“BENCH-marked” pays homage to a friend, Grant Bench.
Funny tale behind the scenes is that Grant was in Calgary last fall and was supposed to meet us to fish the Bow River. He never showed up at our meeting location but we waited for 2 1/2 hours, fishing the run near the boat launch. We caught 7 browns and rainbows in the run beside the launch, with three of them 6 to 7 pounds. Grant wasn’t thrilled to hear that as you can imagine. You never like to hear when you miss something epic. Grant went home to the US but mailed us some flies to take and try in New Zealand last winter. In his collection was a little emerging caddis pattern as you’ll see in this video, which we’ve aptly named “Bench-Marked”.
A few things to look at in this video: when the fish refuses the larger sedge pattern, I don’t cast to it. I wait for it to move back home, station, and get comfortable once again. What you don’t see is 5 minutes in time where I deliberately change my fly to a smaller pattern. It’s a tactic we use on fish that have refused. Force a break / rest by tying on new tippet or a different fly, and go with a smaller pattern. In the time it takes to change something or to eat a snack, the fish is usually rested and back feeding, less wary and skittish. The other thing to watch is how side pressure is applied to the fish to systematically pull it with consistent pressure from the current into a calm pocket. It’s only when the fish is coming into the soft pocket and coming to me, facing the net, that I lift the rod to get its head up to net it. Lifting any time sooner and the fish would respond to being lifted, bolting back out to the current and into the rapid downstream, which isn’t good. But all turned out well. 🙂