Wednesday 18th July, 2007
Yesterday Paul decided that the topic for this week was shooting head aerodynamics and then managed to sign off without a single word on the topic. I'd love to offer some great insights, but in reality, I don't know much about shooting heads other than they cast far, can sink very fast, or float like a cork, and the length and taper of the head has a dramatic effect on the turnover speed, which in turn effects how much line you can shoot.
Since I've spent more time on the topic than Paul did I guess I don't feel bad moving on to something new.
What I want to talk about is fishing poorly. By poorly, I mean not up to your potential on any given day, under a certain set of conditions.
The reason I'm writing about this is because this past weekend I fished poorly for two days. A comedy of errors really. It started back in Montana where I managed to lose all of my rod licenses - Montana, Yellowstone, Oregon, and Washington. I managed to get a replacement for my Oregon license in time for the weekend, but I couldn't replace my "Catch Card" which allows me to fish for steelhead in this state. That's another long story though.
So without steelhead privileges I decided to chase some warm water species. I stayed up to late, and slept in both days, missing the good, early-morning bass fishing. I chased bass and carp in the midday sessions. The afternoons were partly cloudy and breezy, which made the spotting tough, but I had some really good shots at fish. I ended up making bad cast after bad cast, spooking fish, lining fish, and not seeing some fish that were right under my nose. I tried to concentrate and focus hard and do things right, to the best of my ability, but the harder I tried the worse I got. I changed my fly about 10 times in 2 hours hoping for a miracle, a sure sign that my confidence was waning. When I finally hooked a fish I panicked and broke it off in short order. These things don't normally happen. The highlight of a frustrating weekend was finding some great pumpkinseeds (see the POD) cruising around in a shallow bay. I hooked 2 of them and landed them both.
This is the kind of thing that happens to every angler I know from time to time, regardless of skill level. You can't be on every day, right? Even Michael Jordan and Ronaldinho have a bad game from time to time. I assume that all of the really great anglers and casters have a bad day from time to time as well.
When one of these days comes along it's helpful to recognize it early on. From there I try to make the most of the day, whatever that means. Maybe I take a siesta or an extra long lunch break. Often I'll just forget about the casting and catching part of fishing and spend the day exploring for access and good looking water. Maybe it means I visit my friends over at the fly shop. Sometimes it means just fishing as hard as I can for as long as I can stand it and then reeling up and driving home.
One last thing, as usual.
If you have not done it, remember to sign the petition in support of catch and release for Wild/Native steelhead on the Umpqua River, OR. Were trying to protect a once great run of fish in the South Umpqua that is fading fast and being targeted unnecessarily. Preliminary public hearings on the issue are on July 19th, with public comments being presented to the Commission for a decision on August 3rd. That means we have about 5 more days left to get as many additional names as we can. We had a good flurry of names last week thanks to all of you who have been spreading the word to your fishing buddies and on your local forums. As of this very second we have . We're shooting for 600 or 700 so make it happen. We've already got the support of prominent members of the angling community like Davy Wotton, Simon Gawesworth and Barry and Cathy Beck. Join them and the rest of us in this worthy cause. Read more on Matts Corner.
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