Fishing mojo has been on my mind lately. In terms of fish caught I’ve had a terrible start to the season. I’ve fished incredibly passively, expecting fish to throw themselves at my line. This seems like the anti-thesis of fly fishing: you should have to hunt down the trout and earn their takes. It’s all about the mind of course. Sometimes, and it pains me to say it, the mind is not right for fishing.
Yesterday I headed down to a favourite spot hoping to dig deep and find some mojo. I took the unusual step of stringing up my 8′ 3 weight rod instead of the shotgun Sage. My elbow has basically been buggered by my casting practice this winter so light rods are now mandatory. It’s nice to find blessings in every curse, and rediscovering a love of fishing light is surly a worthy blessing from my painful curse. It’s a totally different feeling from using the 5 weight, one where the rod seems much more like an extension of the arm and the casts quietly swish past with only a thought. I actually enjoyed fishing again, and came pretty close to the place on several occasions.
The place I hope you know. Total concentration, the river becomes quiet and muffled and you know the fly bubbling down the foam without seeing it. Confidence oozes and your body feels electric. I had about two minutes, but it felt like an hour.
I caught fish today, and good ones too. Three around 12-14oz, all beautifully brown and black spotted. A small enthusiastic grayling also snatched my F-fly and threw a little tantrum. Half a dozen smaller trout later on beautifully rounded out the day as a little spinner fall slipped slowly by. There were so many flies around today it was nearly impossible to take a guess at the right one to suggest. Yellow mays popped up nearly all afternoon and evening, but never in great numbers. Iron blues, olives, gazillions of wee black gnats. The classic late May river scene before a pair of grinning eyes.
As well as a bit of a mojo reunion I rediscovered the F-fly yesterday. CDC dry flies seem to be the subject of endless debate. Some folks decry their fragility and others pronounce them as having zen-like charm. In true agnostic style I like to sit on the fence and use them when the time calls. But it has to be said that in the past few seasons I have found them to be the best fish catchers of all my flies. I cannot really explain why but fish simply love them. If I ever find a fish that looks a little nervous, or if the standard DHE comes a-croper, the trusty CDC F-fly is nearly always the standby choice. I think the endless debate comes partly from the fact that the quality of shop-bought CDC varies wildly. Some of the flies yesterday took three or four fish before needing a really good seeing-to. But some were useless after only a few particularly turbulent swims. I will certainly be seeking out some really good quality CDC and will tie up a really good range of sizes and colours. I love the F-fly because it can be nearly anything: hatching dun, crippled dun, dun dun, spinner, bug, marshmallow.
I hope the mojo is back for good. As with most things in life good balance usually helps and I think it’s possible to balance mojo with other matters. It’s truly all in the mind and if the mind is good the mojo will flow. If all else fails I’ll simply use lighter and lighter rods until that magic feeling of cotton wool delicacy comes back. Hmm…as if tackle lust ever solved anything..
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