I try not to have expectations about a fishing destination to which I am about to travel. But I do get major attacks of anticipation. Especially when tying flies for new fishing waters. Even with excellent advice about what to tie, I still try to out-think the target fish about what they might put into their mouths.
I am preparing for a trip to the coastal waters of BC, the middle of July (now tomorrow). Should be chrome, dime, platinum, silver, full-moon-bright kings, chums and pinks still carrying sea lice entering the rivers. I have caught these fish before, but always upriver when they have taken on a splash of color. I am excited. As I stated before, I try not to have expectations. The more I have, the more detailed they get, the narrower my focus gets and the more goals I set for a trip; the more likely I am to be disappointed. If I just go on a fishing trip and plan to get a few photos; it is easy to accomplish everything I set out to do. How am I supposed to do that, though, when with each fly tied, I picture it in the corner of the jaw of a blind-my-eyes-bright king, or the biggest chum I’ve ever seen?
I’ve heard all of the best colors: Black/chartreuse, Orange/pink, Pink/white, Chartreuse/pink, Blue/black and about a dozen others. Of course, they have to be tied on the best hook or body: single hook (extra strong), articulated, intruder style and tube-fly. The best length is: 2”, 3”, 4”, 5” and everything in between. I love it. It really doesn’t matter where I’m going; salt, lake, river, stream, I am always conflicted with my thoughts of what fly (flies) will perform. So, I usually go a little crazy and try to cover as many bases as I can.
I get to my destination and show my fly box(es) with considerable pride to the guide. I am expecting I don’t know what kind of praise, but I usually get a …hummm,….ohhhh this color,….wow, I’ve never seen this before,….Oh well, it doesn’t matter, I’ve got plenty of the exact right flies. The best I heard was from a guide in Mexico fishing for tarpon. He looked hard at the flies and turned them over and tugged on the wings and looked at them from underneath and said “Si, these are good…..bueno, por nada(good for nothing). He laughed almost right away, so I knew he was joking…or was he.
I like to tie flies, so it is always fun to tie up a basked full of patterns, colors and sizes for anywhere I go. It is just the way I do it. Out of 6 to 10 dozen flies I might take, there will be 3 or 4 that work well enough to keep them on for the entire unless I feel like experimenting. Here are some of the flies I’ve tied so far. I’ll let you know in a later posting how they did.
I hope I never get over the feeling of having to cover all of the bases with flies to tie up before a trip. All of the time spent at the vise is counted as fishing time with me and I always catch at least one with every fly I put together.