Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring Constants

The Village of Lake Placid and Adirondack High Peaks
So far this spring, I have experienced two constants.
Since trout season opened on April 1st, I have been fishless on some of the best streams in New York:

·         Spring Creek, south of Rochester and one of the first streams in America stocked with brown trout?  No fish.

·         The West Branch of the Ausable, a trophy trout stream flowing from the Adirondack High Peaks past Lake Placid? No fish.

·         Ten Mile Creek, a small stream in southern Albany County said to have inspired Roy Ovington’s Tactics on Trout?  No fish.

·         And so on for several other streams within a stone’s throw of Albany.

The positive constant has been L. L. Bean, which has a store in Colonie Center, in suburban Albany.
Last fall, I bought an Angler II rod and reel package at Bean.  The package includes an eight foot rod and a reel loaded with backing, a six-weight line and a 3x leader, costing less than $80.

The reel is set up for right-handers.  For several months, I fished the rod with an Orvis reel that was a family gift.  But then, I wanted to see how the Angler reel and rod worked together.
Yesterday, I went back to the store, hoping for help in reversing the reel.  Readers of this blog may recall the mess I made when I tried to reverse a right-handed saltwater reel that my friend Seymour gave me, so it was unsettling to face this situation again.

There was no need to worry.  Bean has a strong customer service guarantee and knowledgeable staff - - even though they are a big store with a varied product inventory.
Bill, a store salesman who specializes in tackle and enjoys fishing himself, congenially and capably reversed the reel.  With the skill of a surgeon, he took the reel apart and flipped over a part that reversed the drag.  Then, he used a machine to remove the backing, fly line and tippet and replace it in the direction needed for a left hander.

When I took the line and backing off the saltwater reel, it took a week to untangle and I had to cut a large clot of backing that was hopelessly tangled.  Bill got the entire job done in under 15 minutes.  If the store was not close by, Bean offers an angler help line at 800-347-4552, which the website said would help a person reverse the reel.
Whether or not the fishing improves is anyone’s guess.  Even though New York does not have the problems that California has, it’s been dry and there has already been a big forest fire in the Shawangunk Mountains south of the Catskills.

Until - - or if - - the fishing improves, I’ve got the confidence to fish well, thanks to the product quality and service at L. L. Bean!