Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bamboo and Sylk

Bamboo and Sylk

  Wednesday the North Carolina weatherman promised up to 70 degrees and no rain. It sounded like the perfect day to break out the bamboo rod.
 In the parking lot I assembled the 3 piece bamboo sections and fitted the slip ring reel seat with my Martin Classic MC78 reel with WF5F Cortland Sylk line.  After threading the fly line through the small eyes of the rod I replaced the old tapered leader with a fresh 7 ½ foot 4x. To this I added a section of 5x tippet. My intentions were to catch a fish on a dry fly.
 When I left PA there was still snow on the ground and freezing weather. I only brought a limited supply of dry flies and was hoping one of them will work on these Carolina trout.
 At the creek I spotted a couple of trout that had risen to the surface in two different locations. The only fly activity I saw was a couple of small caddis about the size #18. The past couple of days I had seen a few trout rise to the few BWO’’s on the water also.
 I first knotted on a caddis imitation. I stripped line out through the eyes and began my back cast. With a high smooth back cast the bamboo flexed rearward and I waited for the sylk line to load the rod. Once I felt the weight and rod flex rearward I began a smooth straight forward cast. I’m sure any onlookers from a distance looked as if I was casting in slow motion from what they are used to seeing with graphite rods. The fly line looped over my shoulder and continued on carrying the fly behind it. The supple sylk line fell to the surface water as the caddis fell on the surface beyond. The slow current carried the caddis down stream a bit until I seen a drag on the water. A quicker back cast had the limber bamboo flexing with the fly line and caddis taking flight. After a few more casts and no takers I decided to knot on a small #18 BWO. With the same motion I delivered the dry fly out onto the water.
 Though I wasn’t getting any trout interested it felt good to cast and control the soft action of the rod. I must have spent a good half hour playing around casting dries to unconcerned trout, but it was fun.
 Not wanting to over bear the bamboo with too much weight I decided to nymph fish instead of using heavy weighted buggers. I knotted on a pink sucker spawn and used a San Juan as a dropper. I went up creek where I had done well the day before.
 Water funneled through an opening in the man made rock diversion that ran the width of the creek. The fast current rushed midstream as water slowed to either side of the wider downstream section causing an eddy. I added a small strip of lead to the leader and concentrated on fishing the slower back eddy before me. I was standing on the flat boulders placed on each side of the rock diversion so I was a lot higher than the surface water. After I made a cast along the slow seam of water, I kept the long rod straight out and kept an eye out for any uncommon twitch of the fly line. The line all of a sudden swayed outward and I yanked the rod upward and set the hook. The line tightened and I felt a frisky trout flexing the limber stick. I let him play for a short while before reaching over the blocks and netting him.

I continued on searching the slow water for more morning hungry trout. The next one was a little larger and put a little more flex in the limber stick. I moved down creek to net him.

 Lets just say the next hour or so we were having fun.

  I watched the fly line being swept down creek with the outflow of the midstream current. The fly line changed direction, with the backflow, and started heading back towards me. I was taking in slack line and keeping the rod over the water watching for any strike. The fly line dipped down just a bit and I pulled in the fly line and pulled up on the cork handle. The bamboo stick bowed downward with a heavy feel in the cork grip. The trout tugged and then took off down and across stream. The audible sound of the Martin reel clicked rapidly with the escaping hooked trout. I laid my palm against the brim of the spool to add a little more pressure on the line. The trout turned towards the far bank and continued to tug and jerk on the line which shook the rod tip in quick succession. After a little more outbursts I brought the rod up and he began to swim towards me. He kept deep beneath the incoming funneled current and came to almost a standstill in front of me in the deeper water. While bringing in line I knelt down on the flat boulder and laid the net to me side. I was able to raise him without too much aggressiveness and was able to get him in the net. It was a fun ride with a little huskier trout that I had been catching on the bamboo rod.
 I fished the bamboo rod till just afternoon. I caught a few more trout but never had the opportunity to hook into one on a dry fly. After lunch I put the bamboo rod back into the rod tube and headed north to check out another delayed harvest area I was planning on fishing the following day.

 It was a pleasant outing with the bamboo rod and was good to get it back from having the ferrules refitted.


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