Friday, September 27, 2013

Fly Fishing

One of my favorite childhood memories is fishing with my parents and my brothers at Hoop Lake.  Dad had a six-man inflatable raft – bright orange – and a small electric motor.  We’d all pile into the raft and tour around the lake dragging flies from our fishing poles.  We’d even catch an occasional fish.  I think I was 30 before I realized that this was NOT fly fishing.

Fast forward to 2013 at Warm River.  I saw more waders during the first two weeks in camp than I had seen in my entire life.   I think kids here get their first pair of waders at about age 3.  And the Warm River is a perfect spot for both beginning and expert fly fishing.

Per Wikipedia, “Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial ‘fly’ is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or "lure" requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting.”  The cast has an elegant whip-curl to it.  The experts make it look effortless.

We had a number of fly fishermen – or I guess I should say fisher-people, as several women also waded our rivers with their rods in hand – in May.  As the weather got warmer and the river overtaken by kids on float tubes, the fishermen came early, walked further upstream, and most often – went someplace else.  But now that the kids are gone, the fishermen are back.

Many of our fishermen are local, but an equal number come from all over the world.  I’ve met fly fishermen from France, Scotland, England, and the Netherlands – and these were just the ones I actually got a chance to chat with.  Who knows where else they came from?

There are several fly fishing outfitters in Ashton and Island Park.  The Three Rivers Ranch, which is just around the corner from us, is a fly fisherman’s paradise.  They provide rooms, all meals (prepared by gourmet chef Karen), fishing equipment, guides and transportation.  I didn’t ask what it costs, but it sounds like an elegant way to learn to fly fish.  The head guide, Doug, plans to take a group of cancer patients fly fishing in October.   The owner of Three Rivers Ranch is the great-granddaughter of Fred and Berta Lewies, founders of the Town of Warm River.

I’m kind of sad that I didn't learn to fly fish here at Warm River.

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