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"Oh my, that’s my fly!"
By: Robbie Biccum

There is nothing quite as memorable or surprising as the first time you catch a trout on your own fly. As a young man I was a member of a local fishing club and we would fish the rivers and streams of southern and central California. In addition to the fishing trips and the monthly meetings we also got together and set up our vices and tied flies. I learned a lot about tying flies by watching the old timers and asking a lot of questions. When I first started I was tying about one fly every half hour. I don’t mean those real pretty, anatomically correct, exact duplicates of Dragon Flies I’m talking about a Mayfly spinner made entirely of polypropylene. Bye the time I decided to change from river trout fishing to lake and ocean BASS fishing I could tie a decent caddis or hares ear in about 30 seconds.

So one day, while on a fishing trip with our group I decided to break away and fish some water by myself. Up to this point I had been using hand tied flies that were tied by a guy named Eric at Bob Marriots Fly Shop in Burbank. I had some flies of my own but never felt very confident in fishing any of them. I found myself at a small stream about 6 - 8’ wide and crossing the road I was traveling on. I stopped, grabbed my rod and my vest and started to head upstream when I remembered something Eric told me when I was in his shop. So way before I got to the edge of the stream I made a perfect cast about 8" off the near shore. I had tied on a Blue Winged Olive Spinner made from 100% Synthetic fibers. When a nice trout gobbled it down in less that 5 seconds from when it hit the water. I was so shocked I almost forgot to set the hook. I remember looking at that trout for along time before releasing it back into the stream. Obviously quite proud and very confident I fished the entire weekend with MY FLIES!

In fact when I got back I headed down to a local full service tackle store called The Fisherman’s Spot in the Valley. I asked the guy who I now know as Jeff if he had a box I had heard of that allowed me to carry my fly tying stuff with me so I could tie my own flies right on the spot and "Match-The-Hatch" of whatever the trout happen to be feeding on when I get to any river or stream.

Man what a great setup. Jeff set me up with about $400.00 worth of stuff that gave me some of the biggest thrills while trout fishing. Fishing is a big challenge, finding out what a fish is eating and where he/she is eating it is more than half the battle. Once you figure these two items out all you have to do is cast and reel. One thing that really help me were skimming nets for the surface and a current net for all the suspended hatchling, worms, etc. I used a little net like an aquarium net for catching bugs floating downstream on the surface. I made my bigger (current) net from two dowels with window screen in between the dowels. I would use this net as follows: I would hold the net downstream of where I was standing then I would gently disturb the bottom of the stream bed with my boots and the silt and the bugs would flow right into my net.

Now I had the information I needed to "Match-The-Hatch". This of course is simplified and you will be faced with selecting which one of the 15 or so bugs in your net is the one they are keying in on. The better you get to know the water the better you will be at
knowing which patterns work and which don’t.

If you are at all thinking about getting into Fly Fishing I can highly recommend it as a great way to spend your time. It is challenging and fun. Especially if you invest in a kit like the one Jeff help me put together. I have never forgotten that purchase and have never regretted it either. The guys in Fisherman’s Spot also do Deep Sea Charter Boat Fishing and have a complete line of ocean and Bass Gear. Stop in and say you heard about them from BASSONHOOK and LURESRUS.

Robbie Biccum

Look for other articles written by Robbie in our Article Archives

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