Treestands and Fly Fishing…

Everything must come to an end, and as I sit here the last hours of summer break are slowly slipping away. I spent the last week getting things ready at school and finally feel as if everything is ready for tomorrow. The start of school is always followed closely by the start of archery deer and turkey season and the dusting off of treestands and hunting blinds. I spent Sunday on the Rim placing stands and double checking trails and shooting lanes. I could hardly waste the afternoon so I brought out the 3 weight and hit one of the streams on the way home and found some success tempting the browns and bows of this small creek.

On the drive home, my mind wandered over my current situation and tried to wrestle with dilemma of the next couple weeks. I love to archery hunt and have done so since I was a teenager in Pennsylvania, but I also love to fly fish. Due to my location in the middle of the desert, I end up driving anywhere from 2-3 hours to get to a decent spot to hunt or fish. The true dilemma is that even though I enjoy to archery hunt, the time I spend in the tree stand waiting for something to happen is difficult to compare with the action packed day of moving and seeing new water while fishing. With my time in nature being so limited, every moment is so precious and critical, and I want to use it wisely. To be honest, I find it difficult to sit the entire day waiting when I know that there is a gurgling stream a few miles away teaming with hungry trout. It is a true test of my will to sit but I have purposed in my mind to put in a solid day on opening Saturday in hopes of the elusive Arizona Coues deer to walk by and present me with a decent shot. Wish me luck…

6 Responses to “Treestands and Fly Fishing…”

  1. Mike McLaughlin

    I know where you are coming from, Ben.

    I have a deer tag for the first time in 6 years and am having a hard time grappling with how it is going to take away from fall fishing – which is my favorite.

    I have been putting in with a friend for about a decade now and wanted to see it through until we get drawn again. Now that we are drawn, I make may this the last time I apply.

    We still can go for the elk tag – we have about 10 points each and are probably 3-5 years from getting drawn for early Unit 1 bull. I may be completely done with big game hunting after that once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

    Besides, I hardly eat meat anymore, so it is hard to justify in my mind.

    Either way, I guess we should just be happy with the time in the field. When you get right down to it, that is what it is all about anyway don’t you think?

    -Mike

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  2. bsmith835

    Your last statement is so true. Being out of the valley and in the mountains is much more appealing. I end up buying archery tags for deer and turkey so I have the opportunity to hunt each fall but between drought and other circumstances, there are not many animals to be seen. Fly fishing on a small stream has that same spot and stalk hunting mentality and for me is much more action packed and accessible to the point that I am beginning to prefer it more. At the end of the day, I will still apply for different tags and throw up stands every archery season, but when it comes to choosing between the recurve and the fly rod…I think the fly rod is winning the fight.

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  3. winonaflyfactory

    Nice looking fish. Small in stature but they look agressive, smacking top water flies. Is that a 0wt? That looks pretty fun, I’ve casted a 1wt before but not a 0. 2 hour drive to get to fishing hunting? Thats rough. Here’s to that 2 hr drive, may it go quickly and come often.

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  4. Bill

    Beautiful fish Ben! I find myself torn between hunting and fishing too at times. But as you probably know we can’t hunt here on Sunday’s so splitting the weekend up between hunting on Saturday and fishing on Sunday isn’t too painful.

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  5. bsmith835

    WFF – The two hour drive is a killer. Driving there is not so bad, but it’s after the long day and all you want is to see your house and your bed that it can be a little frustrating. The rod I use is a TFO Finesse 3 weight. I often think about getting a lighter rod but the 3 weight gets the job done for now. Thank you for the kind words on the fish. I don’t mind catching the small ones as long as they have color and spunk.

    Charles – Thank you for stopping by and checking out the site. I liked the photos on yours.

    Bill – I remember P.A. has some interesting blue laws that are still on the books. I think I am going to take your advice and try the split weekend. I love hunting and always have ever since I harvested my first deer in the backwoods of P.A., but the fly fishing is taking over my life. We will see how next weekend goes. Things can be pretty slow in Arizona. Glad you are feeling better. Thanks for stopping in as always.

    Ben

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