Sometimes I ask myself the same question while hail stones are stinging my face, while the gusts of wind blow me off my feet and my numb fingers refuse to tie on the new fly after the last one ended up in a tree behind me. Yes fly fishing can be a tough gig, but the rewards far outweigh the sometimes trying conditions.
This weekend was an exception. One of those days that you would not want to be anywhere else on the planet. One of those days that you sit and ponder what the “rich people” must be up to.
My good mate Phil and I headed out West to tackle some early morning frog feeders and then hopefully get a solid day of polaroiding in before the storm front hit later that evening.
We arrived at the first lake by headlamp and straight up we spotted a bow wave snaking its way through the 4 inch deep water. This fish meant business!!! Phil unhitched his fly and splatted it about 1 metre in front of the brute. It was absolutely text book with the fish charging over and engulfing the fly. The hook was driven home and after a short celebration from both of us the fish earnt its freedom. It didn’t matter, we were pumped!!
I found another fish hunting in the shallows of the next bay and sent the fly out to land in its path. It was smashed but my rush of blood on setting the hook proved to be a bit much with the fish and I parting ways early on. As I tied a new fly on yet another brown made it’s way into the cove. You guessed it….. There are now 2 very solid fish cruising around wearing my fur flies in their face.
The sun was now peeking it’s head over the hill so we started polaroiding the edges and saw many fish. After working on a few fish for a while with no results Phil spotted one cruising around the edge of the lake. Another great cast and the munter was hooked, played and landed. What a great way to kick off the season for him.
The next few hours were spent spotting fish but refusal after refusal had us trying any fly in our box that we though might get a result. I was still fishless for the trip and it baffled us why a fish would swim straight up to a fly, stare at it then take off in fright.
From high up on the bank Phil relayed the next fishes position to me and it was delivered an offering that it liked. He was hooked after running me up the bank and around a submerged tree I took my boots off and waded around the shore to be greeted by a snagged dry and no dropper. Bugger!!!
We kept on and found a nice bay with a very nice fish patrolling the edge. It inhaled the size 14 elk hair caddis with gusto. He put up a fantastic fight and came to hand a while after. The monkey was off my back for the day.
We could see the storm front approaching a long way away so we started back home. We stopped at our first water and I decided to do a bit of prospecting. Phil enlightened me with his rendition of the Rolling Stones classic “I can’t get no caddis action” as the head of another cracker of a fish rose up and chomped the dry fly off the surface. This fish was by far the most beautiful trout I have ever seen.
The weather had been perfect, the scenery spectacular, the company always enjoyable and of course a handful of wild western lakes trout.
It answered the question “Why do we fly fish?”