Had an enjoyable May on the Sacramento River teaching both experienced anglers and those who were brand new to the fly fishing method. Springtime in Redding California brings mild temperatures (in mid 70’s-low 80′) and lots of sunshine. For the new anglers… it was about helping with the basics: fly casting, line mending, hook setting, line management and of course landing that first fish. Congratulations to Kristine and Tony who we’re excellent students and became quickly proficient at casting within hours of touching a fly rod.
On the experienced end of the spectrum… spending time with Tim and Ross was an absolute treat. Their sense of humor and shared excitement with every hook-set made for a very enjoyable day on the water.
Our area of focus for coaching these pros was around fighting a landing the more savvy, hard fighting Lower Sacramento River Rainbow Trout in Redding California. We focused on keeping a vertical rod during the fight and knowing how & when to angle the rod properly with the right amount force to turn the fish. These Lower Sacramento River Rainbow Trout are some of the hardest fighting fish in the West.
For experienced anglers (at times), there is a momentary second of relaxation that occurs after we’ve successfully hooked a nice fish and fought it for awhile. At the moment we feel in control, our rod hand tends to rise in the air and the rod tip starts to fall toward the water (rather than staying pointed to the sky).
When the rod is parallel to the water it puts us (the angler) at a disadvantage. Now keep in mind… this is a very subtle move and it doesn’t happen all the time but it does reduce our chance to land the fish. If the fly rod remains vertical (pointed to the sky), it acts as a shock absorber and reduces the amount of pressure on the ultra light line (6 lbs test) connected to our tiny flies (size #12, #14, #16, #18). The thing about great anglers is they are always open to learn and grow. Tim and Ross were no exception and they landed some beautiful Lower Sacramento River Rainbow Trout in Redding California by adjusting their game during our time on the water. Great job guys! I can’t wait to do it again.