I caught a bass the other day and noticed that he was missing his right eye. At first I just felt bad for the poor thing and couldn’t stop wondering about how it lost its eye. Could it have been a careless angler? Was it a virus of some sort? Perhaps it lost its eye to another fish for survival? Whatever it was, it was strange that it was missing an eye. After I released it, I thought about what a struggle it must be for it to catch food. Fish are said to have poor eye sight, so it must try extra hard, twice as hard as other fish to eat. But the more I think about it, I am impressed that it’s surviving, that it aggressively took my fly, and that it will continue to be there catching food. I wondered if he was considered the one eyed tough gangsta among his fish friends. I am not going to fish that spot anymore because the last thing that fish needs is to waste it’s time eating food that has a hook in it. I am happy that I got a chance to meet the one eyed pirate bass.
Our friend Charles and Patty invited our family up to their country house in upstate NY for a long weekend of fishing, kayaking, barbecue, and a lot of good laughs. His house sits in the woods of the Adirondack mountains, with lots of creeks and beautiful lakes all around it. It was nice to be where our phones barely worked, away from being connected, and able to sit a listen to the sounds of nature around us. We fished different waters, but on the last day we took the big boat out to fish lake George and hooked up with lots and lots of small mouth and largemouth bass. This was a awesome trip to remember for the entire family. Thanks for having us Charles and Patty!
Mid June is definitely not the end of summer. However, for those who enjoy fishing Yeolmok, it is.
We noticed that majority of the species already migrated to the upper streams for more suitable environment for summer. And within a couple of weeks, all the creeks and rivers are going to be bombarded with people who want to enjoy their summer vacation.
It was so pleasing to see some of the late migrants before the end of the season.
Some of us say at the end of the day fly fishing in the creek, “There was no fish there” without hesitation. I am still a beginner to say what’s right or wrong, but after some experience in the creek here in Korea, I will carefully say there was fish, but we just can’t catch them that easy. In the creek, there are many variables water level, temperature, weather, temperature of water, and other angler was there or animal. Some of us who are rather beginners often end up catching small size of trout if we are lucky or Zacco temmincki (Common creek fish in Korea). Experts say large ones are large because they’ve survived because of they are intelligent enough to protect themselves from predator.
The act of catching those large trout rather consistently is what really skill of fly fishing, I realized that to be an experienced angler, I needed to able to adjust my tactic of catching fish each time I am in the creek, look at the bugs around us, check out the water temperature, throw test bug to see I get any reaction, or ask others for advise. There are handful days that I can’t catch any fish yet other experienced anglers catch number of large trout. And there are a few of experienced anglers that have no consistency, and one of them often say “There were no fish there.” I used to hear that and feeling better because I also thought the same, but now as I get more experienced, I started to noticed that wasn’t true all the time.
With the good people from Gary Borger Chapter of Trout Unlimited & Jim Tingey, I had an opportunity to teach fly casting to 4th grade students from Central School in Wilmette. We live a life of instant gratification (fast food, video games, internet) and this was great opportunity to take the kids for a walk around the lake, exploring what lives there, sensing the wind direction, and scoping good spots to fish from. We did some casting lessons on the grass, then quickly took to casting in the water. It was mid day so the fishing was slow, but we had fun exploring the park and talking about things that are popular with 4th graders…ugly dolls, yoyos, and (surprisingly) Nickelodeon vs. Disney. The student I was with (Erin) was a natural at casting. She said she dances (ballet) and we think this is why she had such a good rhythm with casting the line out (she picked it up more quickly than a lot of the adults I have taught). We did not catch a fish, but was able to bass in several locations, and in the end she did catch a bull frog. Of all the fishing outings I have gone, none compares to the joy and honor of introducing kids to fly fishing.
Thank you to the Gary Borger Chapter of Trout Unlimited & Jim Tingey for the opportunity.
Charles guided his friend John out fly fishing (first time guding). He sent me some photos with a note saying “I think I could do this for a living ;-) ” Guiding someone is different experience, definitely a step further into this fine art called fishing. I have met some good professional guides, but it’s never as excellent as when friend guides you. Sure, we catch less fish than when the pros guide us, but the conversations (or sometime no conversation) is priceless.