Gone fishing!!

I love this store in yea old nanaimo...I like to take my papa there so he can spend money on me

Going Fly Fishing
by Goody Niosi

When he was a kid of 11, John O'Brien used to ride his bike the 100 miles from Calgary to Banff and back just to fish for the day. One day, when he was still a novice at fly fishing, he got up at 3.00 a.m., got in his van and drove up to his favourite lake. When he got there, he hunkered down in the back to catch a few zzz's before first light.

At 6.00 a.m. he put his boat in the water and rowed halfway out. There was another guy already out there casting his line. Fishermen came and went but John and the other guy stayed out all day. The other man caught and released about six or seven nice, big trout. John caught a couple of suckers.

At the end of the day, John got back in his van and drove home. The next morning he got up again at 3.00 a.m. and headed out to the lake. Again he got in his boat at dawn and again the other guy was already out there. The day was a repeat of the one before. The other guy caught the fish - John didn't get a nibble. Finally, John got curious and shouted over to him, "What kind of fly are you using?"

Came back the reply: "What makes you think it's the fly?"

And that, says O'Brien, is a true story and the reason that fly fishing is the fastest growing sector in the sport fishing industry. Fly fishing isn't really about catching fish. "Whatever people do, they do to get good feelings out of it and they draw energy from it. Fishing never does you wrong. For me it's been a lifelong experience."

O'Brien is considered by many to be Nanaimo's top fly fisher and although he guides and takes people on all sorts of fishing trips, fly fishing is by far his preferred sport. The thing about fly fishing is that there's always something to learn.

"If I go out today I'll probably learn something I didn't know yesterday or last year about the same type of fish in the same place. Things are always changing - different food sources, different times of the year, different habitats, trees grow, they fall and they create a different habitat."

Fly fishing is a proven way to catch just about any species of fish there is, O'Brien says. In fact he believes he could catch an alligator if his fly was a five pound chicken. But using the right kind of fly is key. So is using the right rod.

You catch fish not just by knowing about the fish and how it behaves, you have to watch its food sources. Fish eat krill and crab larvae and mosquitoes and hundreds of forms of water life. Flies are made to imitate them and they're cast into the water and retrieved to resemble the natural movements of the bait.

Fly tying isn't so much a hobby as it is a task that goes along with the sport, O'Brien says. There are thousands of different flies. On any given fishing trip, he probably carries 500 flies - 50 of them may be variations of one kind of mosquito larva. How does he know which of the 50 is the best one?

"Why, the last one I made," he says.

Fly fishing is not a sport of luck or chance. It might look that way when the fish are jumping and ignoring every fly the fisherman throws at him. Fly fishing is actually called scientific angling. But the right fly and the right line aren't enough to guarantee fish. You have to "read" the water. The obvious signs are fish jumping - but what if they're not? You can use fish finders and you can use charts - or you can study the water.

River fly fishing is only one segment of the sport. On Vancouver Island, ocean fly fishing is wonderfully accessible. Steelhead is one of the most prized sport fish off the shores of the Island but there are also plenty of pink salmon, trout and lingcod. And there are plenty of fish out there. This year's closing of the commercial fishing industry has actually helped fly fishers, O'Brien says.

Salt water fly fishing is relatively new but modern technology has created lines, rods and reels that stand up beautifully to salt water.

Standing in chest waders in a fast moving sun-dappled stream, lazily casting for trout makes a pretty picture. But sometimes you have to sneak up on them. O'Brien has spent his share of time crawling along a river bank on hands and knees to catch a fish - and release it afterwards.

Few fly fishermen keep their catch. The thrill is in feeling the tug at the end of the line and reeling the fish in - not in eating it later that day. It's a gentle and exciting sport that's attracting women as well as men. Novices may or may not catch a fish on the first go-round but if they do, they're often hooked for life. Flyfishing is such an art, it takes skill, as opposed to dragging fish off the bottom."

Roderick Haig Brown, a famous fly fisher from Campbell River wrote a book on the subject called, A River Never Sleeps. "I'm thinking of writing a book called A Fly Fisherman Never Sleeps," O'Brien says.

He still has to get up at 3.00 a.m. to get to the lake or ocean at dawn. He still has to study the water and search for the perfect fly. And sometimes, when the fish are jumping just out of reach and he's surrounded by pink salmon and he's tried six different flies and still not getting a bite he has to ask himself, "What makes you think it's the fly?"

John O'Brien can be reached at Sealand Tackle in Nanaimo, which also holds fly fishing classes, fly tying classes and custom rod making classes. Also check out the local fly fishing club, Island Waters Fly Fishers.

Written by
Goody Niosi
Freelance Writer
Nanaimo, BC

This is beautiful!!!! innit??????

I had just reached the break in the jagged wall of red rock that divides Squaw and Lost Canyons - about eight miles from the trailhead in Canyonlands National Park.

Wearing the 90 degree sun like a woolen mantle, I scrambled 400 feet to the wash below--a sand-filled streambed empty of water.

For a time after a thunder shower, there are fresh pools of water in these lonely canyons. The frogs, shrimp, beetles, and horsehair worms emerge, communicate and mate in the soon-to-be-dry-again pools. Their offspring, the products of but a few moments of ecstasy, quickly become encased in mud and sand to await nature's next cycle of rain.

The solitude of Lost Canyon was my goal, but where I had never before seen anyone, I spotted a fisherman.

He cast his line in vast, rhythmic sweeps along the curving, sandstone walls of the canyon.

As surprised by his presence as by his activity, the ritual words of greeting spilled from my mouth, "Hi. What are you doing?"

"Same as you." he replied as he cast his line down the dry, rocky wash, "fishing."

What did he mean, "fishing?" I felt wary of presenting a contrary viewpoint to a person who was so obviously deranged, but it didn't look as if he was carrying anything more harmful than rod and tackle, so I took the chance.

"I'm hiking, not fishing," I said, and added hopefully, "There's no water here -- do you mean that you're practicing casting?"

"You think my style of fishing is strange -- there's no use denying it -- I can see it in your eyes. But, then you should see how Sara does it."

Sara? Did he mean the Sara who walked with me through the streets of Moab. All men turned to enjoy the vision of her in the black flower-print dress that fit perfectly her breasts, waist and hips. Aware of her impact, she displayed her signature just-hint-of smile.

"Yes," he said, "Sara is a wonder to behold. You've seen her loosen raven's hair to the backlighting of the setting sun. But, you failed to notice her skill in fishing. She casts with neither rod nor line on invisible currents where no one else has ever fished."

"I didn't think that there were any rivers left that no one has fished," I said.

"Rivers?" he laughed. "Sara uses matchbooks and tabletops."

"What do you mean?"

He paused just long enough to place his fly expertly next to a rock in the would be stream -- a place where the big one would be lurking if there was a deep pool of water.

"She writes her thoughts in matchbooks and leaves them in restaurants and bars," he said. "On the inside cover, she places her postbox address."

"Ah!" I said, "Fishing is a metaphor of sorts, people fishing for other people, so to speak."

"I can tell that you don't like the comparison," he said. "Most people think of fishers as backward oafs intent on the taking of life. Yet, they can also be thought of as attempting to communicate with primitive life forms. They use beautifully made equipment -- a slender rod and colorful feathers tied to a bit of metal at the end of a spider's filament. To communicate they have to learn not only the nature of the river, but the very instincts of the trout. Unlike dogs, trout lack the will to please. Even cats are easier. Successful fishers-of-cats merely have to learn to communicate with the cat's will to be independent. But, a fisher-of-trout has to learn to match nature exactly. To test themselves, the best cut the barbs from their hooks and use ultra-light lines, making it almost impossible to land the trout. For, it isn't the trout they want -- many neither keep nor eat them. It's the perfect communication with another being that is desired--a way of entering the place of their spirit."

"And, Sara?" I inquired. "You said she fishes in invisible currents."

"As do you," he said.

"Me?" I said, but I was barely listening. Instead, I was thinking of Sara's physical beauty.

"Sara knows that she can communicate physically," he said, reading my dreams. "But there's no skill in it. Instead, she's chosen to cut off the barb of her physical self."

"And, me?" I asked warily.

"Lost Canyon is your fishing ground - but usually there's no one else in it. Even those who occasionally travel with you are really only moving through -- they refuse to enter."

"And how am I like Sara?" I asked.

"Like her, you cast your lines in empty places and like her you most often open an empty postbox."

"So, why do we keep casting?" I asked. "Aren't we bound to fail in making contact?"

"We humans are a blend of trout and dog and cat," he answered. "So, contact is difficult. But, we are more than the children of nature -- we have the power to free ourselves from instinct."

raysweb.net/poems/flyfishing/ (external - login to view)
Well I am going out this weekend. Friday I think.
My hubby couldn't catch a fish from a stocked pond.

Similar Threads

Fishing Dogs...
by #juan | Aug 2nd, 2009
Want to go Fishing?
by talloola | Jul 15th, 2009
no new posts