Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dry Fly Perfection

I think one of the biggest thrills in fly fishing is a trout violently grabbing a dry fly on the surface. There is just something about the sudden flash and realization that you did everything right and fooled this trout into thinking, if trout are capable of thinking that is, that your little bit of fur and feathers is something edible.

Last week while plying my craftiness and immense angling skills on an Oregon coastal stream for cutthroat trout, I achieved "Dry Fly Perfection"
The trout were not interested in anything subsurface like my favorite soft hackle offerings but there was a couple trout slurping Mays and yellow stones off the surface. I proceeded to tie on a #14 Royal Humpy to see if it could fool a cutt into eating it.
Sure enough the fly was not on the water two seconds until a large resident cutthroat inhaled it.
The fish did all the normal things these great trout do and what gives me so much pleasure in pursuing them. Spectacular leaps and runs that really pushed my four weight to it's limit.
I brought him in and with a slight pull the barbless hook was out and he was gone to contemplate his sore lip.
I really believe that fishing for trout with a dry fly is fly fishing at it's purest and most basic form. No gadgets or weight forward lines or weighted fly just the line leader and fly...nothing else. It just cannot get any simpler than that can it?
Dry fly fishing must surely be a big reason that this sport so endearing to so many and I wish I were better at it. It's not, however, just tossing your fake bug out there and hoping for the best. You have to make this floating imposter look like a natural insect so manipulating the line in order to produce that elusive and much sought after drag free drift is the key.
Surely this must be what Gingrich was thinking about when he titled his book "The Joy of Trout". Is there anything more joyful than making the perfect connection? When all the stars in the cosmos line up correctly and you put it all together....ah perfection!

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