Our huge mackerel catch! (Tie-dyed sweaters FTW!)
For being someone that isn’t really an avid fisherman/lady I have surprisingly fished many a fish around the world. Seen in the above image, as a child I use to fish for mackerel in front of my cottage on the Atlantic Ocean in Nova Scotia with my cousins and more recently I have been doing a lot trips that have unintentionally involved fishing.
My first squid!
Touring around Newfoundland with Candice last summer we went cod fishing not once, but twice, and OH MY it was tasty. Previous to that I was invited to Malaysia for a Squid Jigging Festival, being one of the more odd requests that I have received I of course said yes to this and had an amazing time. Ok so maybe my list isn’t huge and it is only Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Malaysia, but that is still a lot of fishing for me!
What I imagined I would look like with my awesome Fly Fishing skills
I have fished with a rod and reel and I have jigged, however one type of fishing that I had yet to try was fly fishing. On TV this always looked like the coolest type of fishing however I greatly feared that I would get a hook or two in the mouth with the way people seem to wildly cast their lines. I was slightly apprehensive of trying it but I had dreams of fly fishing and catching a gynormous salmon. Naturally.
On my trip a couple of weeks ago to North Country New York I realized that I would be learning how to fly fish in the Adirondacks. As soon as the opportunity to do this was offered I said yes immediately. Which I swear also wasn’t fuelled by the only other option for that day, was for me to go hiking… I promise.
Ken seemed very much at home in the rain.
As we headed to meet our Orvis Endorsed fly fishing guide for the day Ken Kalil the heavens opened up and it began to rain. Initially I thought that this might cancel our trip, but our expert guide Ken said quite the opposite and that when it is raining it can actually be the best time for fishing.
Snapchatting away, getting ready to fly fish for the first time!
Photo Credit: Shaun Kittle
Unfortunately the rain meant no fancy camera for me on this excursion but I still fared quite well with my GoPro and risked the life of my iPhone, because of course, blogger over here.
All geared up with hip waders and rod, in the Ausable River before the rains.
Ken took us to one of his favourite fishing spots on the Ausable River just outside of Lake Placid, New York in the Adirondacks and provided us each with hip waders, rods and boots. Our time was short having only a couple of hours to learn and cast (when typically Ken offers 4 and 8 hour guiding trips). So we didn’t bother with us practicing first on a lawn somewhere, we just jumped right into the river.
Let me tell you. Wearing hip waders in a flowing river is the WEIRDEST feeling ever!! The deeper I went the weirder and cooler it felt. It was almost as if my legs were being suctioned all over, so odd and hard to explain.
Before Ken put our hooks aka “flies” on our lines we stood in the Ausable River and practiced a few different casts like the Roll Cast, Standard Cast, Slack Line Cast… who knew there were so many different ways to cast your line? The seemingly different thing to me about fly fishing over regular fishing is of course the weight of your “fly”, that you hardly actually use the reel and you basically always have the same amount of line out.
I also quickly learned that you are suppose to use your full forearm when casting and you aren’t suppose to break your wrist when doing so. I have weak wrists and found this hard, but after Ken jokingly mentioned that he would duct tape my arm to the rod to prevent my wrist from breaking it became a lot easier. Another trick was also sticking the end of the rod up my sleeve until I got the hang of it.
The Ausable River is a BEAUTIFUL spot to go fly fishing
Ken told us about the fish we “would” be catching that day and where the best spots to find them would be. After practicing our casting a bit more he put a fly on my line and I waded out to the bend in the river to give it a try. At first I was only out to around my knees but then Ken suggested if I wasn’t catching anything after a few minutes to move closer and closer to the middle of the river. Eventually I almost went to far and was mere cms from going in higher than my waders, but I saved myself and realized just in time.
Ken adds a new fly to my line
With Craig and Lori lined up down the river on either side of me casting away it was a peaceful time waiting for the fish to bite. Ken gave us suggestions on how to cast better and if we were doing good, he even switched our flies a couple of times to see if the fish preferred something different to up our luck in catching one.
Craig, loving the fly fishing
After awhile I started getting some nibbles however each time I pulled up to hook and get the fish out of the water it would let go and the peacefulness of the river may have changed with the profanity I blurted as I lost my fish more than once.
GoPro Selfie! Drenched and no fish caught but still happy.
It was calming learning how to fly fish but also exciting and fun. Sadly we got drenched and walked away empty handed but now I can’t wait to try it again, for longer next time too. Our little excursion was also featured in the Lake Placid News! Check it out HERE.
To see some of my mad fly fishing skills in action check out my video Highlights from the Adirondacks.
Big thanks to Ken Kalil for teaching me all of the best fly fishing knowledge possible, if you are ever looking for a Fly Fishing Guide in the Lake Placid area of the Adirondacks I highly recommend him.
Ken Kalil – www.ADKWildlife.com
Thanks to ROOSTADK and other service providers for hosting me on this trip, follow along on social media with #EatPlayLoveNY . As always all views expressed are my own.