All About Fly Fishing!

Colin Wins The Prize – For Today

Earlier in the afternoon, I showed Colin how to tie up the Grand River fly, and we tied up some before we headed out for the river.  After grabbing a bite to eat, we were on the river at about 5 PM with Colin deciding he was most definitely going to give his newly tied fly a go.  I decided to try a different dry pattern.  We also took along our “talkie talkies” so we could split up and still be able to communicate without having to holler at each other.

I waded downstream while Colin decided to try the riffle at the top of the pool – the riffle that everyone says doesn’t hold much fish, but the same riffle that Colin caught a trout the other day.  It wasn’t five minutes when I hear Colin, “Dad, I’ve got a fish on.”

“What?? Already?”

“Yup, can you come up and help me?”  Colin is still a bit uncomfortable with removing the hook.  So I up I go, and sure enough, Colin has a nice fourteen incher – on the Grand River fly.  And here’s the interesting thing, which I think is funny – he tied the CDC too tight – almost as if it were a wing case.

I had been fishing the Tap Dance Caddis, but was getting no rises – but then, for some reason today, the Grand was kind of dirty to fish. The water was clear, but all kinds of algae floating down and it reminded me of the first time I fished the Conestoga as I was having to do the same thing – every second cast, clean algae off my fly.  Even drys that were sitting high on the water.

Next thing, I hear Colin again.  “Another one, Dad.  Ha ha.”  Yeah, getting his digs in already. He’s 2 up on me already to my zip.   He’s not too far away from where I’m fishing this time, so he wades down the few yards so I can help him release the brown.  As I look at the water, I’m seeing a monster fish – but Colin’s rod tip isn’t bent over that much! But there’s this massive huge fish right at the end of his line!  Or was it?

Actually, Colin had another nice 14 incher on the end of the line – the huge monster fish – I swear this thing was over 24 inches, was following the fish Colin had on! As soon as I reached down, it took off.

We get the fish nicely released, and I decide I had better give this Grand River fly a try.  A couple of casts later, I’ve got a nice 14 incher in my hand.  I’m thinking to myself, “this could be a great night – especially if the fish above 12″ are all coming out to play.”

I had several more rises to the fly, but it was so frustrating cleaning off the algae all the time – and my fly started to fall apart.  If you’re going to use the Grand River fly, best to tie up a bunch of them before you go out.  Anyhow, my fly ended up a bit shredded and there were less trout rising, I was into some deeper water, so I thought I’d experiment and try out an olive coloured leech.

“Whooo hooo!”  Fish on, third cast! Nice fish – biggest of the afternoon so far – but lost him in rough riffle water. A few more casts, and another fourteen incher! This was looking like it might be a great evening.

Except, it seemed my fly spent more time out of the water than in the water, with all the galdarn algae cleaning I had to do.  It was a real pain.  And the leech was picking up more algae than the dries were, so I went back to an elk hair caddis.   Had some fish rise to it – it is so much fun when you’re wearing polarized glasses and can see the fish flash and turn, look at the fly, and often – go for it. I had a bunch of takes, but nothing solid.

Colin decided his feet were sore, and he needed to go back to the van for some reason.  That’s when I discovered Italy had won the World Cup.  Using the handy dandy two way radios, Colin made the announcement to me while he listened to the news on the car radio.  I kept fishing, found some other water that I had not fished before – real tough fast stuff, hard to keep dry flies floating kind of water – but had a dozen takes – and lost another real nice fish before Colin returned to the water.

By this time, it was getting on past 9PM, and the daylight was waning.  And what do I hear crackling over our two-ways?  “Dad, I have another fish.”

So, up I go – sure enough, there’s Colin, using the same Grand River fly, fishing that bit of shallow riffle water, and he’s got a trout.  This one was smaller than the earlier fish – but still, for Colin, well, that was all it took for him to rub it in – he caught more fish, and on a fly that “could have been better,” and of course, I feigned impertinent jealousy, all in good fun.  This time, Colin managed to remove the hook, revive the fish and release it all on his own.  I had a few more casts myself – just to try to at least match him in the fish count, but in the end, Colin won tonight’s “Dad/Son” fishing competition.

Not sure what he wins yet.  But whatever, it was a lot of fun to spend the time with my son on the river, and in fact, I’m glad for him.

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