Lessons from Dad

September 13, 2013

Lessons from Dad

Have you ever met someone that just seems to catch fish no matter what? They just seem to have a knack for getting fish to eat no matter where they are at and what the conditions are.  My father has that knack, he is that guy that drives the rest of us nuts. His actual knowledge of antamology is fairly limited, he isn't  fishing with the greatest gear, his methods go against everything we are taught in the fly fishing industry and it doesn't seem to matter. I've been fishing with him where he throws an elk hair caddis in early march where the is no signs of anything hatching besides midges.  I watched him catch fish on hoppers in may. I continually catch myself telling him, \"dad that won't work,\" just to put my foot in my mouth. He loves to tease me when he out fishes me (which is way to often for my tastes). I hear him say, \"I thought that wouldn't work.\" or something of that nature just to make a point. But the best thing he has done is taught me important lessons. Over and over I've heard him say \"James, when are you going to learn sometimes things just work. It doesn't matter if they are supposed to or not, all that matters is if they catch fish\". It took me years and years for this lesson to sink in, but I have finally embraced it. I was Guiding in Alaska and had run out of streamers and had to call dad to go buy and mail me more, what I recieved wasn't what I was hoping for. When I opened the package he had sent, it was not flies he had gone and bought for me like I had asked. It was full of and old pattern that we called a  Dirty Red and a Dirty Yellow down on the Bighorn.  A dirty Red is a little bit of the section of a red bucktail that has black mixed in that they missed  coming off the back of a streamer hook, and a half assed muddler style deer hair head on it.  I was pissed when I saw the flies. I wanted to call and ask him, \"what the hell,\" but satelite phone calls weren't cheap. At one point in the year I got desperate and finally tried  The Dirty Red and it worked incredibly well. It became one of my go to patterns. I would have to make the clients not look at the fly for five casts so that they would fish it hard but it always caught fish within five casts. When I returned I asked my dad why he sent me those and he simply said \"because they work\". I think to other times when we fish lakes or really any body of water and he swings a unweighted girdle bug that has white legs and simply crushes it. I have no idea why they work but they just work. Twice this summer I have been fishing with others in the industry and we have been getting it handed to us. We went through everything that should work and I was getting desperate and both times decided to swing rubberlegs just like dad does and it saved the day. Both times the people I was fishing with told me there was no way that would work but within a couple cast i had a fish. I made a beleiver out of them. I'm slowly warming up to the idea that sometimes things just work and that there doesn't need to be a rhyme or reason as to why.

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