Thursday, May 10, 2007



Apparently, seeds that were planted years ago, found some fertile place in my imagination, as I began to think and read a lot about fly fishing. The idea of wading a river as it winds through the wilderness, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature, and casting dry flies towards rising trout appealed to me on many levels.

Jerry Dennis' book "River Home: An Angler's Explorations" fueled the flames. A reflection of his expanding definition of home, to include the waters we fish and the woods we hunt. Mostly stories about fly-fishing tho. His stories are often transcendent, and, as a whole, they offer a glimpse into the lore and craft.

Cliff Hauptman's book "How to Fly-Fish" lists the basic gear a beginner needs to fish for trout, and Google helped me find reviews on the latest gear which meets those specs. I think I found the best value in a rod and reel which will be both suitable for learning, and will grow with me as I gain experience . I took a trek to Great Lakes Fly Fishing, and bought a Sage Launch 9', 5wt pole, and a Ross Cimarron Large Arbor Reel. They loaded the reel for me, and I signed up for a four hour, on-the-river lesson.

Tom was my instructor/guide. We drove to the nearby Rogue River, which is one of Michigan's "Blue Ribbon" trout streams. As we waded upstream, Tom scooped up various larvae and talked of the lifecycles of of the various flies and bugs which make up a trout's diet. He attempted to correct the bad casting habits I developed whilst teaching myself, and showed me the roll cast. We kept trying different flies till we started getting some strikes. Finally, I landed my first trout. A 10" brown.

But, it was I who was hooked ...