NO BANANAS IN THE BOAT! We have all heard that one before, or the ol’ lucky fishing hat you can’t be on the river without. What about trimming the tag ends of your tippet after you tie on a fly? Or what about letting your buddy fish a run first to increase your fishing mojo? Most of us like to help people out on the river to better our river karma. Maybe, you listen to a certain song on the way out to the river to increase your luck. Whatever type of juju you find out there, you’ll find that most people are really religious about whatever it is they believe will increase their fishing prowess for the day.
Personally, I’m not much a believer in the superstitious things we all do related to fly fishing. There may be a few things I do before I hit the water, but I’ll row a boat with a banana in it all day long. However, recently I had a turn for the worst in the fly fishing juju world. It all started with an early 1980’s Orvis graphite rod, The Henry’s Fork 8’6″ 5wt. Let me explain.
Earlier this winter I put a lot of thought into the advantages of having a slower action fly rod. More delicate of a presentation, less line out of the tip to load it, and so on. It would be great for some of the smaller brushier streams I like to fish. So, alas I settled on a nice vintage Orvis graphite rod that was made before I was born. It looks sweet and has all the nostalgia a rod from 30 years back should. There is only one problem, this rod is cursed. I am absolutely convinced that this rod has some type very dark past. Maybe it was one of the previous owners? Could be the the guy I bought from. I’m thinking Jim West at Orvis might have put some type of bad voodoo magic on this rod when he built it decades ago.
Whoever or whatever is responsible for the source of the bad juju doesn’t matter, what really matters is I can’t seem to have a good day fishing with this stick in my hand. The first day out on the river with my new weapon, 0 for 3 casting dry flies to rising trout on The MO. It’s probably just because I’m not used to setting a hook with a slower rod I thought to myself, at least I got them to eat. Second time out with the rod, I couldn’t feed two rising fish with the rod. Picked up my trusty old dry fly rod and wham, got them to eat. Next trip I waded into a nice spot to find some risers in a back channel of The MO, determined to land a fish on my new Henry’s Fork. First two fish I hooked got off. OK, what is going on here. I’m starting to worry I’ll never land a fish with this rod. Then, finally I get one to hand. The curse must be broken. The karma has finally settled in the rods favor. A second fish is landed and life is good, but of course the night is eded with a nice fish that broke off. I hope the curse is finally over.
Just to make sure I took The Henry’s Fork out for a little test trip on a small creek. 1 for 7 at the end of a couple of hours. Not what I was hoping to confirm, the rod is still cursed. Needless to say I have been reaching for other rods in the quiver over the past few weeks. I hope sometime in the near future it will have that moment where the curse is shaken. Hopefully I won’t have to wait 86 years like the Boston Red Sox. If anybody is interested in getting an old Orvis early graphite rod, I might know a guy who is selling one in the near future. Buyer beware.
The MO is great right now. Lots of fish eating nymphs and a good amount eating on top as well. Caddis are going in the lower river, PMD’s will be here in a big way any day now. We are getting them on both types of patterns though. Local freestones are all starting to settle and fishing with the big bugs is already hot on some and picking up on others. Basically, its time to get out there and go fish!
That is all for now, see you next week. I’m off to The Blackfoot for a few days and then back to work on The MO for the end of the week. Make sure to call CrossCurrents Fly shop for any of your fishy needs.