When you get a text from a fishing buddy a few days before you're planning on leaving for a weekend trip, you normally hope it's something good about the weekend - food, flies of choice, beer or booze, your cooler or mine. This was a bit different, "Fished the Bitteroot in the AM and the Big Hole this evening. Won't be making it home until Sunday. I had my dates mixed up."
What was I to say? It wasn't a worry that he was in Montana, though I was a bit jealous. I wished him luck and sat back to reevaluate my weekend plans. I made a few calls, let a few guys know I wouldn't be making it all the way up to Viroqua, and put together a plan to fish around Grant and Iowa counties. It was now a solo mission.
Camping and fishing by yourself presents a lot of challenges and this trip didn't disappoint. So as Stuart and I get to work editing our many photos, I wanted to highlight a few things and offer some advice that may come in handy for you, as it did for me over the last two days.
At the recent Cast and Compare event I grabbed a couple of furled leaders and decided to give them a try this weekend. They performed well out of the gate, throwing dries, but soon I noticed all five feet sinking and dragging my fly under within the first few feet of the drift.
"Ahh, I forgot the floatant!" I thought. Not only forgot to add it to the line, but it was also left in the truck.
So lesson learned, add floatant to your furled leaders BEFORE you hit the water, and always make sure you've got some with you. It'll save you a LOT of headaches, and set you up to hook a few more fish.
Fly fishing isn't really considered a "dangerous sport", well unless you're up in AK fishing in bear country. And here in the Midwest, there really aren't too many things that can hurt you. But one thing that can lead to problems is a burying a hook beyond the barb in your hand, head, arm, etc.
I normally debarb my hooks, but for some reason this one hadn't been pinched. After getting my line caught up in the thicket, I grabbed the fly, gave it a tug. The thicket won that battle, and in went a size 20 midge, up to the tail. Thankfully, I've been hooked before, but this gave me the chance to try a trick I learned from the boys over at Gink and Gasoline. Give it a look, and take my word, it works like a champ. I can speak to it personally!