Fly fishing always fascinated me. I could imagine standing in a cold clear stream, watching a mayfly imitation float into an eddy and being sucked down by a rainbow trout, just like in the magazines I read. Or standing in a river, casting streamers to salmon fresh from the ocean.
I tried to fly fish in Dearing Branch, tying chicken feather flies on tiny hooks with mama’s sewing thread. And I caught a few tiny fish on them, with line tied to a stick from the branch bank. It was not quite what I imagined.
In my early teen years mama and daddy bought me a real fly rod. It was cheap, but it worked. I spent hours casting popping bugs and rubber crickets in local ponds, catching bream and the occasional bass. Later I would fish with that same fly rod at Clarks Hill from my bass boat, catching more bream but few bass.
When Linda and I got married and started fishing together I convinced her fly fishing was not easy. After all, we had only one fly rod. But one day when I was catching bream after bream and she was not getting anything on her spinning rod, she tried it.
She did a great job and instantly started making accurate casts with it and catching bream. That night we went to town and bought her a fly-fishing rod and reel!
I tried fishing a few north Georgia trout streams with my old fly rod, but it was nothing like I imagined. Casting was tough with bushes and trees long the bank, and I could not get the trout to bite. It was frustrating.
Ten years ago on my 60th birthday I stood in a stream about 100 yards from the ocean in Alaska, casting streamers and catching salmon. Although they stop feeding when they go into freshwater, they will still hit a bait. And I caught about 10 nice salmon. It was everything I dreamed of!
I think I will dig out our old fly rods and give them a try again.