Saturday, November 26, 2011 is live

Wow, it took a long time to get the store launched, but we're finally live.

I'm pleased that we've got a great selection of rods, reels, lines, and everything a fly fisher needs.

To give Santa a break, and to celebrate our launch, we're giving free ground shipping on all orders over $50, so take advantage and stock up on the great gifts for the fly fisher on your Christmas list. You know it's what they want.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Riverside Fly Fishing coming soon. Busy adding products

We've got hundreds of great products already in the store with many more to come. We have the beautiful glass rods from Diamondback that everyone is raving about. The best quote I read is from Tom Chandler at the Trout Underground. He said "If my bamboo fly rods were declared illegal by the United Nations and the black helicopters came for them, I could still happily fish my Diamondglass rods on streams and spring creeks." I couldn't agree more. Read his review here:

We'll see you soon when we open the doors to Riverside Fly Fishing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coming Soon

I'm busy working on, your one-stop shop "for everything between you and the fish."

Whether you're a brand new fly fisher casting for Bluegill on a local pond, or an experienced caster planning a trip of a lifetime to Scotland to fish for Atlantic Salmon, or anywhere in between, we at Riverside Fly Fishing will be happy to set you up with all the gear you need and want. Whether your favorite thrill is a delicate Golden Trout rising to an Adams in the high Sierra or a powerful Striper walloping a Deceiver off Cape Cod, we know what this sport means to you and we share your passion. From the beginner's essential rod and reel set to the finest equipment available, you will find it all here.

We're "stocking the shelves" now and we'll open our virtual doors soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog, and we'll let you know when to come join our opening day online party.

See you then.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Half Blind Luck

Many years ago I took my daughter on a weekend camping and fishing trip in the mountains above Bishop California. She was maybe 12 or 13 at the time, big enough to wear one of my favorite fishing shirts as a kind of jacket and not get lost in it, but young enough to be nervously frightened by the wind that whipped over the mountains and threatened to rip our tent stakes right out of the ground as we hunkered down in our sleeping bags the first night.

She had cast a fly rod once or twice in our back yard, practicing for the trip, but had not really had a chance to get proficient with it yet. We spent much of the first day walking along a small stream looking carefully at every quiet pool and riffle we passed, flipping a parachute Adams or elk hair caddis to likely spots without much luck. We spooked a few trout along the way, and missed a strike or two, but didn’t quite catch anything until late in the evening, when Jen placed a cast just right, got a perfect hookset and brought a large brown almost to hand. It broke off at the last instant, which bummed her out since our plan had been to have sautéed trout for dinner rather than the noodle soup and rice we ended up eating.

The next day we hiked up toward the Treasure Lakes, crossing Bishop Creek above South Lake along the way. It’s a tough hike, and you have to give up a lot of elevation to get down to the creek before you work to get it all back, plus some, on the final climb to the lakes. Jen was young and strong and burning up the trail, but I needed a rest so when we got to the creek I grabbed a seat on a log and watched as she prospected the creek for trout.

After a few moments of watching the water, something obviously got her attention. She waved me over and pointed at a pretty rainbow, about 10 inches long, finning in the gin clear water, holding itself in a perfect feeding channel about a foot out from the bank just below a bend in the creek. Every minute or so it would rise, take whatever bug was floating along, ride the current down a few feet then shoot back to its spot with a flick of its tail.

Jen had found the fish herself and was excited to cast to it. The perfect dry fly opportunity, they don’t get much better than that.

She took a position below the fish on the opposite bank from its rise and made her first cast. It was nearly perfect, landing less than two feet to the fish’s left. She held her breath as it floated past. The trout ignored it.

I didn’t think it was the fly. It was a size 18 Adams, which should well enough match just about any bug likely to be found on this stretch of the creek. The fish up in the mountains are opportunistic feeders. They have to be to survive.  Even in this perfectly clear water I doubted one would let anything resembling a meal get by without a look. Jen flicked another nice cast and again the fish ignored it. But just a moment later it grabbed a bug floating a bit to its right between its position and the bank. The trout repeated its pattern of floating down with the current and snapping back up to the feeding position. As it turned around I noticed something, a pale round spot in its left eye.

The fish was blind on its left side.

“Oh, no,” Jen complained when I pointed it out. “How can I catch him now?”

I told her to cast to a spot just above the trout and close in to the bank.

“But it’s too close to the edge. I’ll snag for sure.”

“Well, there are other fish in the river,” I said.

“No. I found him. I want him.”

I told her to go nice and easy, with just a tiny bit more power in the forward cast than the first two tries. She bit her lip, looked at the fish and gave the rod a strong flick that cast that fly right onto the grass on the opposite bank about four feet beyond the trout. Fortunately the current took the line slowly and the fly stripped through the grass without snagging or spooking the fish. Jen let out a sigh of relief and set up again.

This time was a charm. The fly landed a foot in front of the trout and six inches from the bank. The fish went for it in a flash and was on the hook almost before my daughter could react. With a whoop you could hear in the next valley, she tightened the line and coaxed the fish in to the bank. She knelt, and scooped it up in her hand, gripping it firmly as she held it up to my camera.

We made the trek up to the lakes and caught several more fish. I have a photo of her sitting on a rock with a half dozen trout laid out by her rod. We had them sautéed for dinner as planned. But the half blind rainbow wasn’t among them. She had gently put that one back in the creek where she caught it and smiled up at me as it darted safely away.

I’ll remember that smile for the rest of my life.