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December 2022 - Volume 31 Number 2
Chasing Autumn Browns
We've entered the season when brown trout, including trophy fish, are particularly active.
By Bill Barich
California Winter Steelhead Flies
Design philosophies and fly patterns continue to evolve.
By Dennis P. Lee
Baum Lake
A comfortably-sized impoundment that provides both good fishing and excellent hatch-matching lessons.
By Lance Gray
The Lower Owens River
From its gorge to Tinemaha Reservoir, the Owens River below Lake Crowley offers angling opportunities throughout the year.
By Bob Gaines
Approaching Spooky Trrout
Often, the best fish are also those most likely to flee at any hint of an angler's presence.
By Dagur Gudmundsson
Consider the Kayak
The reasons why pedal-powered kayaks are excellent watercraft for fishing lakes, plus tips on their use.
By Cal Kellogg
Reading Water, Part 3: Riffles and Pocket Water
Identifying types of water that are likeliest to hold trout.
By Michael Malekos

Click here for Doug Lovell's
February 2010 Good Fight article

Click here for Drew Braugh's
March 2011 Good Fight article about the Fall River - page 1 / page 2

Do the Wild Thing

When angling, itís easy to get caught up entirely with the sportís obvious purpose, which is to hook fish. Getting a fish to take your fly requires applying knowledge to guide your decisions and actions and mental focus and physical skill to help ensure you do everything well. This is an intense activity, which means successes and failures are often felt intensely, as evidenced by the curses sometimes heard along the water.

But then again, itís only fishing. In the broad scheme of lifeís priorities, losing fish or blowing casts have less importance than whether you brush your teeth twice a day. While itís appropriate that we approach the sport with intensity, itís also OK to loosen up and have fun with it.

On a recent trip downriver, my friend John pulled a small, bright metal lure, a spoon, from his fly box. ďWould you mind if I fished this?Ē he asked, assuming I might look askance at casting hardware with a fly rod. ďGo for it!Ē I loved the idea, having occasionally thought about fly fishing with one of my favorite lures as a kid, the Super Duper. How would one fish such a thing without a spinning reel?

I donít think John was entirely sure, and I had little clue, but what a wild thing to do. Or maybe not so wild ó at one time, spoons and other spinning lures had been commonly fished with fly gear. (Turns out they still are, at least in the subset of our sport known as tenkara.) Still, John set aside preconceptions, ignored flies that would likely have done well where we were fishing, and instead invited failure by playing around with a new approach. Or in this case, an approach so old as to be new again.

Perhaps an interest in trying something novel comes only after one has been sufficiently successful to no longer care much about trophy fish or numbers. Or maybe itís inherent in being a successful angler. Whatever. The point is to enjoy the experience of fishing, an experience that is broadened when we move past our biases, our predilections for the same olí same olí.

Years ago, I played a hunch and did the unexpected by throwing bluegill poppers to trout rising along the face of a Sierra dam and to schoolie stripers in a lagoon near Novato.

I have never forgotten what happened.

     Richard Anderson
     Publisher and Editor

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