Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tweed & Cane

The weather has finally begun to feel like it's suppose to during late spring in Wisconsin.  Though the landscape displayed every shade of green imaginable last weekend, the cool temps, clouds, and rain reappeared for a few days, making the Driftless feel more like the chalk streams of England than the Dairy Heartland.  Fittingly, I donned a bit of thrift store tweed for the morning jaunt.
I am still in the process of building up my fly arsenal through tying and buying, but I already have accumulated many flies that have not seen the end of my tippet.  These are flies that have a reputation for catching trout, but I just haven't used them yet.  For that reason, I made the decision  to avoid my "confidence" flies as much as possible this season in order to try out more flies in my box.  It's been easy during my first few seasons of fly fishing to fall back on the half-dozen patterns that always seem to work.  This season I'm going to increase my number of "confidence" patterns--and I'm already off to a great start.  Each time I've hit the water so far this month, I've caught trout on at least two new patterns I had not fished before.  Some of these flies are patterns I've learned in my Thursday night tying class, but others are common patterns everyone knows about that I just have not fished yet. 

This guy/gal helped add one such fly to my confidence arsenal yesterday. 

Besides trying out some new flies last weekend, I also fished with a bamboo rod for the first time.  A friend loaned me their dad's old Orvis Battenkill to use on a couple stretches of water we visited, and I fittingly caught a long, skinny brook trout on my third cast.   
The rod was more whippy than I was use to, and I also had to adjust my muscle memory to the two feet of length that were absent, but there was something very aesthetically pleasing about the deep shades of the cane and the old Pflueger reel on its butt.  A bamboo rod may not be in my near future--I will happily return to my trusty St. Croix graphite for my next outing--but I can appreciate the split cane underworld a bit more now. 

Like a tweed hat on an overcast day, bamboo rods connect you to fly fishing's rich heritage.


  1. fabulous pics...the first one is my favorite of course, but the portrait has a perfect 70's fishing magazine look to it..haha

  2. Thanks for the loaner rod. I must say you've got a nice back cast going in that pic. I have a closer one from that same stretch in which you're grinning a crazy grin for who knows what reason. I'll send it to you later.

  3. Very cool! Good on you for taking the time to "look back and appreciate" -- or cast back -- as it were. And I love the tweed!