Monday, March 19, 2012

One fish. Two fish. Redfish. Hare fish.

My father and I have been talking lately about going fishing.  It's an activity that he and my brothers and I enjoy getting together for, but hasn't happened as often as we would like in the past few years.  So I am definitely looking forward to getting out on the ocean waters off of North Carolina with him in about a month to fish for redfish.  We have sought out small & large mouthed bass, muskie (with limited success), pike, walleye, salmon, trout, crappie and who knows what else, but never redfish.

This will be another opportunity to try my hand at catching large fish with a flyrod.  And since my heavier flyrod has been gathering dust in a friend's basement since I flailed it about at Quebecois pike a couple of years ago, it would behoove me to get some casting practice in.  Now that winter has left us and summer has taken its place in mid March, I got out on the lawn to do just that.

To mimic a large, fluffy fly that is agonizingly wind resistant, I tied a bit of plastic grocery bag on to the end of my leader.  Since it made it a pain in the ass to cast, I figured it was fairly realistic substitute.  Then I shook out some line and began working it into the air and maintaining it aloft.  At first my movements were jerky and the bag fly kept clipping the grass on my backcast.  When I would release the line the fly would slam into the ground and the excess line puddle around it.

After a bit, a transformation came over the process.  The whistling of a poorly cast line fell silent.  The line stretched out taut at the end of the cast and the leader unfurled and the hideous bag fly would crisply plop down on the grass.  And peering into the sunset, I began looking for fish.  They appeared everywhere.  That patch of dead grass was a group of trout.  That large stick transformed into a lunker bass.  And as I began depositing my fly right at their periphery as desired, I saw the boil and splash of the strikes.  When I pulled the line back in, the knots in the leader would catch on the grass and mimic the nibbling of an inquisitive walleye.

Then, my trophy swam into view.  A pair of the rabbits that infest my neighborhood hopped out of some brush and began feeding.  A few exploratory casts made to gauge distance somehow did nothing to faze my quarry.  It was after one or two more attempts that were slightly off their mark that I landed my grocery bag fly squarely on one rabbit's head.  I felt proud as if I had just hooked a twenty inch trout.  The rabbit didn't budge an inch.

Maybe next time I'll tie some baby carrots onto my line.