Actually, two. I wish I could say it was large fish that broke BOTH of my fly rods this past summer. But nope: it was pilot error all the way.
The first mishap occurred in July at Hosmer Lake in central Oregon. This scenic gem along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway not far from Bend offers views of Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top, and is catch-and-release fly fishing/barbless hooks only — no motors allowed. Monster Atlantic salmon and brook trout cruise the shallows of a marsh at the lake’s north end. It’s there where I got distracted ogling the piscine giants while drift-flyfishing in my kayak. Hello, snag in a bulrush; goodbye fly rod. I actually didn’t lose the rod, but the resulting fracture made any more fishing impossible. That was my 8-foot, four-piece Cortland graphite 4-5-weight rod.
A few months later, we’d stopped to fish at Rock Creek at the end of an Eastern Sierra fall color trip. The tiny trout were biting, and at one point I’d put my fly rod — another Cortland, this one an 8-foot-6-inch, 5-6-weight 2-piece I use as a backup — in the grass to scout the shoreline. You know what happens next. As soon as I heard the crack, I cringed. I’d stepped on the rod, obscured in the grass.
At that point, I gave up. End of the season. Caught a bunch of fish on both fly rods, so I couldn’t complain.
I’m just writing this in case Santa reads outdoors blogs. I’ve managed to be more nice than naughty this year…I didn’t even bad-mouth my lame-ass ex-employer. At least not excessively.
As a side note, the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife recently said it’s considering changing its Atlantic salmon stocking program at Hosmer. The agency thinks the stocked cutthroats and Cranebows (hatchery rainbow trout produced from wild Crane Prairie Reservoir redband trout) “might provide a better fishing opportunity for many anglers.”
Maybe by the time they decide, I’ll be back with a nice, new fly rod.