Walk Softly
My Pal David
Fly fishing has been compared to an artist at
work. Some call it an art. Some call it a
science. I call it fun. Fly fishing to me is much
like turkey hunting. The more you learn, the
more there is to learn. The fish itself, the
habitat, the equipment, the technique, tying
your own flies all lead to becoming a successful
fisherman. One can be versed in all these
things but success will be lacking if one
doesn't walk softly while in the stream.
Wading brings a special enjoyment in itself.
There is something about standing in the
middle of a river or stream that soothes the
soul. Touching nature and allowing nature to
touch you. Deer, turkey, beaver and all
wildlife seem to not see the person who is up
to their waist in water. Wading brings all these
things but most of all it brings fish. I have
stood in one spot in the South Branch and
without moving an inch caught twenty-four
smallmouth. Yes, I have a creditable
witness. My point is that proper and careful wading is not only rewarding but in my opinion is the best
way to catch fish. The more I fish, the more I suspect that fish can tell when I step into the river. I may
be exaggerating but my point being, we must wade very carefully to be successful. The lower, calmer
and clearer the water, the more gingerly we must wade. Not only do fish sense our wake but they also
hear our feet shuffling across the bottom gravel. Stock fish like you would hunt turkey; slow, easy,
carefully and as quiet as possible. That five-pound smallmouth may be yours if you walk softly!
Photograph by: Carl D. DeFazio