Monday, May 18, 2009

Fly fishing from a sailboat and some 20/20 hindsight...

I quit fly fishing for awhile. When we lost our sailboat Loose Moose 2 all of my fly fishing and fly tying gear went with it. I always meant to get back into it but the selection of fly fishing gear in the Caribbean is so bad that I never got around to it.

Something that is going to change in the very near future.

Fly fishing has always attracted gear heads and as a result a lot of the gear is pricey and more akin to jewelry (with prices to match) which is somewhat daunting for newbies... Hell it is somewhat daunting for me looking at some of the prices that rods and reels are going for these days!

Which got me thinking (always a dangerous pastime) about of all the gear I've had over the years, asking myself what was my favorite rod and reel combo, with the idea that I'd buy that to fish in the meantime and then purvey all the new and cutting edge stuff for later.

I'll admit that the rod and reel that came to mind in hindsight, was something of a surprise. But hindsight being 20/20 it just may tell you something about the right gear.

Back when I was in Jr high my Dad bought me an Eagle Claw Pack Rod which I could back pack with and had the nifty ability to be used as either a spin or fly rod. He also gave me an ancient Mitchell spinning reel and a no name fly reel out of his cast offs. The rod worked well enough for my abilities and I caught fish... Which after all was the whole purpose of the exercise!

Over the years it kept catching fish, and while by this time I had quite the quiver of rods and reels to choose from, the Eagle Claw was still the weapon of choice for all backpacking, bike touring and kept in the car as a "just in case" set up. When I went to Europe for the summer it came along with me as it did when I went sailing down to Mexico and climbing in Alaska when it seemed prudent to leave the more expensive gear at home. The result of course was in spite of it being a much less expensive rod, I still wound up catching a lot of fish... My first Bone Fish in the Bahamas, a Rooster Fish in Baja, Trout and Salmon in Scotland, so it is easy to see why it became my favorite rod.

So now that I am thinking about a new rod for the boat, my thoughts turn to the Eagle Claw Trailmaster which in these days of inflated prices is still seriously cheap and while there are better and more expensive rods I could get, the thought is to get the Eagle Claw because most of my best fishing memories were with that Eagle Claw Pack Rod my Dad gave me way back when...

1 comment:

Alex Cref said...

Could you suggest a sailboat that would be suitable for launching a week-or-so-long flats fly fishing expedition in a fairly protected archipelago?

So far I have in mind something like a Hobie 16, but I confess I'm not sure how easy it is to drop the mast, and I'm not sure how easy/difficult it would be to pole.

Prime virtues would be shallow draft, stability, and minimal crabbing, even when sailing in skinny water.

Any thoughts?