Fly Fishing with Lee Powers in Delaware
So Fly: Fooling fish with feather and fur
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With the classic 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock casting motion, Lee Powers sends the green line shooting from his 12½-foot, two-handed fly rod, depositing the fly—something called a Chernobyl ant—75 feet from shore. It lands soft and pretty—like a dish served with exquisite presentation by a master chef—on the rippling water of Brandywine Creek.
We are a hundred yards below the post office at Breck’s Mill on a bright September Saturday morning. The 33-year-old Powers, wearing shorts and knee-high boots, has clambered down the rocky bank to streamside. Moments earlier, he had stripped the line from my reel, replacing it with heavier line he took from the array of gear he keeps in the trunk of his car. Then he attached a fly called a sneaky Pete to my leader while commenting with gentle authority that my 7 ½-foot rod was inadequate for the mighty Brandywine. And, in fact, my puny casts are falling far short of his.
We fish for an hour or so and catch nothing, but it doesn’t matter; we are on a beautiful stream on a gorgeous summer day and we have fly rods in our hands.
We went to Breck’s Mill so that Powers could give me some tips on catching fish with flies—lures made of fur, feathers and sometimes foam tied to the tiniest of hooks. I have been fly-fishing casually since high school, and have had modest success in catching brown, rainbow and brook trout. But when it comes to skill and devotion to the sport, Powers is Derek Jeter and I am the Yankees batboy.
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