Beginners Luck!

Beginners Luck!

Jason Borger | Tuesday, 22 November 2016

You know how it goes: You’re headed out for a big trip. Your buddy wants to come along. He’s never held a rod before and can’t tie on a fly, but he’s ready to go. Now. So you’re going to take him.

You get to the river, lash a size-six Double Humpy onto your pal’s ratty 2X leader, and hand him off to another guide. They jump in their boat and drift away, your buddy already flailing the water, the line dropping in a one curvy heap after another. The guide gives you a dirty look before their boat disappears around the bend. Problem solved. Until …

Lunchtime. Everybody is to meet up bankside to chow down and swap tales of 14-inch rainbows won and lost. As you approach the spot, you notice everyone swarming around your buddy’s boat. As you pull up, you realize your buddy is the center of attention.

You stumble forward, asking what’s going on. Your novice pal turns and says, “I don’t know … is this a big brown trout?” He hoists a golden-sided slab somewhere on the far side of two-feet, its dime-sized spots and hooked jaw gleaming for all to see.

Shaking your head with angler’s angst, you mutter that all-time famous exclamation: “Beginner’s luck!”

Yeah, beginner’s luck all right. But don’t worry, it’s short lived. Now your buddy is hooked on fly fishing. He’ll start taking lessons and go to fly-fishing schools and learn how to cast “properly.” He’ll throw laser loops and the line will rocket 30 yards, dropping arrow-straight to the water. He will never again catch a 2-foot brown, and will have to be satisfied with the 14-inchers you’ve been catching for years.

Wait a minute …

You know that “beginner’s cast,” with the line piling onto the water in a curvy heap? What was that cast really doing? It was eliminating drag, that’s what. Those piled up curves of line, although poorly controlled and directed, eventually drifted that size-six Double Humpy over that two-foot brown (a fish that had likely never seen a drag-free drift in its entire life).

Of course, once your buddy “learns how to cast,” he’ll never make a drag-free presentation again and thus no more beginner’s luck.

Problem solved!

Or is it? Wouldn’t it be nice to have beginner’s luck all the time? Wouldn’t it be nice to catch a whole bunch more of the 14-inch rainbows and have a real shot at the two-foot browns? You can’t just slop the line out and hope that a big fish will take. So what can you do? Well, since you’re reading this at Sexyloops, you just go back to last week’s FP, here:

The Puddle Mend is the ticket to continual beginner’s luck. It provides the “beginner’s” slack you need, where you need it, when you need it. Learn it, and far more importantly, use it (although you may need to re-consider the size-six Double Humpy).