Monday, March 26, 2018

So How Did the Tournament Go?

I'm sure a lot of you were wondering how the tournament went. I wondered myself while I tended to the kids while my wife had the flu. She kept telling me to go but I knew the kids were hard enough to deal with when you're healthy. Add a new dog and illness into the mix and it was a no brainer that I was staying home. My wife did admit later she was happy I did. I can't say I wasn't disappointed. Even with the crappy weather I was looking forward to the experience.

Speaking of weather around here it has been very strange. It's not uncommon for Raleigh to get about one day of rain a week. This year it seems we only get one or two days of sunshine. It has also been colder than normal. We have had the kind of weather I don't like at all. It snows but nothing sticks or it is just cold and misty in the low 30's with wind.

I have been tying some and trying to talk my daughter into joining me on the water. She seems more eager to come along. I think she wants the dad time more than a desire to fish. I can see the will I be trapped doing something I hate for hours look in her eyes when I talk about fishing together. I'm really working on trying to keep it light and fun. The weather looks like it's going to take a turn for the better in the next week. If things go well we may hit a pond for some bluegill. I'd really like to get her on the water for some trout though. She has a pair of waders that have been sitting in a closet for over a year.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lefty Will Be Missed

Fly fishing doesn't really have a bunch of huge celebrities. One of the few was Lefty Kreh and people may never know just how many fishermen he influenced. I met Lefty once at a fly show. He was demonstrating casting. He asked if anyone in the crowd wanted to come forward for some pointers. I was nervous because I had only read books by this man up until this point. I raised my hand with many others and was picked out of the crowd. I did a few short casts and quietly just so I could hear he told me I was a good caster. It was probably the best compliment anyone has ever given me.  Lefty was always very approachable and at every fly show I ever saw him he was gracious and welcoming to fans. I treasure the books I have that he signed and I hope people appreciate how much he gave to the sport. He will be missed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fly Fishing Tournament Preparation

The tournament is this weekend and my preparation has been null. I bought some things to tie flies and I looked and made sure I had some of the materials I needed but the vise has yet to see the light of day. The weather forecast for the tournament is less than ideal. At least for this SoCal warm blooded native. Fifty is the high with a chance of wintry mix in the morning. I'm guessing the wind will pick up while the cold front comes in making casting interesting.

I'm still struggling with what flies to actually use. I can only use 25 and at first I was thinking well that's easy I mainly only use the same 5-6 flies every time I trout fish. Then I started to think about what if I have the right fly but the fish want a certain size. Should I use the same 6 flies and have different sizes of each? Maybe just 5 flies with 2 of the same size and maybe one other a different color. Should I have some with beads and some without? You can see how the combinations can become over whelming after while. I'm still trying to figure it out. I know some definite flies I will have in my box. I don't think I'm going to stress about what size they are. I know sizes that have worked in the past and that's what I'll go with. What I'm going to try which will probably hurt me is throwing in some strange flies I'm hoping not many others will use. My theory is these may be the flies to use if fish are acting weird and not biting the normal common flies that work in the area. Sometimes throwing something strange that peaks the trout's curiosity can exhibit a strike. These flies could very well be the difference makers.

I'm trying not to take it all too seriously. The tournament isn't super serious and the entry fees go towards a good cause. The interesting factor in this tournament different from others is the public aspect. The waters will not be closed off to the public. Anyone could be fishing the stretches we are given. That's part of the fun of the tournament. How will people fish in pressured waters and possibly conditions several fisherman have just beat up? The anticipation has me excited about what's to come but the weather, self doubt make me think about staying home where it's warm and familiar.

It will be a learning experience for what a tournament is like and how I handle the situation. Stay tuned....

Friday, March 2, 2018

Puppy Love

I wanted a lab my wife wanted a small dog. Meet Echo a rescue dachsund/jack russell mix.
The dog came with potty training issues, possible heart worms, and a undiagnosed or undisclosed mild case of separation anxiety. She was supposedly crate trained but after a few days we questioned that. Echo had several accidents in the house and seemed to have issues listening. She pulled too hard on the leash and takes a lot of work to keep her attention.
I started to worry this decision was a bad idea. Days were spent thinking about ways we could return the dog mixed with me overdosing on dog training YouTube videos and shopping for toys and treats. What I've learned over the past few days is the accidents weren't Echo's fault they were ours and many of her issues could be corrected with proper training. What I've also learned in the week we've had her is this dog is SMART.
It's the intelligence that I'm falling in love with and last night watching things click in her head as I taught her to lay down was making me smitten. Now when I'm teaching her things there's a combination of so many factors and I realized why being a dog owner is such a great thing. Echo is now doing things on command without treats because it pleases us and she wants to make us happy. It's incredible to teach a dog and actually watch the learning take place. It's a very rewarding experience, you'll learn things about yourself in the process. Even though I've just had Echo a week I feel like she's making me a better father and person in general. I know I have just scratched the surface of what Echo is capable of. I'm happy she's part of the family and I'm looking forward to working with her further.