Posted by & filed under Fishing Stories.

The definition is an emergency word used internationally as a distress signal. I think we all knew that, but did you ever need to use it?

This story starts out in December, 2002. It was only three months after my wife and I came back from one of my favorite places, ever. Almont, Colorado. You see, we go there once a year in September for my birthday, and fish the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers. In December of 2002, I had a blockage in my heart, in the lower left artery.

Just before surgery, I said to the surgeon, “If I come out of this in one piece, I’m going to Colorado in May, then again in September. Well, I turned out OK and Dottie, my wife, and I headed off to Colorado. Everyone was worried about me, so to make them know that I was playing it safe, I would take some walkie-talkies with me. First day, we tested them out. “Hi Dot, can you hear me? 10-4.” “Yes, how do you feel? 10-4.” “I feel good, going fishing. 10-4.”

I checked into the office to let them know I was leaving a walkie-talkie with them in case I needed help. We know the owners very well, and the people in the office. Nice people. So I went down to the river to find a spot that I can fish without taking any chances. After a while, I got a little braver, moving around as if nothing ever happened to me. Then, while hoping from rock to rock, I fell, lost my breath, and hurt myself. (what a dumb move) Gaining consciousness, I grabbed my walkie-talkie and called out the infamous words. “Mayday! Mayday!” No answer. “Mayday! Mayday!” Still no answer. I laid there dazed thinking can’t they hear me?

“Mayday! Mayday!” Finally I got an answer. “ED WE’RE BUSY SERVING LUNCH, QUIT FOOLING AROUND.” “I’m not fooling around, I’m down river and need help.”

“YOU’RE SUCH A KIDDER.” Twenty minutes later, I regrouped, picked myself up and started walking back to the office. Once I got there, I saw the owner, Steve. He said, “ED, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO PULL THAT STUNT, ESPECIALLY DURING LUNCH. IT’S BUSY AS HELL.” I just looked at him and said, “I apologize Steve. Your’re right. I should know better, but I almost got you!” I had lunch, went back to my cabin to meet my wife. She said, “Well, how did you do?” I said, “I think these walkie-talkies are a waste of time. I had trouble trying to get you. Must have been out of range. Dottie said, “That’s OK honey. At least it’s a beautiful MAY DAY…

Posted by & filed under Fishing Stories.

The ANGLER magazinePublished in the January 2017 issue of Western North Carolina Edition of The ANGLER magazine

It’s January, Happy New Year! I hope the holidays were good to you. The beginning of the year gives most of us a chance to organize the fly box, add some new equipment to the arsenal, and get excited for the new year to come. All this preparation is great, but one of the most important things you need to do when either dry fly fishing or nymphing, is to be sure you have a good mend and are drag free. What is the MEND: “The act of moving your fly line during the drift, to create a specific presentation on the fly.”

While there are many different types of mending, I would like to discuss implementing a good drift, to my first time fly fishing clients.

Most of the people I talk to that have never fly fished before, always say to me, “Isn’t that hard to do? I think I would wrap the line around my body while trying to cast the line.” While they are telling me how hard they think it is, they always bring their arm back and forth in a motion that looks like 3-4 false casts. When I explain that there is an application for that type of casting, however, what we would do is a more simple approach. For all my first time fly fishing clients, I like to introduce them to nymph fishing.

I begin by explaining what we are trying to achieve, when casting the line a little up stream, letting the current take the line and indicator down stream. Once the line is in front of them, I explain that the flies we are using are just about to reach the bottom, and we don’t want to disturb the indicator or flies. This is where we need to mend the line up stream and get a good drift. Without it, chances of catching a fish are minimal. At first, they cast and try mending, most time to soon, or they move the flies and indicator. After a few failed attempts, they always say, “Here, show me.” So I proceed to explain what I am doing while I go through the motions. About 75% of the time, I catch a fish. Now they are believers. Because they are new to the sport, they never follow a routine. Here is what I have been successful doing:

I tell them to just keep it simple and repeat a drag free drift. CAST, follow your line, throw a MEND, another mend, Kick out some line, and a final MEND. Somewhere in that routine, we end up hooking into a fish (providing I have the right fly, correct depth, and the perfect weight) Once they repeat and have success, their confidence grows. I mean, step back and let them go, especially on the set. Oh my goodness, in the beginning they usually just pull the line up stream. After we have been together for an hour, they are setting down stream like a pro. It’s so much fun when it all comes together. (By the way ~ the women are easier to teach because they listen. The guys, well, are guys.)

This is just one of many different types of mending. Here are a few others:

  • Cross Stream Mending * Quarter Downstream Mending * Downstream Mending
  • Reach Cast * Slack Line Cast * Parachute Cast * High Sticking

I believe 2017 will be another great year for fishing in Western North Carolina. I hope to see you on the river. I know you will be catching more fish, MEND away.

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(sung to the melody of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra)

And now, the end is near;
And so I face, my final Food Show
My Friend, I’ll say it clear,
Sold my last case, of which I’m certain

I lived, a Broker’s life,
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
No More, No More of this

Power Points, I’ve done a few
But then again, too few to mention,
I did what I had to do
Presented them, without apprehension

I planned each vendor’s course
Each careful step along with KeHE
No More, No More of this

Yes there were times, I said Oooh Son
When I bit off more than I should have done
But through it all, when there was doubt
I found a way to work it out
I faced it all and I stood tall

I’ve loved, laughed and cried
I’ve had my share of Broker meetings
And now, as years subside
I find that they were all amusing

To think, I loved them all
And may I say, in a big way
Oh ya, it was for me, but

For what is a Broker, what has he got,
If not his lines, then he has not
To say the things, he truly feels
To the buyer’s face – you know how I feel
The record shows, I took some blows