Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

Dumb luck!


Preparation is the key to being successful. That’s a true statement that  probably covers our every situation or endeavor. Of course, there is such a thing as dumb-luck, something most of us benefit from on occasion, usually when we least expect it.

If it wasn’t for dumb luck most of us would have given up fishing years ago. I mean, who really knows what’s swimming beneath the bobber holding up a hook with a worm on it? We’ll take anything that grabs it and holds on.

Fly fishing is a little more specific: though the same dumb luck steps in on occasion, by matching the hatch or seasonal sub-surface activity, we can mitigate the “by chance” part and increase the chance of success for catching a specific species.

When it comes right down to it, unless you’re in a tournament you don’t really care what you pull in …I don’t care if it’s a brookie, brown or rainbow, I just want it to be a trout; big or small.

My friend Rich Merlino taught me how to fish for big browns on the big water of the Au Sable downstream from Mio. Rich knew I was a dry fly enthusiast and also knew if you catch a big brown there on a dry fly, well, it was dumb luck. But we did catch big browns there, mostly by fishing weighted streamers and casting them almost onto the bank, then stripping, stripping, stripping, until you’re wrist hurt.

Rich had a cooler he kept next to the rowing chair on the Bi-Yak that contained all he needed for any circumstance he encountered on the float. That’s preparation. My insisting on fishing dries and hooking a sizeable brown, well, that’s dumb luck.

I’m O.K. with that.



Dumb luck!

  1. Rich merlino says:

    Don’t forget Terry, you certainly earned that big brown on your page with a perfect cast and excellent fighting skills. You sure showed the difference between landing a trophy and just hooking one. I’d say that you were well prepared all around.

    1. admin says:


      Thanks for the generous praise, I’m beginning to think I over paid for the boat.
      You are missed at Orvis.

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