Monday, July 19, 2010

Lake Audubon Fly Fishing | Client #2

I took a break between clients to eat some pizza and cake with my family in Herndon. My little nephew turned 1. I returned to the lake after lunch for client Duane. A family with a puppy showed up and the pup had some fascination with the canoe.

Duane and I have a common friend which we learned via the Facebook. I know her as Vanna. He also commented on my podcasts so I have confirmation that at least one person out there knows about them.
Duane lives in D.C. and grew up in the Midwest. He has fished his whole life and done a bit of fly fishing. He came equipped with a beautiful custom fly rod on a Loomis blank. His line was sinking so I had him take the rod Andrew fished in the morning.

Duane is a strong dude and was putting all that muscle into his casting. His whole body was used to get the fly out. He was rocking the boat. My goal was to get him to sloooowly and geeeently cast that rod. Like the 85 year old ladies in Key Largo that could throw 85' of line. They did not have strength, they used the rod to do the work.

I crawled over the fishing gear and got behind Duane. I told him this would be like the guy showing a girl how to shoot pool scene from movies. Duane referred to this scene from Happy Gilmore:

I held the rod with Duane and together I showed him the gentle motion of picking the fly off the water, throwing the line behind him, pausing, and dropping the rod tip and pointing it where he wanted the fly to go. Sometimes the physical motion makes more sense than the verbal explanation. He got it and his casting improved.

Duane was now picking up the flies (I had the damsel dropper on there) and splatting them down with ease. He was missing a few fish and we'll blame that on the sunfish trying to eat the scorpion bug which is too big for them.

Duane switched back and forth from a 1wt rod with 2wt line and a foam bug and the 6wt rod with the two-fly rig. I had a 9' 6wt strung up for carp but of course, we saw no carp. We crossed the lake at the flats that are soon to be dredged and worked the opposite bank.

I started to notice the strangest thing. A sunfish would breach the water and go for the the scorpion. The line would go tight and he set the hook only to find out that a fish was on the damsel dropper. This happened several times. Were two fish going for the different flies at the same time? Was the strike on the scorpion causing the damsel to move in a way that another fish would be triggered into biting it? Was it the same fish that missed the scorpion and somehow was fast enough to turn around and take the dropper? I was not sure but it was a strange site to see.

We lit some stogies in the afternoon and talked fishing, life in D.C., and sports. It was a good afternoon. I found myself watching more and instructing less. Duane's casting had done a 180 and he was now getting bites on every 3rd to 4th cast and landing a lot of sunfish. He landed a handful of bass and a lot of sunfish like the morning's client.

The wind had picked up and was blowing us toward the boat ramp. I had been outside for almost 12 hours now and I was thirsty and tired. Time was just about up and we fished the last stretch by the boat ramp.

Duane picked a couple of flies out of my boxes to use and we discussed getting together again and me giving advice on what gear to bring to a trip to Alaska and what he needs to fish around here.

What a great day, clients improving their skills, catching fish, seeing rare birds, and meeting new people.


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