Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fly Fishing In Harrisonburg, VA For Rainbow Trout

I knocked off an item on my bucket list yesterday - my youngest son Tim and I went out fly fishing in the Harrisonburg, VA area with a great guide named Jacob from Mossy Creek Fly Fishing.

Tim took a course at JMU on fly fishing, but it did not include actually going out on a river or stream to fly fish, so I told him that we would  do it before he graduates.  He graduates a week from this upcoming Friday, so we went yesterday.  While it was raining and 52 degrees, we still had a fantastic day fly fishing since we were learning (mostly me as Tim took a course) and landing rainbow trout.

I had never even cast a fly rod, so it was all new to me except for what I saw in the movies.  Here are some high level bits that I am documenting so when we go again I can remind myself and perhaps others might find it of interest.

  • Get a guide.  Jacob was great and took us through:
    • The basic of casting in a field before we got into the stream.
    • A cast that does not hit the water but is used for positioning where the fly will eventually land is called a false cast.
    • When you lay the fly down in the water you typically only let it float down stream 10 or 15 seconds before you do it again.
    • When you cast, the total range should be between 10 and 2 o'clock -- in other words, not big long motions put more restrained.
    • When you reel in a fly rod, many times you are "stripping" it which means you are reeling in by hand by pulling on the actual line itself and letting it drop to your side.
    • Common mistakes are not waiting long enough on the back swing as the line gets longer and this causes it do bunch up.  In other words, the longer the line, the longer you should wait on the 2 o'clock back swing before you move to 10'o clock.
    • The challenging and fun part of fly fishing is seeing where the fish (rainbow trout in our case) is in the water, having the right fly and casting it right where the trout will attack it and the properly setting the hook.  All easier said than done.
    • Just like with any other fishing, set the hook, put then you will need to PLAY with the fish, by letting it run when needed, but keeping it tight when it is coming toward you or tired so you don't loose the fish.  In other words - balance.

Above is Tim fly fishing and below he is with a great rainbow trout.

Below is a movie of Tim catching and landing the rainbow trout.

Below is the rainbow trout that I caught that I was thrilled about!

Above is me, Tim and Jacob back at Mossy Creek Fly Fishing where we had to pick up some t-shirts as additional memories of a GREAT day!  Thanks Jacob!

Below is the Dirty Dave's Fly Shoppe that Peter E bought me 15 years ago when he was on an Alaska cruise and I HAD to wear my first time fly fishing :-)  Note in the photo above I changed to my standard Corvette t-shirt since I was drenched to the bone being outside for 6 hours in the pouring rain in my "not really rain-proof" jacket I had on.

Below is rainbow trout that I had to have at Legal Seafood to celebrate Tim and my GREAT day of fly fishing -- I am sure that either Tim's rainbow trout or mine would have been better :-)