Walking in the Foot Steps of a Giant


So a few days back I get a phone call asking for some help with fly fishing. Sure no problem, I’ll do what I can. Show you a couple of basic casts and some knots. We will talk about little brown bugs that live in the water, and see if we can get you on a couple of fish. Andrew replied that it sounded great. “By the way, have you had any fly fishing instruction, ever”, I ask? Andrew replies, “yes sir, I have, I took a Mike Adams class last year”. The first thought that ran through my head was, Crap…. that guy is the man around here. Well, Andrew let’s do it! I’ll try to reinforce and possibly add onto what Mike taught you.

It’s pretty intimidating to walk in the footsteps of a local giant. We have all done it and we will all do it again. When I was training as a whitewater guide, that’s all that there was. Walking in the footsteps of these guys and girls that came before. The local legends that were guiding the Upper Gauley or the Russell Fork when you were still learning to count on both hands. And now I get to do it again, with fly fishing. During my more philosophical moments, I ponder all sorts of stuff. And as Andrew fished today, I considered how cool it was to be on the river with this guy who has never caught a fish on a fly rod. How surreal the moment of standing in moving water, explaining the life cycle of bugs that a trout eats like popcorn. Reinforcing water reading, trout lies, and awareness of yourself in your present environment….to catch a fish.

So we fished the South Holston this morning, nice overcast day. Cool, drizzling rain. Set him up a nymph rig. Simple Pheasant Tail, nothing fancy, no dropper rigs, just a simple fly. We walked and talked, chatted about fishing…life… Andrew began fishing, coaching him through the water reading, and encouraging him on his casting. Then it happened, as simple as always, the indicator disappeared underwater…..”Andrew set the hook, lift up, lift up…..that’s it, keep your line tight!” Andrew caught his first brown today, and it was one of those beautiful honey dew brown’s that can only be found on the South Holston.

Congrats! Andrew hope the worm has turned for you and you continue waving a stick in the air and trying to feed fish brown fuzzy flies!

#SouthHolston #flyfishing #nymph #browntrout

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