I had planned for a couple of days later.

It was a wonderful evening and we were headed to a little tailwater my son and I like to fish. It had a few bigger fish but plenty of challenging smaller fish. This river normally flows very clear and in spots is glassy smooth. This was the case on this evening. We were hoping to find some evening Sulphurs or Blue Wing Olives.

Josh, my son was 11 at the time and already an accomplished caster. He had little trouble dropping his fly exactly where he wanted to at 40’ with his 2wt. We both landed a few small browns. As we all know most new fly fisherman struggle a bit and Dale was no exception.

This water was low and clear with very smart fish swimming in it. Josh was fishing his 2wt and I had my 1wt. Dale had brought his 5wt as that was his lightest rod. I wondered how this would go and how Dale would react.

It did not take long before I had answers to a few questions I had been wondering. As the hatch started to slow I worked a few remaining rising fish. At one point I took a quick look down stream to see Josh and Dale picking up rocks in the riffle and inspecting the bottoms of the rocks.

On the way home the questions flowed at an amazing rate. Dale also shared with me that Josh was telling him about the many different nymphs and what they would hatch into.

This was the spring of 2012, the year my son and I fished 100 days and fly fished in 3 different states and one territory.

Now let’s jump forward to last Friday, It has been roughly 2 years that Dale and I have been fly fishing together. He now ties very nice flies, builds his own rods and has very solid casting skills.

We decided to head to one of our favorite rivers and the one we fish the most these days. It is an amazing tailwater with some very tough fish. It is also a 3 hour drive each way. In spite of the distance we do day trips to this wonderful river and make every effort to go every week.
When we arrive everything is as we had hoped. It is over cast and the water is low and clear. The Olives should start pouring off shortly. It was not long before I had a nice 16” Brown in the net. How and where I got him was perfection but this story is not about me.

This story is about Dale and how hard he has worked to get where he is today, a fly fisherman I respect. That is not easy to accomplish because when it comes to fly fishing I am an absolute snob. I don’t mean the guy who has the nicest gear, it is much worse.

I am the guy who will suggest casting lessons to people. I am the guy who laughs when someone tries to pick up 30’ of full sink line. I was in a shop once when a fella wanted a new rod because he didn’t put it back in the tube and smashed it in the hatch of his SUV. I told him I didn’t think the warranties covered stupidity. I can drop a fly on a dinner plate at 60 and does it with inexpensive gear. I do not tolerate posers.

Dale spent the entire day working seams, slots and edges to land one fish. He landed a little 5” brown that took his Olive cripple. Dale probably had no idea how proud I was of him at that moment. You should know the fishing was very tough on this morning.

The bugs were small and hatching in different spots for very short windows. To make matters worse many of the better fish were lying very tight to banks in very shallow water. Dale had just hooked a Brown in less than a foot of water.

The trip home was not one of disgust at all. Dale could not wait to get home and get back to his vise so he would be ready to head back up there as soon as possible. On the ride we talked about how the fish had moved to the slack water after the hatch and were feeding on spinner and cripples.

We talked about the rods were were both building and how the fishing was really exciting because it had been so tough. At no point did he complain about the day. He wished he had connected with some of the fish he met and how to fix that but no complaints.

In this day of instant gratification this young man, my fiend has chosen the high road. Dale has put his time in and still works hard to improve his skills. He is an accomplished fly fisherman and some day he will be an great fly fisherman because he is will to put his time in.

Dale, thanks for letting me share your journey.

 Post subject: Re: Raisng the Bar
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:23 am • # 2 
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Joined: 06/19/10
Posts: 1926
Location: Chile
Nice story, thanks for sharing it

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