HookSet Jigs NYMPHIN’ ‘NANZA writing contest now!

Posted: January 8, 2013 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Fly Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
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You must join my Friends list on facebook to play. It’s super easy and a great way to meet anglers and get free product from local and independent tackle manufacturers that sponsor this AAA venture. Click the FB button and play. It’s 2013. What do you mean you don’t have FB? CONTEST THRU MONDAY JAN 14TH

  1. Hellcat says:

    Entry No. 1:

    Ken Sheaffer fly story ..
    Here’s my entry for the AAA/Hookset fly contest. My first experience fly fishing… Hmmm… Well, this takes me back to the sacred waters of the upper green a few years back. My buddy who tagged along with me just happened to have a flyrod with him. Nothing special… just a starter rod rigged up with some floating line and some assorted flies. The day was rolling along quite slowly as the steelhead bite we were in search of was non-existent. I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a whirl. I tied on what looked to be a black and red wooly bugger which looked good to me considering the water conditions. Within about a half hour of sloppy attempts and gnarled casts I seemed to finally grasp the motion I needed to make it work… and I liked it. Determined to make it a productive experience, I then turned upstream to one of the spots I had fished earlier. A nice riffle just below a protruding boulder. I began to cast above it and let it slowly sink and wrap around the boulder while still trying to teach myself how to mend and strip the line. A few casts later… Paydirt. Hooked into a nice little 12″ cutthroat! My first fish on the fly! I was stoked as I landed this little beauty. I gained my composure and gently released the little guy back into the water. A few more casts… and another one… and another! I was on top of the world! And then… it happened. This particular cast seemed like perfection. It dove deeper than the rest, and with a sudden shock… BOOM! I felt that rod almost get ripped right out of my hands!! I knew this was no cutthroat… And it proved me right when that big bright flash of chrome came flying out of the water!! STEELHEAD ON!!! As she dove back into the green depths, she streaked downriver as if being shot out of a cannon. It was only then that I realized that the rod was not built to handle that kind of fight. All I could do was hold on and hope she slowed down… which she didn’t. I came dangerously close to the end of the spool when I had to make the decision… I dropped the tip and gave it a slight tug… and she was gone. Never to be seen again. Adrenaline flowing, I waded back to the bank and sat staring at the water… wondering just how big that fish really was… wishing I could’ve landed it… Wanting more! I spent another hour or two repeating the same pattern with the cutthroats, but it wasn’t the same. The day ended with a grand total of 14 fish landed, but this day was about the one that got away. To this day, with all of the fish I’ve ever caught or lost… That’s the one that still haunts me the most. I’ve had many memorable fly-fishing experiences since then, but that’s the one I’ll never forget.

  2. Hellcat says:

    Mike Hale Entry:

    My First Fly Fishing Trip Contest Entry for HookSet Jigs and AAA

    My first fly fishing trip took place over 15 years ago. I had watched “A River Runs Through It” several times by then and was mesmerized by the way they were able to fish so gracefully. Funds were low, as I was only recently out of high school, so I saved up and purchased a cheap Cabela’s fly rod package with a rod, reel, floating line and a box of random flies. Full of excitement, I headed with my uncle and younger cousin to the Twisp River in the beautiful Methow Valley in North/Central Washington nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range. We arrived on a cool, crisp sunny morning with our gear in hand and me ready to try this thing called fly fishing.

    I had no clue what I was doing, so I watched my uncle for a bit and moved to a deep hole with wide open space to give it a try. The water was crystal clear and I could see the rainbow trout about 10’ down in the hole. I moved up river a bit and waded into a shallow section and cast so that my black wooly bugger would drift through the hole. I was nowhere near as fluid as Brad Pitt or Tom Skerritt had been during the movie. In fact I looked like a big old mess slapping my fly line all over the water. Finally I was able to get the fly out away from me enough to try and fish, but try as I might, I couldn’t get any of the trout to rise up and take the fly. Looking back, I am sure it was because that was nowhere near the right fly to use for that hole, but what did I know.

    After thrashing around in the middle of the river for about an hour, I decided to move upstream to where I am sure I had scared all the fish to. The river was fairly low, but there were plenty of inviting holes so I rigged up an olive green woolly bugger and started casting from the bank. There was a picturesque deep slot along the far bank of the river lined with trees, and I just knew there was a trout in there waiting for me. Well, it only took one cast and I ended up snagging the trees behind me. This happened again and again, so I decided to heck with it, I was going to cast where there were no trees. I quickly decided that I just wasn’t going to look like a polished fly fisher, swallowed my pride and started casting my line laterally with the river. My fly was whizzing over the Twisp River, starting upstream and then laterally back down stream, then up again gently landing at the top of the deep slot along the far side of the bank. It was definitely not orthodox, but after a few casts like that I landed a little 12” rainbow trout. Things were looking up.

    I continued to use my lateral casting method for an hour and landed a couple more trout in the same spot on the river. I decided to move up river and try my luck at some other holes. All in all, my lateral casting method, although quite ugly, was effective. I was on a roll catching trout after trout on the most random of flies. Being such a novice, I figured the bigger the fly the bigger the fish I would catch, so I would fish with large wooly buggers, grasshoppers and even flies that resembled bumble bees. Luck was on my side that day as I caught numerous rainbows, although most were in the 8-10” range. My final tally for the day was 25 rainbows caught and released, with the largest being 15”. My cousin landed 22 and my uncle 19, so it was a successful day of fishing for each of us.

    Although my casting left a lot to be desired, the beauty of the river with the majestic Cascade Mountains in the background, was worthy of being filmed. Shortly after this trip, they closed down the Twisp River due to the water level, but I like to think it was because of how many fish I caught on my first fly fishing trip! — with HookSet Jigs and Christopher Heller.

  3. Hellcat says:

    John Duncan Entry:

    I was 9 years old the summer of 79 , we were camping on the Salmon River , In Welches OR. (where my grandpa grew up in the early 1900’s.) Gramps comes to our camp and gives me my first flyrod, then walks me down the trail to his spot and showed me how to catch trout on a dry fly. Next day by myself I catch 2 nice ones and the bigger one flopped around in the sand so I went to wash it off and it got away. My mom will never net me forget that one..

  4. Hellcat says:

    Richard Denham Entry:

    My First Fly Fishing Trip Contest Entry for HookSet Jigs and AAA

    My first fly fishing trip was one I will always cherish and remember. I was 5 years old camping with my grandpa and dad up at Mt. Rainer. We hiked up to one of the many beautiful small streams that covered the mountain and began to examine the water. My grandpa pointed to one of the deeper pockets of water in the run and told me to watch. Sure enough as he said that a fish came up and grabbed a bug as it floated on by. I sat in amazement as I watched the start of a bug hatch go off like crazy. The trout were not just sipping the bugs they were exploding and even jumping out of the water to get them. I was so excited to see all the fish, I told each one “Hi”.

    After watching the beautiful acrobatic displays of the trout, my grandpa rigged up a small dry fly on an old pflueger reel with floating line to see if I could catch my first fish. Both my grandpa and dad helped show me how to cast the fly for practice, but I wanted to do it on my own. So i tried my best to do what they had taught me. Even with my best effort I was only able to cast the fly maybe 5′ off the bank. I got caught up in paying attention to all the fly line that had accumulated around my feet and was not paying attention to my fly. The fly drifted close to the feeding frenzy and a nice small stream cutthroat grabbed the dry fly and took off. I had no idea the fish was even on the rod and it wasn’t until my grandpa pointed it out that I noticed. He helped me strip in the line and show me how to get the fish in. The fish was absolutely gorgeous. A pristine 10″ wild cutthroat, and my first fish to boot. My dad helped take the barbless fly from the fishes mouth and I said my goodbyes to my fishy friend.

    I proceeded to catch a few more trout before the bug hatch died off and dusk was upon us. My first fly fishing trip was a great success and one that will never be forgotten. The time spent with my dad and grandpa on this memorable day will always stay with me as they are the reason behind the passion I have for fishing today.

  5. Sal says:

    Great stories. This contest is a good idea. I would enjoy reading more of these. Sal

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