Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fly Fishing with Mark!

Last week I wrote a blog post talking about my expectations for my fly fishing trip with Mark Kautz over at Northern California Trout. The trip not only met these expectations, it exceeded them!

I left my home in Woodland at about 540am. I took the long windy road out to Marks house and arrived at around 7:30. We then took off and started up the day with a cup o’ joe from The famous Cook’s Station which had a very nice staff. 

As I sipped my cup of coffee Professor Mark shared an impressive amount of information with me about everything from knots to fly fishing waters. I was there to learn and I knew I had come to the right place and the right person. 

After a short drive we arrived at the Middle fork of the Cosumnes River, a beautiful small stream with large boulders and tall trees nestled in a valley that looks like heaven on earth. Mark immediately pulled out the fly rod and showed me what he was talking about. Within minutes I was casting a fly rod for the first time in my life. 

We walked to the first hole. When mark took his first couple of swings I saw an unmistakable sight, a fish striking after the fly! 

I took a shot at the fly rod and within minutes I landed my first fish on the fly rod! If that had been the only fish I caught the entire time, the trip would have still been a success. But that wasn’t it, in fact, I ended up catching four that day! 

I must confess that fly fishing is more difficult than I originally thought. It certainly is more demanding than spin fishing or bait casting. I had problems with casting as I was instinctively trying my hardest to fling the line out into the middle of the river. Mark continuously reminded me to allow the weight of the line do the job.
While I was there we trekked through many yards of gorgeous untamed forest along the riverside. At one point mark fished a hole with the Tenkara Rod and I kept walking.  Each few yards were more beautiful than the next. The crisp cool air along the meandering riverside accompanied by a soft breeze hooked me just as much as the actual act of fishing. 
When I stood on a large rock and focused on my technique i realized how hard i was trying to force the line out into the middle instead of doing what Mark had told me. Instead I made myself swing the line back and forth keeping the line at 10 and 2. Slowly but surely the line made its way to the middle and I watched the fly slowly drift on top of the stream. The next cast i did the same thing. After a while I was flowing through the motions effortlessly. I was pulling line, whipping the line back and forth, stopping, watching the fly drift, watching if it sank, pulling it back in, drying it off and casting it back out. I caught another trout and I looked at mark but he wasn’t watching so I got some water on my hands, unhooked the little guy, placed him back in and continued on with the pattern. 
Although i was still having trouble with my line tangling, it was that moment of complete serenity sitting in a deep valley surrounded by walls of rock and tree that i realized that i had become a fly fisherman and although i loved spin fishing and bait casting, I wouldn’t soon be forgetting fly fishing. It had become a part of my life. Just then I got a nice bite and fought my biggest fish of the day. Although the fish wasn’t huge it still put a smile on my face. 
We drove away, had lunch and talked about fishing, life and fishing as a lifestyle. At one point i realized how much fishing has changed my life. Four years ago I was sitting at a desk and watching countless movies, hanging out with friends in the big city every weekend. Today I still sit at a desk but my weekends are spent on the water, surrounded by beautiful scenery, meeting new people i never would have met, taking trips i never would have thought of taking, learning things that I never had in the past. Oh and I also catch fish, which is a huge plus. 
We finished up the day soaking some power bait out at beautiful Silver Lake. At that point I was tired and dozing off on the drive home. Mark gave me a tour around his beautiful home. Mark is an experienced angler, a gifted teacher and a great person. He would be a great fishing guide to anybody and should probably charge folks to share his expertise. I of course say that after I already got my free lesson! haha I also just wanted to take the time to thank him and promote his outstanding blog “Northern California Trout.” 

My first experience with fly fishing was unforgettable. Now it will only be a short time before i buy a fly rod, learn from experience and research and teach everybody I know or anybody willing to learn about fly fishing, because that’s what I love doing. It was only a matter of time before I picked up fly fishing and now it has become part of my wonderful fishing way of life.


  1. You are a fine student Luke. May the force be with you.

  2. Excellent post, and great job on the fly rod!

  3. Juan, your excitement about fly fishing and your eagerness to share what you learn with others is going to take you a long way in the fishing circles. Really enjoyed this post and hope that you do pursue fly fishing, in addition to your other fishing techniques, and lead by example!

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