Submission by Kevin Haney — Column coordinated by Kevin Holland
How long have you been fly fishing?
I’ve been fly fishing for about 2 ½ years. It’s something that I planned to take up when I retired 3 years ago, as I knew it would be a significant time investment. Before that, I was primarily a weekend spin fisherman. I also fished the waters of the Patuxent River as a kid as I grew up near it.
What type of fly fishing do you like the most?
What I enjoy the most is dry fly fishing for trout with antique tackle. I don’t own any graphite rods and prefer to fish with bamboo and greenheart wood rods. I’ve taken fish on 140-year-old solid wood rods and reels with silk line and to me, that’s the ultimate thrill. I really enjoy the history and mystery that antique tackle evokes. I’m still not very comfortable fishing nymphs and tiny dry flies that I can’t see.
What are your favorite waters to fish?
Big Hunting Creek, Owens Creek, and Fishing Creek, since I live at the foot of the Catoctin Mountains. I also occasionally wade for smallmouth in the Monocacy, but I’ve been concentrating on trout fishing this past year almost to the exclusion of anything else. I’ve found that once you get fly fishing for trout into your blood, it’s very hard to do any other kind of fishing.
What is your best fly fishing memory?
That would probably have to be catching a fat 18” rainbow trout on a 4wt rod last fall in Catoctin Creek a week or two after the club stocked it. Catching a 15” brown trout on Big Hunting Creek on a cicada imitation this summer comes in a close second.
What is your favorite fly?
Elk hair caddis is my go-to dry fly for trout on the local creeks. The regular variety, as I assiduously avoid duck butts.
What advice do you have for others?
If you are just beginning fly fishing, realize that it will take you at least a couple of years before you start to feel minimally proficient with fly casting, stalking, fly presentation and line control. And another couple of years before you start to feel really proficient. Get a mentor and persevere and eventually it will start to come naturally. And get involved with the club — it will help you progress in many different ways.
What is your bucket list fly fishing trip?
I would love to fish one of those big streams out west or in Canada where there are no obstacles to casting and the huge trout compete to see which one of them can eat your fly first.
When did you join the club?
I’ve been a club member for 1 ½ years. I’ve been helping with the club web site and the mentor program for about a year.