Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Curse of the First Cast Fish...

Hanging close to home lately has me thinking of funny things that us fishermen and women believe in.

The banishment of bananas,

The "lucky fly"

and to the topic of today's post, the first cast fish.

Nothing scares me more than hooking up on the first cast of the day.  It's like instant success causes all your senses to scream, "Oh shit" and think that nothing's going to go right for the rest of the day.

Last year I had two instances steelhead fishing where I took beginners, lined them up the bank and started to go over an intro of the techniques we were going to use that day. 

Lobbing out a cast, I was mid presentation of the idea of a drag free drift when the thingamabobber dove down.  Mentally, I was a little sheepish about setting the hook.  These were brand new steelheaders and catching a fish on the first cast (pictured above) is NOT the thing you want to showcase.

First, it doesnt happen

Second, it's technically bad luck.

The rookies mouths were agape when I set the hook and the steelhead went ballistic.

Even more oddly, that fish was the first in the greatest day I have ever had fishing for steel.  8 were swung to the bank and the rookies all hooked up.  The myth of first cast fish had cracks in its armor

Weeks later found us on the banks of the Grande Ronde teaching my buddy Brian the inter workings of nymphing for steel.  The exact same situation happened.

First cast, bobber down, fish on......shit again!

I took the rod and thrust it into Brian's hands.  Despite his protests, he landed the fish. 

And...4 more that day

Back down to the point, even with these two examples offered up, that I still think of a first cast fish as a bad omen.  Blame it on my roots as a pitcher as to why I am like this.  When throwing in the bullpen before a game, if I was laser on point....uh oh.   That's what it feels like to catch fish on the first cast.  It's like I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

So am I crazy?  Probably.

I'd love to hear other stories of first cast fish, and your opinions on the subject. 


  1. It's true - the first-cast fish is a harbinger of a bad day. Not sure if it's related to over-confidence or thinking it'll be an easy day, or just a joke of the fish gods, but it's true.

  2. A continuation of the last time out. Picking up where you left off. Give me a fish first cast and the skunk is gone, what else can go wrong. Honestly I never really thought about first cast fish and relating it to luck or superstition. just figured it was a good drift and verry little rust in the way.

  3. Just dropped over from OBN to congratulate you on your winning the Badlands Pack. I am sure you will put it to good use. Enjoyed reading this post and have signed on as a follower to your blog. I am a bit superstitious when it comes to hooking a fish on the first cast. More than once I have experienced the fact that it better be a good solid hook up and battle won by me or I wouldn't get another chance!

  4. A few years ago on the Sauk River in April (first time on this river) and only my second time out with my new-at-the-time Spey rod, on my first cast and swing I landed my first native steelhead. She was a beauty. Didn't have so much as a bump the rest of that year. But I'll never forget her. I still dream of her.