Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sundays with Larry

Home Waters - Mary Maxam
Sundays with Larry
I Wonder if God Is a Fly Fisherman
           One third of the 12 disciples Jesus called were fishermen. Four of His miracles involved fishing or the Sea of Galilee. He fed the multitudes twice with bread and fish. He even cooked fish for His disciples for breakfast after His resurrection. His liking fish and fishermen and His creation of aquatic insects and trout make me think that God may have cast a Royal Coachman, an Adams, an Irresistible, or a Woolly Bugger on a trout stream.
Royal Coachman
Wooly Bugger
How to use a Wooly Bugger when Fly Fishing

            Aquatic insects live almost all their life cycles in the water. Caddis flies, mayflies, midges, and stone flies are the most common aquatic insects. Their eggs are laid on the surface of the water. The eggs sink to the bottom and hatch. The insects live in a pupa or larva stage for up a year or more on or near the bottom of the stream. They eat tiny plant and animal debris serving as a living filter for the stream. When they reach maturity, they ascend to the surface where they shed their larval shucks and become adults. Large members of each species mature at roughly the same time. They fly off the water and live in the air for a day or so. Then they return to the water to deposit and fertilize their eggs. After doing that, they die on the water.
Aquatic Insects

            These insects provide food for trout in all stages of their life cycle. The pupa and larva lose their hold on rocks and float downstream providing good pickings for the trout. Trout even prospect for them by rooting around and moving rocks on the stream bed dislodging them. Trout in heavily fished streams have been sighted following closely behind fishermen wading upstream. Their waders disturb the stream bed, dislodging the larva. 
            Fly fishermen use nymphs and wet flies, flies tied to imitate the larva, to attract trout. More trout are probably caught on nymphs than any other type of pattern.

            When the larva reach the surface, they are trapped by surface tension. While suspended at the surface, they make an easy meal for trout. Fishermen use patterns called emergers to attract those trout.

            The larva shed their larval shuck after breaking the surface tension and emerge as adults. But they cannot fly immediately. It takes a few minutes for their wings to dry enough to support their weight – another easy meal for trout. Seeing thousands of them floating down stream is awesome. The trout get crazy, striking with abandon. They seem to lose all their wariness.
Trout Stream - Unknown

            Fly fishermen get even more crazy. They can’t thread the guides of their rod, they drop and spill fly boxes, they cannot tie a knot, and they puncture their fingers with hooks. Flies used at this stage are called duns. They are tied to imitate the size, color, and species of insect. That is called matching the hatch. The promised land for a fly fisherman is discovering a huge hatch and matching it, preferably with a fly he tied. That’s as good as it gets.
Fly Fisherman - Mary Maxam

            The insects live in the air for a day or so. Then they lay their eggs on the water and die. The dead and dying insects provide another smorgasbord for trout. The fly used then is called a spinner.
Joe's Flies Super Strikers Spinner Fly
             God could have created insects that live their entire life cycle in the water. They could have served as a filter to clean the stream and provide a reliable food supply for the trout. So why did He complicate matters so much by having them come to the surface, float downstream helplessly, fly off the water, and then return to the water to float helplessly downstream?  Only reason I can think of is to bless fly fishermen. I’d sure love to look inside His fly box! Or maybe borrow one of His favorite patterns!
Fly Fishing Catch - Mary Maxam

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