Sunday, April 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

The urban fly fisherman frequently faces some unique decisions that go beyond which fly, what tippet and where to flail.  I was confronted with some such decisions today.

Today I found myself perched precariously on a large (1 ton?) concrete slab tilted down the bank 10 feet above a small pool.  Large Carp where cruising through the pool every 15 to 20 seconds.  I had only decent cover and a single 4' wide window through the trees to flick out a fly.  It was difficult to tell, but they were either on to me or just not feeding.  Either way I had run out of time to find feeding fish and was relegated to hoping for an unlikely mistake by my cautious friends.
Suddenly the world seemed to dislocate as the concrete slab slowly broke free and silently and smoothly slid several feet down the slope.  It was a very odd feeling and I had time to look left, look right and realize I had no options.  Ride it out or break a leg jumping off.  Decision 1 was to ride it out.  Fortunately after a couple of feet it came gently to rest against another slab.  The conversation with myself on decision 2 went something like this:

Trevor:  "OK, lets get outta here"
McTage:  "No way we have time to find other fish before it is time to go home"         
Trevor:  "OK, lets go home early"
McTage:  Silence
Trevor:  "Then lets switch to that slab to the left"
McTage:  "No cover"
Trevor:  "The Right?"
McTage:  "No angle"
Trevor:  "These fish HAVE to be wise to us now"
McTage:  "You never know"
Trevor:  "Have you ever seen 127 hours?"
McTage:  "Yeah, but I also saw that Carp just cruise through.  20lbs class easy"
Trevor:  Silence
McTage:  "Cmon, nobody was harmed in the soiling of these under-wear."
Trevor:  "Fish on M-F-er"

Needless to say it was a waste of time.  Or it appeared to be.  Ten minutes later while starting off into the distance I made the reluctant decision to give in and head out.  Without even watching my fly I lifted and began to reel in.  Right into a really big fish.

Ten times out of 10 that means that you just lifted as a fish swam over your fly.  It seemed fair but based on the odds I was really sticking it to the fish just to get it to the top for a glimpse.  The next move would depend on where it was hooked.  Point the rod or land the fish based on which seemed kinder.  To my surprise when I got a good look it looked to be right in the kisser.  Somebody had made a mistake.  Both of us had made a mistake really, because horsing it to the max must have loosened things up and pretty soon the hook pulled free.  Bummer.  


  1. Surfing on a 1 ton concrete slab? Crazy stuff right there. Great post.

  2. Surfing is EXACTLY how it felt. Or skateboarding at any rate since I have never been surfing.

  3. This is a nice parallel to those of us who are urban anglers. I can't tell you how many times I've had similar experiences, but in actuality I'm incredibly clumsy so that might have a lot to do with it.


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