Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Tournament...Only Female

What an incredible weekend, and now I am sick....That's what I get for going nonstop all weekend long.  Friday was my 30th Birthday and while there will always be those older saying "You have no idea how lucky you are" or to hear "30 is the new 20."  Trust me I get it.  Regardless it feels like horse pill to swallow without water...for a few reasons that I'm leaving out.   Yet, I had so much to look forward too this weekend.  A birthday dinner with those closest to my heart, a run down to the Wood River to try out 2 variations of Soft Hackle's, which landed a few gorgeous Rainbows.  A surprise birthday party  and then Sunday's Trout Unlimited: Narragansett Chapter's first One-Fly Tournament with a double header of softball at the end.

Waking up Sunday would of ordinarily been challenging, this morning Craig and I were up and out the door by 0630 and at the River for 0700.  I knew full well I'd be the only female but one of the youngest in the bunch, even after just gaining another year 48 hours earlier!  Initially I may seem quiet, taking the setting in, listening to those around me.  Especially this one person in particular, I liked him, everything out of his mouth was sarcastic.  Not only could he talk the talk, he walked it later too by taking the most fish.  It wasn't any sense of intimidation, more determination to show I can hang my own up with the rest.  Too many times I've come to this river and the men either will talk right over me directly to Craig, or will turn their heads the other way.  I've heard some comments before too on how I didn't belong there.  All your doing is looking like a jackass while I get better and show you up.  How can a competitive person, help but have that running through their veins.  Thankfully once in the water all is hushed.  Your listening, watching, observing the majority of the time.  The first comment was from a someone who asked if I was there to watch, once heard that I would be fishing they were thrilled.  I think to many times  there is this connotation that Fly Fishing is a "Man's Sport."   Here's  the deal though, the men who feel that way either don't have a spouse or significant other or if they do that person wants them out of the house for some peace and quiet.

Once my initial observations were soaked up and introductions were made it was now 0755...I asked Craig are we starting at 0800 or what?  He said we were suppose to...."Typical," I sarcastically laughed. Finally we got the go ahead to head on in...we chose to drive to the next lot down and park at the High Banks section.  This is a spot where time and time again Craig has hooked up cast after cast using the Soft Hackles...today Shhhhh all through...we walked far enough up to where we saw a few rising.  I told Craig, that in this section I will hook more trees than anything else...low canopy plus brush hanging into the river...I let him have a go.  I jumped out and walked up about 30' to try this pool from the opposite angle, more open from upstream.  There initially was a sense to hurry which I can't stand...  Kayakers were moving through...This first group was 9 of them or so and their etiquette was never formed.  Loud, splashing....etc... Do not say Sorry if your going to continue to act like a Baboon moving on through.  Next up, line stuck into the tree...I don't like snapping off lines if it can be avoided, but I really didn't want to snap this off because time I was using a fly I tied with just the guidance of my great tutor.  I didn't even photo it!...  Anyway, it was fish-able and I did miss on it so I was proud of that too.

I had about had it with the setting, I just was getting antsy, one of the guys behind us chose to use Hare's Ear and I was listening him take one after another.  After 2 hours or so we moved upstream and switched places. I was able to catch (2) 3-4" Rainbow Trout once Craig came back down from venturing further up I asked if we could get a move  back down.  We spent until 1200 moving back down to the steps of the highbanks, with nothing to show but we were moving down to the Pines.  Once there we walked until a spot we frequent,  nothing to show but there were always baby fish nipping at the fly...walking down some more, and still having the pressure of nonstop kayakers moving through I finally made  a cast where the instant it landed a 12" Brown popped it...game a decent fight but in slow waters it was easy to bring him over into the net.   No photos to show, did a fast release and he was on his way.

That was my last fish of the day, Craig unfortunately, didn't do as well.  However, he usually out-fishes me so I think he was OK with  the end result.  Unfortunately for him, the one he hooked was able to snap off his line causing Craig to sit down into the water and the fish air-showed multiple times on him just to rub it in. A short bit later he did catch a small 5" trout but really at this point his phone was out of commission leaving him with little to show.

At the conclusion, we returned to the Arcadia Management check station,  met up with the other 12 anglers that registered, traded a few laughs while we waited for the remainder to roll in.  Trout Unlimited had 14 registered anglers show up and with every registration came a 12 month membership to Trout Unlimited (Ch 225) Narragansett Chapter.  Many thanks for the prizes that were graciously donated by River and Riptide Anglers

I look forward to seeing TU:225 orchestrate future events (Dry Fly fall Tournament) and would love to get more females out on the water.

The biggest thing that future entries will be dedicated too:

Don't knock it 'til you try it!

1 comment:

  1. That is a nice count down...Keep smiling and I hope you start feeling better....