Ever Had to Improvise?

My last fishing trip did not go as planned. Five minutes before I got off work I recieved a call about going fishing. No problem but I had none of my gear and my house is a good 25 minutes in one direction from the office, and the river is another 50 minutes from my house back past the office. Still I was game, but was in a hurry when I burst into the garage around 5:30pm and gathered up my gear. I set some gear down to run in to tell the wife and kids hello and goodbye, then with an arm load of gear I headed for the truck. All was well and on schedule.

I arrived at the river around 6:20pm and hopped out of the truck eager to rig up and hit the water. I put the waders on and went to grab my rod when I discovered it was not present. Somehow when I went inside to say my goodbyes I had to set down something and that thing was my rod. Then in my hurry to get out I had forgotten to get it on my way out the door. Not only that but I soon discovered that my vest was stripped of supplies as well so all that I had was my waders, fly box, and a spool of 4lb test mono. To make matters worse fish were rising all over in the pool I was parked at. It was pure torture.

Finally I decided to make a go of it with what I had. I headed down to the river and found the longest and straightest willow I could. I cut it off and stripped off all the extra branches. Then I tied about 25 feet of mono to the end and tied on a mayfly emerger. I quickly found out the purpose of fly line though as it was impossible to cast without the extra weight. So I worked on my fish stalking skills. I would work my way up to a rising fish trying to get within my 25-30 foot range. It was not easy because I needed to be upstream from the fish so that the current would carry my fly down to them. Being upstream I was directly in the fish's field of vision. I was spooking more fish than I was presenting too but finally got within range of one. Then my second problem emerged.

As I dropped the fly in the water and let it drift down to a rising fish it all looked good. When the fly passed over the feeding fish I was ready as it came up and sipped the fly. Perfect. Except for one thing. I had misjudged the distance by a few feet, and I had about 5 feet of slack that was impossible to take up before the fish spit the hook. So problem number two was line management. This made things even tougher as I not only had to stalk to within 30 feet of fish while in their line of vision, I had to be pretty precise in my judgement of distance so that the fly was entering the fishes feeding zone with very little slack still in the line.

Darkness set in before I had a chance to perfect my technique but I got a couple more strikes that I couldn't set the hook on because of slack in the line. It was tough but I feel in some way I was able to salvage a fishing trip as I worked through ways to hook a fish without a rod and reel.

Does anyone else have any improvisation stories about ways you have salvaged a trip into the outdoors?


More Pictures From the South Fork of the Snake

I didn't take many pictures with my camera on our float a couple weeks ago but I got Warrens pictures from his camera so thought I would add them. We had a great time and got Warren into fly fishing. So here are the pictures:

At the Launch

On the River

A few shots of a beautiful canyon

Warren in action

Day 2 I had a good lunch break in a big eddy. I ate my sandwich while making casts to some rising cutts feasting on BWO Emergers.

Warren pulled off the South Fork Slam this trip. First a nice South Fork Brown.
Then a healthy native Cutthroat.

And finally a very nice Rainbow.