I truly appreciate every thoughtful comment I receive on Casting Across. Moreover, I feel that if you took the effort to continue the conversation that I started then I should respond.
In this episode, I interact with three comments that I received. They are from an article on the website, a social media post, and a previous podcast episode. Readers and listeners bring something new to the table, and often bring new fly fishing thoughts to mind.
Please feel free to leave a comment on anything you read or hear below, or one of my social media sites!
Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.
I don’t scare easily. But it was remote and dark. Really dark. Now, if I focused I could hear the highway. That brought a little bit of solace. Then I thought about it. Being in close proximity to cars whizzing by at 80 miles per hour doesn’t add any security. They were whizzing by at 80 miles per hour and it was really dark. I was off the highway and in the woods.
So I drove to a shopping center and slept in the well-lit parking lot. That was how my steelhead trip began.
Actually, it began nearly a year prior when my grandfather passed away. Among many things, he was a firearms collector and dealer. He would drive all over the Midwest to gun shows. Buying, selling; taking guns out, bringing new ones home to Illinois. In his latter years, he transitioned from big pickup trucks with caps on their beds to minivans. They were easier to load and easier to get into.
After he died in January, his minivan sat for months. My wife and I had two small cars, and we were expecting our second child. I got the van that following fall. Since we lived in New Hampshire, this required a flight to Illinois and a little bit of a drive. It didn’t take a lot for me to determine that Erie, Pennsylvania was the halfway point. It was right in the middle of the van and home.
It just so happened to be right in the middle of the fall steelhead season.
Virtually everyone has a good time at fly fishing and outdoor shows. What isn’t to love about an exposition hall filled to the rafters with the people, places, and things that make fly fishing what it is?
However, some people like to take the difficult path. You might have a natural proclivity for pessimism. You could desire to purposefully sully your experience. To be fair, maintaining the image of “crotchety” or “stuck up” has it’s place within the fly fishing culture. With that in mind, I’ve compiled seven surefire ways to limit your enjoyment of a fly fishing show.
I do want to issue a disclaimer: These aren’t foolproof. The positive energy of sheer angling osmosis might overpower your best grumpy efforts. Yet sticking to any or all of these guidelines will inevitably lead to the negativity, internet complaining, and general sourness many seem to strive for.
Check out my list. Then, think about how one of more of these seven ways to have a bad day at a fly fishing show appeals to you:
You can catch fish with virtually any and all gear.
That being said, there are certain kinds of gear that are especially suited for specific scenarios. Small stream trout fishing is no exception. Beyond what kind of gear you bring, how you carry it is particularly important.
In this episode I discuss some of the packing/carrying techniques that I have adopted that make my time fly fishing small streams more efficient and effective.
Listen below or in your favorite podcast app: read more
When it comes to conservation and environmental issues, politics matter. But arguing about politics on social media doesn’t do a lot.
If those two sentences seem contradictory, keep reading.
You could classify me as a cynic. By and large, I see the bipartisan status quo of the USA to be very much like a game. Not unlike professional wrestling, there is a lot of hullabaloo in Washington with very little real impact. Whichever color/animal is in charge, there is so much red tape that the needle only ever vacillates a bit to one side or the other.
I sound like the idiot if you pay attention to the media in general; social media in particular. Eyes won’t stay firmly glued to screens unless things are portrayed with a heavy dose of melodrama. Regardless of the who and the what, we’re always teetering on the brink of destruction. Our money, children, and *gasp* trout will all be gone. We are literally one ballot measure away from the world of Mad Max.
Do you have an Amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket?
You don’t need me telling you what to buy. But if you wanted a suggestion, I’d encourage you to pick up a fly fishing book.
If you can make a little bit of time, there is always time to read a good fly fishing book. By the fire in the winter. On the back porch in the summer. Riding the commuter rail, sitting in the waiting room, and on lunch break. Having a good book on hand can pass the time and prepare you for your next adventure.
As I’ve done for all of the entries in my “Fly Fishing Books” series, I’ve spread the selections over three rough categories:
- Guide (regional, site specific)
- Technical (methods, locations, fly tying)
- Literature (novels, biographies, history)
Check out one kind of each book, why I suggest it, and a bonus read below. And follow the links in the headings to get a copy for yourself!
Sadly, fly line is the piece of gear that lives in the shadow of the stars of the show: rods and reels.
But for most fly fishers, line is much more important than a reel. For all anglers, fly line is much more important than we give it credit for.
In this episode I talk about how line can save you money, improve your casting, and get your fly in front of more fish.
Listen below or in your favorite podcast app:
All fly fishers have their go-to spots. Spots they feel are productive; spots that give them confidence. Some people like to fish riffles. Some people like to fish up against the banks. Everyone likes to fish plunge pools.
And for good reason. Generally, these spots are the deepest, widest, and fishiest places in a river. But why?
Here are three facts about these spots, three reasons why fish love them, and three ways to effectively fish plunge pools:
1.1 A plunge pool is simply the bottom of a source of dropping water. In nature, waterfalls create plunge pools. Through man-made means, plunge pools exist under dam spillways. There are a number of factors that determine the nature of the pool. The height of the fall, the volume of water, and the composition of the streambed are most important.
1.2 While the rapidly moving water itself does encourage erosion, the sediment and debris that the falling water carries is much more abrasive to the riverbed below the source. The gravel or sand at the bottom is constantly shifting and scouring the bottom, while simultaneously being refreshed from upstream.
2018 was quite the year for me. By extension, it was quite the year for Casting Across.
Let me begin by saying thank you. I am always humbled and a little surprised that thousands of people want to read what I have to say about things like fly rods or using the sense of smell while fishing. I’ve said it before – I write because I want to write. But I also truly enjoy sharing with others who are passionate about getting outdoors and spending their time fly fishing.
On the last day of the calendar, I wanted to share how people have read, liked, and contributed over the past year.
Here were 3 highlights of 2018 on Casting Across:
It is okay to do more outdoors than fly fish.
I’d say that it is important to do more outdoors than fly fish.
In fact, there are a lot of benefits that come with adding more and different types of outdoor activities to your life. And, in my opinion, doing so will actually help your fly fishing.
What else do you do during your time outdoors? How does it impact your time on the water? In this episode I touch on how hiking, running, hunting, and even foraging can compliment your fly fishing.
Listen below, or in your favorite podcast app: