The 5 stages of fly fishing . . . guessing I'm between 4 and 5. Stage 5 being that you enjoy the outing whether you catch something or not. Since losing access to 5 locations, I've been scouting new water and fishing old spots. I'm tired of trying to catch pigs and it's hard enough just trying to get back into an experience of enjoyment or fulfillment.
Today, I fished a place I haven't waded in about a decade or so. It's not a prime location and really isn't even a decent place unless the water is up. It's a very shallow and silty limestone stream with very little substrate which is located in the Ozarks. Casting is pretty challenging unless facing up or downstream. Sometimes, you don't have a choice but to wade the slick stream because of cliffs and high banks.
Since it is a small stream, the fish hear and see you coming from a mile away. I would almost classify this place as a drainage ditch. It's full of old scrap metal, cars and cans. A subtle approach is necessary. Even now in July, the fish seem very lackadaisical at approaching a fly.
There are pools and riffles and this place is beautiful BUT it's so darn tough to wade. Farther down, the limestone has two or three foot holes and it's slicker than snot. If you're not careful, it's a broken leg or twisted ankle. Needless to say, folks do fish on this stream but mainly after it rains quite a bit.
The larger spotted bass dart quickly away as I try to quietly approach the pools. If they couldn't find timber , they would go into the shallows and cram themselves under rocks. I was used to drifting nymphs and dry flies on these streams but long ago, I mostly gave those flies up to chase smallmouth bass on other streams. This is finesse fishing at it's finest. It's all about the presentation on these tiny streams.
So, I'll cover the 5 stages of fly fishing shortly. Thanks for reading.