I got up this morning at 5:30, crammed some oatmeal and eggs down my throat, grabbed some coffee in a thermos, and my gear, and rushed out the door so I could hit the Rocky River at first light. I made it on time, and thankfully there was hardly a soul there, giving me assurances that fishing pressure would be very light. It’s not very fun when there’s a hundred yahoos on the river slapping the water with their lines and competing with you to get a fish.
Finding a nice spot to park near the marina, I slipped my waders and boots on quick as I could, prepped my line and head out. It wasn’t fifteen minutes before my fingers were numb from the cold, but that was soon amended when the sun started creeping over the horizon. I tied on a black and blue intruder to my fly line, let out a few casts and snagged a rock, losing a fly. Inspecting my line, I saw it was owing to the perfection loop between my leader and tippet. This is a setup suggested by Dec Hogan, which I have decided is not worth adopting over a well-tied blood knot (he suggests it for quick changes while serving as a guide . . . I have since called it a lazy guide’s knot). Deferring to a good blood knot, I tied in again, losing the fly to some bad casts. Rats. Lesson learned: Cast smooth and easy when using Intruders. The temptation will be to utilize the weight to chuck-and-duck, it is likely the speed of the fly will break the knot, and it did several times.
In spite of snags and losses, sticking with the black and blue intruder paid off today when I waded around the bend and swung my fly toward some transition water close to the shoreline. Tap! I felt a slight nudge on the end of my line. Encouraged, I cast again to the same spot, and Tap! A lighter tap that time, around the same area. I knew this was a fish. Another cast, and the line was tapped again, but this time with a rigorous shake and a tug. Fish on! My set was a little half-hearted as I was a little surprised with the little chrome beastie jumping out of the water. It started to swim towards me, back downstream, and it shook the fly off. Laughing a little, I cast again a few times, got a few more taps, and then nothing.
It was encouraging today to lay into some chrome today. Hopefully tomorrow I will have better luck. Another lesson: don’t be half-hearted in setting the hook. Set that sucker and hold the line tight.