Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Katy Connects on the Bean Stream

Katy and I made a deal that if I would exercise with her this summer, she would fly fish with me. I held up my part of the bargain for the past few weeks and now it was time to cash in.
After work, we loaded up the car and headed out for a fishing adventure. I've fished Bean Stream a few times, but haven't been back for a few years. As we got close to the stream, we saw a turkey with its two chicks in tow.

I set Katy up with an "Amy's Ant" and a SJW. I had her make a few practice casts to get the feeling of the rod. Katy has gone with me a few times and she can place the fly where it needs to go. But she's never connected with a fish by herself on a fly rod. Katy made some good casts and we went to the first hole. It was a tough cast with many branches to tango with. But Katy was able to get the fly in the small current running into the pool. She had a few takes, but her timing was off. I stood behind her and helped her cast right up into the head of the pool and showed her how to hold the rod tip and take up line to avoid drag. We caught a couple fish tandem. Katy made a few more casts and the hole seemed to go stale. While Katy walked up to the next hole, Connor and I found "big rocks" to throw in the stream. Conner was not happy when I would stop search for throwing rocks to snap a picture of him or mom.

I began flipping rocks in the stream and showing Connor all the bugs that live under the rocks. This stone fly's older brothers and sisters were flying around taunting the fish.

Without waders, Katy and I were limited to only a few accessible runs and pools to fish in this area. We went back through the best sections and tried to pick up any fish still hungry. Katy had many takes, but her timing was still off and they would disappear before the point of the hook could settle in their mouth. We loaded back in the car and drove along the dirt road a little further. The stream meandered through thick brush and hid in deep slots cut into the mountainside. We came upon a meadow where the stream slowly curved around its edge. I re-rigged the rod and handed it to Katy. There was only one pool with good current and the light was beginning to fade. I coached Katy as she tried to get a drag-free drift. Connor was still in the car munching on gold fish crackers. Connor realized he was alone and the jig was up. I ran back to the car to entertain Connor as Katy continued her quest. "Mike, I got one!" The rod was bent and Katy had a grin from ear to ear. I grabbed Connor in one hand and the camera in the other and ran to see her prize.

Katy's first fish on a fly rod by herself! I was so over-joyed. I helped her release the fish and it swam back to its home. As we drove back to our home, we couldn't stop talking about how wonderful this evening was. "That was fun! Now I'm going to be jealous when you go fishing without me." I think Katy is converted to a fly rod on small streams.