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> > The Lions Den

IasgairOctober 21st, 2018, 7:26 am

Posts: 148
I work with a guy who has a fly rod, and has had this rod for two years now and has never used it. I know, it's a sin, right? We have been talking fishing for awhile and I finally talked him into getting the rod out and cast the dust off of it. So we made plans to go fish, and he could finally learn how this sport is done. At least enough to get him started. I kept wondering and thinking because of the water levels lately being so low, where could I take him to where he'd have a good shot at a fish and learn a little about reading the water. He's an active cyclist who does a lot of mountain biking, and he says he is near streams a lot while riding and would like to learn a little bit about fishing, so while he's riding, he could stop for a bit and fish.
Well, it hit me. The Lions Den. I picked him up early that Saturday morning, and as we went up the canyon I explained to him where we were going and why. After spewing coffee all over himself he said in a low mono toned voice, " you don't like me very much, do you." I politely answered, "nope." I told him if he didn't feel comfortable going in the Den, we could fish the main river, but he was very much up to it, which impressed me.

We got our gear on, and started across the river and the first thing we see on the sandy bank near the opening of the Den were fresh lion tracks. They looked like they were just made minutes before we arrived, so we figured it saw us and left. But to where? I asked if he wanted to change his mind, and he said the way it's starting out, this could be exciting, so we went in. We weren't in the mouth of this tributary more than 50 feet and I hear my friend say, "bear." I stopped, walked over to him, looked up the mountain and there it was, just slowly walking uphill about 50 yards from us, just minding it's own business. Good size too it was. Looked to be close to 300lbs. That makes four bears for me this year. I think it's fantastic.

We hiked in for 30 minutes and came to a spot where I could get him in the water and do some casting practice. I pointed out a long seam of current coming between two rocks and showing him where to cast the fly. I sent the fly upstream and explained as he watched me stripping in line while lifting the rod tip. I had a take, but I missed it. I asked if he saw the little splash that came out of nowhere, and he said he did, and it surprised him. I said that's what you look for. So he came in and tried casting, and you know how it is with a new comer, so I'll spare you the details. But he did improve a few minutes later.

I took him to a pool where I knew he'd get a fish. I told him where to cast, and as soon as the fly hits the water to lift the rod tip to help stop any drag and give the fly a natural drift. He did just that. It was like slow motion, but we watched a fish slowly rise up to the fly and sip it in. As soon as the fish went down I told him to set the hook. He did it perfectly. That rainbow was going all over the place, and the highlight was seeing my friend smile as the fish jumped twice out of the water. He stripped in the line and he held the fish gently, still in the water and quickly plucked out the hook. And the peasants rejoiced.

I stayed with him till he felt comfortable enough to be on his own. He was bringing fish up, but with his excitement, he would set the hook too fast and miss. I told him to say hot dog or fish on, then set it.

I went on up ahead and was walking through this beautiful grassy meadow at the base of the mountain, with pine trees spread here and there, and I was admiring the beautiful scenery and thinking to myself what a lovely place for a cabin. I began fishing and knocking them dead out of the rocky pockets. As I was releasing a nice brown, I looked behind me and my friend was there smiling giving me the thumbs up. He said he just walked through a grassy meadow and kept watching behind him in case a lion was stalking him. I said I walked through the same meadow and was thinking what a nice spot for a cabin. Amazing how different two people's opinions about a certain spot can be.

All in all, by the time we finished, it was a good day. My friend learned some things, and seems to be hooked on fly fishing. He wants to come back and try again. Afterwards, we went to a Scottish Pub in town and we celebrated his catching a fish with a few pints.

Once again, the peasants rejoiced.
MartinlfOctober 22nd, 2018, 8:08 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Great story. Thanks!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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