Our whole lives we’ve been lied to beginning with the declaration, “There is no such thing as a stupid question,” and followed by, “People care about what you think.”
Case in point:
I was trying out a new 3 wt LL Bean Pocket Water rod on the lower Jordan with good results in part because the little rod performed like the longer 5 wt I normally use. The little rod – light and somewhat limber – had plenty of back-bone and put out a tight loop at 25 yards.
Casting dry flies on matching line, the rod let the fly settle softly on the water thanks to a hand-tied leader that tapered down to a 6x tippet. There were strikes, misses and several browns in the 10 to 12 inch class that put the rod through its paces and a smile on this piscators face.
Suddenly, a voice boomed, “Are you fishing?”
I turned to see a man standing between two cedars holding on to one as he leaned his body out over the bank to get a better view of where I was casting. “Yes, I am,” I said back chuckling the words.
“Are you catching anything?”
“A few,” I answered as I lifted the rod and found resistance.
“Don’t horse him, let the rod do the work,” came back in a louder voice.
I didn’t say a thing, I just brought the brown to net; admired him and released him,.
“What’s the point of going fishing if you throw them back?” he asked. “I wouldn’t waste my time going through all those gyrations you’re going through just to hook a chub and then throw him back. Want me to tell you how to catch bigger fish?”
I did all I could to keep my voice at a normal tone and asked him if he had any more questions about what I was doing and why, and if not, although I really appreciated his thoughts and advice, it was time for me to leave. With that I reeled in, cut the fly from the tippet and put it on my headband. I made my way to the bank and climbed out. My head shaking, I walked through the woods back to the car where “two fingers” of bourbon was waiting …today I might make it four.