TBT, where it all started.

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
It was somewhere around 1983 or so. I hired a kid fresh out of the Navy to work on our inspection crew. Tracy and I chatted about fishing and I remarked that I hadn’t done any since moving to WA. One day he asked if I wanted to learn to cast a fly rod, his neighbor was going to put on a backyard class of sorts. The neighbor was Dec Hogan. I went and as they say the rest is history. Tracy helped me cobble together some gear from hand me downs and I bought neoprene waders and canvas boots.

Next would a trip to Chopaka to baptize me. Back then there weren’t the crowds there are now and we had the place mostly to ourselves. Anyone who has fished in a roundie knows how weird that is the first time. Tracy handed me a few deer hair emergers that he and Mike had tied up the night before. So after a rather splashy entrance I settled in to the task at hand. Within minutes I had a wicked take and my line went slashing to the right kicking up a wake behind it. Soon I had a solid little football with fins in my net. I was hooked...(you knew that was coming). It was quite an outstanding introduction to fly fishing that has just gotten better over the years, albeit rather expensive. I bought a property and built a house and shop so I could fish local Okanogan lakes...okay, grouse hunt too.

This forum has been a great influence over the years. I’ve met many lifelong friends here and have learned a lot about the sport. I’ve shared trips and the fabled Spring Fling at the ranch with those friends. Memories that I will cherish when I’m too old to make new ones.

A2B71C54-032E-4CF0-8B86-B5242480B66C.jpeg
 

Big Tuna

Member
Chopaka was where it all began for me, as well. Borrowed leaky waders, too small boots, a 7 weight Martin rod, and a pontoon. Wore plastic bags inside the waders. These gray mayflies started popping and the fish went nuts. We anchored in the bay and started casting to the reeds with Adams parachutes. The fish went after them like barracudas. I howled with both angst and glee while snapping off most fish with a Bill Dance hook set, but I caught a few. I was hooked.
 

Hem

Active Member
Dad tells me the first fish I caught was a nice bass when I was 5. Don't recall.
My fascination with trout began the year we lived in Spain, guess I was in 2nd grade. We traveled extensively around the country, very undeveloped at the time. Still have memories of watching trout in beautiful mountain streams. My grandfather was a fly fisherman..Payne rods on the Battenkill. His closet of rods and L.C.Smith shotguns was a ridiculous magnet to me.
So fishing was there from the beginning. Started with a fly rod at about 12...some pos rod with like two flies, probably Hendrickson and a Cahill. By high school I was fishing streamers more than dry flies.
Mickey Fin was my favorite. Growing up in Michigan and then Massachusetts, all I ever was ever interested in was the West...read every damn book I get my hands on . Fishing books on Montana were of particular interest. 1981 fresh out of high school I finally got to Big Sky country and for two weeks fished a shit ton of famed waters. Been here ever since.
 

bhudda

heffe'
It was somewhere around 1983 or so. I hired a kid fresh out of the Navy to work on our inspection crew. Tracy and I chatted about fishing and I remarked that I hadn’t done any since moving to WA. One day he asked if I wanted to learn to cast a fly rod, his neighbor was going to put on a backyard class of sorts. The neighbor was Dec Hogan. I went and as they say the rest is history. Tracy helped me cobble together some gear from hand me downs and I bought neoprene waders and canvas boots.

Next would a trip to Chopaka to baptize me. Back then there weren’t the crowds there are now and we had the place mostly to ourselves. Anyone who has fished in a roundie knows how weird that is the first time. Tracy handed me a few deer hair emergers that he and Mike had tied up the night before. So after a rather splashy entrance I settled in to the task at hand. Within minutes I had a wicked take and my line went slashing to the right kicking up a wake behind it. Soon I had a solid little football with fins in my net. I was hooked...(you knew that was coming). It was quite an outstanding introduction to fly fishing that has just gotten better over the years, albeit rather expensive. I bought a property and built a house and shop so I could fish local Okanogan lakes...okay, grouse hunt too.

This forum has been a great influence over the years. I’ve met many lifelong friends here and have learned a lot about the sport. I’ve shared trips and the fabled Spring Fling at the ranch with those friends. Memories that I will cherish when I’m too old to make new ones.

View attachment 263774
Dude....I’m diggin that pelt across your top lip! Now that’s a stach’!!! :) great story too Roper..
 

Charles Sullivan

Active Member
Ropers stache puts Ron Swanson to shame.

I started in a spring creek in rural NH behind the farm. 7 inch Brookie on a worm. I can still see the little pool in my head.

I started flyfishing in college for landlocked atlantics in the fall and spring. The were super fun fish. Streamers swung on single handers.

Go Sox,
cds
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
I was started fishing by my parents long before I can remember.
My first memories of fishing/catching involved bluegill, crappy, and bass.
I got my first intro to fly fishing by a little girl who ask her dad if she could borrow his fly rod.
She took me to a small high mountain lake tied on a brown hackle peacock, showed me how to cast.
I got the fly out about 20' without foaming up the lake.
She said "wait for it". A small brook trout came up from the depth and took the fly.
I hooked the fish and I was hooked on fly fishing.
That afternoon her dad showed me how to tie two different flies. The brown hackle peacock and the gray hackle yellow, both are still catching fish today.
I was 24 yrs old, now 70.
Still getting excited over watching the trout or other fishys rise to the fly.
P.S. great pic Roper
 

High&NeverDry

Active Member
It all started on the banks of the Big Sioux River in South Dakota catching carp and pike with my dad.
Fly fishing started about the 4th or 5th grade in Oregon. We lived at a large VA facility where my mom worked. It had a 9 hole golf course whose ponds were stocked with Blue Gill. Caught my first one with an old rod of my dads, that I still use from time to time, with my brother. I had the whole reel pulled and laying at my feet in a tangle of line....I still do that shit....old habits die hard!!
 

cleanwilly

Coldspotter
Mid 80's, and my then motorcycle racing buddy and now fishing buddy took me to the Yakima in early fall I believe. A sketchy wade across to the Rock Garden produced a handful of nice fish and a monster hatch came off right at dusk. The fish ate everything but our flies but we kept on right until way dark. That sketchy wade over was super sketchy on the way back in pitch black, arms linked and line out down river for balance. Youngish dumb motorcycle racers who thought nothing of risking our lives for a little fun. He's been out fishing me for decades now and it's been great!
 

Josh

dead in the water
WFF Moderator
I came late to the fly game compared to a lot of you. I'd fished a bit as a kid off docks etc. But I was an adult before I said "well that looks a lot more interesting than standing around watching a bobber" and tried fly fishing. Bought a junk rod at a flea market and got a hand me down reel/vest from a buddy who had fished since childhood.

Eventually I realized I didn't know what I was doing and found WFF to bother you all with questions.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Y'all are welcome to join in with your stories...

Great thread and great mustache! Very Magnum P.I. I'll chime in later when I have more time to write my introduction to the sport. It's kinda a full circle thing as the guy that taught me just passed this last year. I still have his copy of Swisher, Richards "Selective Trout" book. I think of him often and whenever I see a parachute adams I cannot help but think of him and how he taught me at nine or ten in my room how to tie it at my giant orange desk. We used to tie outside his garage on nice days. He would smoke a cigar and backseat drive me on my tying. The smell of certain cigars again bring his memory wafting back.
 

bhudda

heffe'
The Tolt river is where I first wet a fly... I don’t remember how I found this website as I had never been part of an Internet forum before and was pretty tech stupid so dumb luck I guess... the first person I fished with besides going alone was Chris D (Backyard). We eventually met and fished with other members before we all made the trek to Dry Falls for the first get together for WFF. I have made some life long friends and fueled a passion that kept my attention off drugs and the distractions that were bringing me down. Im grateful for this site , to Scoones, and all the dirty rowdy Team Rugged alumni, trolls, and last but not least...Oldman Jim! You are an inspiration Jim, I want to fish as long as you have, so I’m working out now :) ..goal is to be a grandparent. Love my life and I owe it to fishing, family, friends, and the great outdoors!!!
 

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
WFF Supporter
My first real trip fly fishing trip was long ago, can’t remember the year, but then I can’t remember shit from this morning.
Headed out in late November for Roses Lake for the December 1st opener. Left early so we could fish Lenore on the way. Nothing on Lenore but we got a few.
Roses was ice free and my first real trip with the fly rod. It was bad ass cold - duh! Melted the side of the cooler I was sitting on - to close to the fire to keep warm. Slept n the back of a van.
Got up to a very cold morning. Hit the water and had a great day, catching fish to 18” on anything we threw.
Returned to the put in where tickets were being written to some bait fishers that were releasing. They pointed to us and said they have been doing it all day. Ma’am, they are fly fishing , they can do.
From then on, I never looked back at it has become a passion.

A pleasure to have met many of you and fished with some of you. I can only hope to meet more of you and, better yet, see you on the water
 

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
The Tolt river is where I first wet a fly... I don’t remember how I found this website as I had never been part of an Internet forum before and was pretty tech stupid so dumb luck I guess... the first person I fished with besides going alone was Chris D (Backyard). We eventually met and fished with other members before we all made the trek to Dry Falls for the first get together for WFF. I have made some life long friends and fueled a passion that kept my attention off drugs and the distractions that were bringing me down. Im grateful for this site , to Scoones, and all the dirty rowdy Team Rugged alumni, trolls, and last but not least...Oldman Jim! You are an inspiration Jim, I want to fish as long as you have, so I’m working out now :) ..goal is to be a grandparent. Love my life and I owe it to fishing, family, friends, and the great outdoors!!!
I recall that trip to DF, you and Yard had me peeing my pants laughing at your antics...you two should do standup comedy.
 

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