To remind my visitors how new I am to fly fishing, I need to share this story. It happened last spring while fishing downstream of my favorite fishing hole in the Muskoka River.

Several ‘regular’ (spinning reels) anglers watched me, with a curious interest, as I put my fly rod together and approached the riverbank. We were all here to hook into some trout that were moving up from Mary Lake to the Lock System. One could easily hook into a smorgasbord of lake trout speckled trout.

Somebody was in my regular spot so I was forced to fish on a less than ideal section of the river. I did not have hip-waders, so this meant I had to fly fish from a portion of the bank surrounded with small trees. It was possible, but it was close to impossible for this rookie.

I started to get into my ‘groove’ of getting my fly out into the water when a slight tug behind me hooked my attention. My fly and attached fishing line could be seen (by myself and the surrounding anglers) dangling several feet in the air. I could hear quiet chuckling from the crowd.

Embarrassed, I untangled my line and began my line ‘motions’ again. Things went very well for about 20 minutes. I was becoming more confident in my casting and the line reciprocated by moving farther and farther out. The other spin casting anglers seemed to be very curious and interested in what I was doing.

Pride comes before the fall.

As I had just said, after 20 minutes I thought I should change my fly because I had not triggered any strikes. When I had all my line up where I could reach for my tippet, I noticed that there was no fly attached.

I looked casually behind me and noticed it lodged into the branch it had encountered earlier.

Defeated, I packed up my things and hoped that nobody noticed what had just happened. I laughed the whole way back to my vehicle.

I have vowed to return with my spin casting reel in hand to remove the fly caught, in that old birch tree, and post a hand made sign that says,

“No Fly Zone.”

Just in case another rookie makes the same mistake I did.