Fasting: an end to slim pickings?

Pic courtesy of bark via Flickr

Most of us have a standby fly rod. Now it looks as though a rod you can stand behind undetected may be more to the point

I thought this look at flyfishing’s correlation with fasting might be a rare dip in Gink & Gasoline‘s high quality output but damn it if they haven’t got me thinking again, with their reflections on how positively the body compensates to a short period of digestive abstinence.

“My initial theory was this. If I am hungry when fishing, my natural predatory senses could be enhanced. My body needs food and my mind could be sharpening my senses to help me provide it, helping me spot fish and focus on catching them. After doing some reading, I think there’s merit in that idea but there may be more going on…”

A roll-call follows of feel-good, natural, legal substances released by the body when external substances disappear. You could get quite excited about the idea, until you remember that you’re reading this less than an hour after a rather good lunch.

Then again, if a ‘big-boned’ bon viveur like Ernest Hemingway can rhapsodise about the beneficial effects of writing on an empty stomach, in his excellent book A Moveable Feast, who am I to say what going lean and mean might do for your catch rate?

But this is not an undertaking to be, er, trifled with. While I know I write mainly for the Common Sense Generation, there should be moderation in all things and mention it to your doctor first if you have any existing medical conditions etc. You know the drill.

20 summer fishing secrets

Contained in a Field & Stream blog post, most relate to American waters but I was struck by the following:

16. Make Glow-in-the-Dark Flies

Many of the best mayfly hatches happen after dusk, when it is difficult for mere mortals to actually see trout eating their flies. To avoid missed strikes, organize a dedicated late-night fly box. Set aside some of your key patterns, and use a fine-point paintbrush to dab the tips of fly wings (or the posts of parachute patterns) with glow-in-the-dark paint. Be conservative, so as not to add extra weight to the flies, and only treat the top sections (where you’ll see it, but the trout won’t).

Paint your flies at least 24 hours before fishing them, and before you hit the river, spend a good five minutes or so shining a bright flashlight beam into the box, so the paint absorbs the energy. If the glow-in-the-dark spot on the water disappears when you hear a slurp, set the hook.”

There comes a point in a fishing guide’s life when he’s good enough to let himself go

Gary McFadden is there.

Seriously, if a guy who looked like he does came out of nowhere and offered to help you with your fishing, I doubt you’d know whether to run or hand him some  kind of helpline number.

Such is the danger of being swayed by image before you’ve assessed the substance behind it.

The hirsute McFadden is in fact a fishing guide of such repute on Alaska’s Kenai River that he has just been voted into America’s Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

“He’s kind of an icon. I don’t know if you’ve ever met him, but he’s kind of like the wizard, he’s like Gandalf almost,” Harpe said. “He has those qualities about him and there is something to say about that.”

He has quite way with words, too. The end-of-season river, full of trout sulkily moping around with sore mouths, is a word picture that will stay with me for the rest of the day…

Try and work THIS into an ad campaign, Coca-Cola…

When Dr Peter Fletcher suggested that leaving trout upside down in the water to revive might represent catch-and-release best practice (TF issue 426) I thought it could be the most contrarian conservation measure I encounter for some time*.

Now Gink & Gasoline blow that one clean out of the water with what could well be the most attention-grabbing catch shot you see this year.

Look, I’m no vet. As this man would have put it, I couldn’t possibly comment. I’ll just leave this particular revival technique entirely to your discretion. And if you think any ‘antis’ might be watching you fish, ‘discretion’ is probably the operative word…

[*one which I have seen vindicated with my own eyes several times since]

Learning from Landon

Never underestimate the power of promotion: when one of your home page plugs states, “Landon Mayer is light-years ahead of his peers when it comes to practical techniques for catching fish…” you’re more or less assured of people stopping for a mosey around.

And Colorado guide Mayer offers something to back up the testimonial, with a nice collection of articles to be found on his website, the majority of them containing useful tips on flyfishing generally: Understanding Trout Feeding Patterns, 10 Tips for Spotting Trout and Three Casts to Help Catch Trout in Close, to name a few.


Pic of the Day – Unseasonal? It was taken a week ago… Firehole River, Yellowstone

If we canonise people in fly fishing, I give you Jeff McAbee

A little  bit fishing, a little bit crime, a little bit New Testament and a little bit psychology, Jeff McAbee’s response to having his prize rod stolen brings new meaning to turning the other cheek.

And, presumably, we must admire the thief’s consistency, if nothing else.

If there is a God, hopefully somewhere in Colorado right now, some bum is using the tip of a stolen fly rod to scratch furiously at those festering boils he can’t reach.

[pic courtesy of lamont_cranston]