1/2 pounders… part one…

photo of me by, Bill Kiene

Half pounders, I cut my fly fishing teeth on them. I am not talking about some greasy ground up beef paddy between two tastless buns hanging on some golden arches.What’s a half pounder? That is the very question I asked Bill Kiene of Kiene’s Fly shop more than 17 years ago. I was a new-be fresh out of college and wanting to reunite with fishing and the passion of my teenage years as an angler back in the Detroit area. What are half pounders? They are adolescent steelhead swimming into the American River here in Sacramento. There is a small run of them in March and April but the main run of them occurs late July through October. It is possible to catch a half pounder any month of the year. They enter the valley river shed to feed one more time before heading out through the Golden Gate and into the Pacific.  After a few years they return in the late autumn and  winter  as adults to spawn. How do I catch them?  Thus started my life as a steel header. These 12 to 20 inch silver bullets were my first Love.

My techniques for catching this gilled anadramouse drug have developed over the years. Way back in the beginning, I asked Bill, how do I fish for them? It was late August. He walked me over to the fly selection and grabbed a half dozen of some fly.  What is this??? Brindle bugs size # 10. What do I do with them? Tie them onto a 10 ft. 3x leader and swing them. Swing them? Just what do you mean?  Cast the fly quartering down stream, make a mend up river to slow down the swing and try not to break the fish off when it hits. If you do not hook up, then make another cast a little longer, and then a little longer ; cast further out  successively until you no longer can control the cast. Then take 3 or 4 steps down stream and then cast again ,short first, and then further and further. Keep moving. The rest is  history for me. The fish were in, lots of them. I broke most of them off and landed a few. I was hooked…

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One Response to 1/2 pounders… part one…

  1. Quad Bamboo lover says:

    Great article, well put on the basics to swing a fly.

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