When I first moved to BC back in 2011, I found the fishing to be kind of tough. I’d never really seen a trout before, let along fished for one, so I didn’t know what I was doing. I spent the first couple of years fishing like I would normally and not catching a blessed thing. In fact, the single best day of fishing I had in my first two years here was a lake that had bass in it, something I know how to find and fish for. Needless to say, ‘Fishless’ Doug Paton wasn’t exactly the most fun guy to be around.
I did all the usual research and read about people who regularly caught fish using similar things to what I was using, but I still wasn’t having any luck. Eventually, I did what most people do when they’re not finding any fish and hit up one of the local fishing stores.
It wasn’t most enlightening experience and the best piece of advice that the guy at the store offered me was, “Frankly, you’re better off hanging a fly under a bobber.” I wasn’t impressed. I hadn’t wanted to get into fly fishing, mostly because I didn’t want to go through the process of shopping for a new setup, but also because I’m stubborn and I felt that I shouldn’t have to learn a new way of fishing just to catch fish in BC. But, regardless of what I thought of the advice I got that day, I listened to what he had to say and humoured him by picking up a few flies to try under a bobber.
Time went on and I got a little better at fishing, in fact, that summer I actually started
to figure out what I doing on the waters of BC. I caught a few fish, I explored some rivers and, most importantly, I did it all without having to use flies. I felt pretty good about that and was just starting to convince myself that I didn’t need to take up fly fishing in order to catch fish, but there was still something missing.
I noticed that while I’d figured out how to catch fish under certain circumstances, like in a river or smaller stream, I still wasn’t catching fish in any of the lakes that were close to me. People would talk about those lakes and all the fish they were catching, but every time I went out there, which was fairly often, all I caught was weeds. I was starting to wonder if maybe the people I was talking to were full of it.
Finally, one day, I tried something a little different. Over the course of the summer, along with the ones that I had purchased at the suggestion of the guy in the fishing shop, I had managed to acquire more flies. I had friends who had passed on some of their favourite patterns for fishing some of the lakes and, after a while, curiousity got the better of me and I tied one on. To my surprise, I caught a fish. A pretty nice one, too.
It happened again a little while later on a different lake, and, although I didn’t manage to land that fish, it was the first fish I’d caught on that lake since the first time I was there, nearly two years before, and lost a very nice fish before I could get it in the net.
Then it happened. I was at my usual spot–a lake close to me with, frankly, terrible fishing–and I decided today was the day I would finally follow the advice of the guy from fishing shop. I tied on a fly, attached a bobber to the line and tossed it out. Now, I’ve already mentioned that this lake had terrible fishing and I wasn’t kidding. I’ve spent a lot of time on here and still have periods of time I fish it weekly. It’s close, it’s easy access, at least as far as getting there goes, and I can usually have a fairly enjoyable day of throwing a line into the water. I never come here to catch fish, though. They’re in there. I’ve seen them cruising around, but they’ve always managed to elude me.
At any rate, I wasn’t expecting much when I tied that fly on, I really wasn’t, but to my complete and utter surprise, after less than a minute of being in the water, the bobber plunged under the water. I didn’t land the fish, or even get a chance to play it a little, but it was enough to convince me that I might need to suck it up and get a fly rod, which is exactly what happened a few weeks later.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the water calls.