By: John Obryan
I used to laugh at the old guys standing on the river repeatedly hitting a tip 5 times on the eye of a size 14 hook as they tried to hook it on their fly line. I used to laugh, that is, until I was standing
up to my waist in one of the most fishable rivers in the state, unsuccessfully hitting a thin monofilament line on smalleye. As I missed him from time to time, I became more and more irritated. After a few frustrating minutes I finally got the line on the hook, only to let it loose as I finished my upgraded hook and went back to playing tail with the donkey for another five minutes. At that moment I knew it was finally time to do something different.
Not being able to tie a fly on a line is a big deal, and it’s an even bigger deal when you realize that there are times when you have to do it over and over while changing flies, changing sizes, or catching a fly on the fly. your first three back tapes – not that I’ve ever done that, but I’ve seen it happen to others. Struggling with this essential task can add many minutes of downtime to your fishing day, and minutes of downtime translate directly into fewer fish caught.
My disappointment turned to incredible happiness last week when I brought the Carson Optics Clip&Flip magnifiers with me to Kelly Creek. You’re not going to win any fashion awards wearing them cropped to the top
your goggles, but when you turn them down and the fuzzy, fuzzy fly comes into crisp, clear focus and you watch that tiny sliver of line slide effortlessly into the eye of the hook on the first try, you might not
remove them … never.
These magnifiers just work. They might not give you a date unless she’s a forward-thinking fly fisherman who admires older men who can tie thin fluorocarbon flies, but they’ll
finally be able to see to connect it fly in line the first time, every time. They stay firmly attached to the glasses and turned under the brim of a hat, they are hardly noticeable. Now that I’ve used them, I’ll never be without them on the river.
I am a husband, father, grandfather, photographer, flyer and fisherman… in that order. I grew up
in Ketchikan, Alaska and Fall River Mills, California which are definitely two of the most fished places in
world. I currently live in northern Idaho where I chase steelhead in the Clearwater and Snake and
trout in St. Joe and Kelly Creek. – John Obryan