came three feet off the bottom of the boat to meet my hand as I started to reach to pick it up, thinking it to be a smaller cousin of the slow and harmless, by comparison, Dungeness crab. Blue crabs are the James Cagneys of the crab world. Yes, they will pursue and take a fly, in their mit rather than their mouth, and they won't give it up without a fight. My first wife really looked at me funny when, in explaining my absence, I told her I went flyfishing and caught a few crabs. But I had the cut up hands to prove it. I can't leave the mollusk family without mentioning a few stray mussels and sea cucumbers that I've hooked and retrieved, but I'm not sure it was a fair take. Among the insects, my only experience has been with dragonflies picking off my dry fly as it floats down to the water. It's a
soft take, and they're hard to hook. Bony mouths.
As we move along to the reptiles, the sport starts looking up. FlyFROGGING has a certain ring to it. I'll make you a deal. Go down to the ponds south of Autzen stadium in late summer, spot and stalk the bullfrogs that poke their heads up through the wind drifted weeds on the downwind side of the pond. Cast a dry fly delicately to land a few inches in front of the frog's mouth, and twitch it once. If that isn't the most spectacular take you've had all summer, I'll eat it, literally. And the fight is respectable on a light leader. They sure 'nuff jump! I've never caught a turtle on a fly, but I suspect it could be done with a big snapper. I've spotted a few I wouldn't want to catch, and that ended the barefoot wading right there. Alligators have all the attributes to become the next flyfishing craze. I actually watched a fishing program from Australia that featured the hooking and landing of a 12 foot croc on a big popping plug. A
flyfishing first awaits some lucky guy.
Birds are always a unique catch, but the fight is a drag. Once you stall them out, they just crash and burn, so to speak. Maybe I just haven't gotten them in the right current, uh, wind, so they could soar and veer like a kite. Dedicated birders keep and relentlessly pursue their "LIFELIST" of birds spotted and identified. My first lifelist bird was a half-grown mallard duckling. I cast to scare mom and ducklings away from a rising fish, and junior nailed the fly before I could react. There used to be a fanciful idea that fish had little feeling in their mouths, didn't really feel the hook. Let there be no doubt that ducklings have full pain sensation in their tongues. The most interesting part of the "fight" was "ducking" the enraged mother duck. I have caught several seagulls, Glaucous Gulls, to be precise. Fair takes on dry flies. I guess I just can't resist casting to whatever comes along. Not much fight in them though, crash and burn. My own lifelist really began to take off when I went to Christmas Island. Now I can brag about Frigate birds to the popper, Blue-footed Boobys (ies?) (I swear), and Red-footed Boobys to the
More Text =>
<= Back
Fishtales Start
Table of Contents Order/Contact