Testy Moments in Fly Fishing

Yes Drill Sergeant!

One Mercury RS2, color gray, size 20:


A paltry $1.50.

A half tank of gas for trip to favorite fishing spot (in the midst of the greatest crude oil bull run in history):


A modest $40.

The look on Australian expatriate and Microsoft DynamicsAX pre-sales wunderkind Craig Berg’s face after catching his first trout:



This guy bought fishing gear on a whim, and had used it precisely once. I decided Saturday would be a good day to really give him hell – he spent most of the day trying to drown out my incessant badgering. If he snagged his rig, I pounded him to walk upstream to save it. When he flopped a piss poor cast, I drilled on the importance of line speed and keeping an eye on the target instead of the line on it’s way back behind. And when he asked for help changing flies, I extorted compensation out of him in the form of case after case of light beer.

Near day’s end, he hadn’t yet put a fish in his net but assuredly was pretty fed up with my hollering. Nevertheless I persisted – on the walk back to the truck I decided to give him a lesson in “pocket picking.” We discussed identifying holding water, how to approach and cast into gin-clear shallows, and keeping an eye out for subtle twitches in the indicator.

Craig put it all together on his last attempt of the day – a perfect cast to the inside edge of some still water behind a two foot wide rock, taking up the slack as the indicator drifted nearer, and a stellar downstream hook set.

His wife exclaimed “awesome” when she saw the picture. I’ll just say “congratulations”… for graduating from trout fishing boot camp!


Craig Berg says:

Drill Sergeant Indeed. What a guy has to put up with to catch a fish. But to his credit Michael was patient and instructive until finally it came together somewhat instinctively and the trout was landed. I think the master was more excited than the student ….. I was overcome with relief to be too visibly ecstatic. I was wondering if I ever would catch a fish … somewhat more skill required than hooking a frozen prawn on the end of a line and dropping it in Sydney Harbour 😉 ….

Thank you yoda … I’ll be back for more

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