Murphy's Law of Fishing

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Murphy's Law and the World of Fly Fishing.

article by Gordon Honey

On some days I swear Murphy must have been a fly fisher and based his entire theory on his angling experiences, for if ever there was an activity that can at times personify Murphy's Law fly fishing is it. So based on what can go wrong will go wrong, here are my Top Ten can go wrongs!

#10 - You have chosen Tunkwa as the lake of the day, fishing was poor and when you get home that night your buddies, who fished Leighton a few meters away, call you and report that they had an incredible day. Did you simply choose the wrong lake or did you get---Murphed.

#9 - You find a pod of large fish. You move quietly around them and anchor in the perfect position. The wind is at your back. You carefully watch as these giants feed. You cautiously strip line from you reel and begin casting and, the bloody wind shifts! You now have a gale force wind right in your face, blowing your beautifully presented cast right back at you in a tangle of line and leader.

#8 - You are casting dry caddisfly's at cruising trout in a shallow shoal. You have hooked a number of decent trout when you spot "Walter" swimming along in a feeding pattern that will bring him in perfect position for a leading cast. But then, an overzealous float-tuber, with a "Hi! How are ya!" paddles right between you and the now terrified and fleeing Walter.

#7 - You receive a report that Derry Lake, or wherever, has been incredible. So, you book a day off and make your plans. You tie the perfect pattern that you know they have been taking, and double check your gear. They call you Mr. Organized. After a fitful nights sleep with dreams of godzilla sized trout, you depart for the lake. As you unload your boat, large trout are rolling and feeding greedily, just like in your dreams. The boat and all of it's bits and pieces are ready - oars, anchors and carpets. Your flybox with last nights efforts are loaded and ready. Oh-yeah they call you Mr. Organized. With a last glance at those feeding fish you reach into the back of your vehicle and,... gotcha, you have forgotten your rods, reels and lines!

#6 - You are on Paul Lake and the Mays are just beginning. The morning has been pretty darn good on nymphs. As the day progress and more duns or adults begin to appear, you switch to a full dry and begin picking up a few fish. At around 2:00 p.m. the clouds move in and the hatch begins in earnest. Everything is going along tik-a-tee-boo. You are casting well and the fish, although not big, are taking nicely. All is grand. As the hatch increases larger fish have moved in and are feeding without hesitation. You cast perfectly to a nice 3 pounder. He rolls perfectly on your fly. You raise the rod - nothing. Without hesitation you cast to another beautiful fish again perfect and again nothing. Some what confused, you spot a large fish easily five pounds. Your cast is perfect, the fish rises and slowly inhales your fly. This time you wait, timing your rod lift and nothing. Now your confusion leads to panic and cast after cast you apparently miss fish after fish. Finally becoming somewhat rational you think - hey, maybe I should check the fly. Guess what? No point on the hook. The light comes on and you remember, somewhat vaguely, that an earlier poor cast had allowed the fly to hit the boat and must have broken the hook of the fly at the bend-----Murphed!!!

#5 - It has been a decent day: great weather, a good hatch, and you've caught some nice fish. Time to think about home and hearth. But, like a true angler, you make that last cast and POW a huge take! What a fish. The line peels from your reel as this leviathan makes for the drop-off and deep water. He has you well into the backing now. You have a quick peek at your reel as the backing disappears at light speed, but you fear not! You remember that 150 yards of new 20lb. test backing you put on 5 years ago. As you begin palming your reel to slow this monster trout down, five years of hard use suddenly dominates your mind. It has also been five years since you checked that nail knot connecting your flyline to the backing--- oh no-oh yes--- to late, the knot shreds and off swims Walter with your $50.00 flyline!!

#4 - The wind has howled all day, but the fishing has been good, although very hard on leaders. You have spent the majority of the day repairing leaders and tying on new tippet. The day is almost over and on a long cast that dirty old tailing loop rears it's ugly head one more time and creates another wind knot in your leader. - In reality they are all casting knots wind knot is the politically correct phrase. - In disgust you strip in, check your leader, oh to heck with it, it doesn't look that bad. So, you cast again and of course the biggest fish of the day breaks off at the wind knot!! Murphed once again.

#3 - Yada... Yada... Great day. Last cast. Huge fish. etc. But this time you have things in complete control. Nothing can go wrong. The fish is big and smart but you're bigger and smarter. He was in control, but now you're winning the battle. But, just as you prepare the net for final capture, with a strong swing of that huge tail he dives under the boat, around the stern anchor rope and ...guess what? Large trout + anchor rope = Murphy's Law. Good-bye big fish.

#2 - Yada... Yada... Another great day on the water. Last cast. Monster trout. Suddenly it's gone! What the----???? So, you reel in, cursing the leader material you're sure has broken. It certainly can't be the knot you haven't re-tied all afternoon. Guess what? A pig-tail! Your well worn knot gave up the ghost!!-----Murphed

#1 - It has been a terrible day. Flat calm water, spooky fish, and only a few of those. However, you have persevered and caught a few smaller fish. Late in the day just as you are willing to give up, a gentle breeze touches the water, creating a perfect ripple, and those once spooky fish begin to commit suicide cast after cast! It's late and you're to be home for dinner, but a very very large trout has been working your way and is finally in your casting range. You make the perfect cast and begin your patented shrimp retrieve. You feel a light take. Disappointed you strike without conviction, certain that a small fish has beaten the big guy to your fly.

Suddenly, your rod bends and the water surface erupts as the largest trout you have ever seen rocket launches herself four feet into the air! Your shrimp pattern glistens classically in the corner of her jaw. Your flyline spooled perfectly at your feet uncoils evenly from the bottom of the boat as this bar of chrome tail walks across the shaol. The fish of your dreams dives, turns sharply and begins a long run to open water. You turn with her and -- oh, no -- oh,yes -- big feet standing on flyline + trout of dreams = slack line, slack jawed angler and free Willy!!

Murphy's law at it's finest!

Gordon Honey

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Murphy's Law of Fishing