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Urban Catfishing

Nothing builds up fly-casting skills quite like urban catfishing. And honestly, my cat can use the exercise.

Urban cat(fish) are common in Seattle. These lunkers can be found lurking in shadowy enclaves, cruising in dappled light, and basking in morning rays. I love cat(fish)ing for how accessible it is, and affordable. With a willowy wand, a bit of line, and a knot of brightly colored yarn you and your family could be out cat(fish)ing today!

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Patience is key. Cat(fish) are super patient, to the point of looking bored most of the time. Yarn presentation is critical to success.

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Cat(fish) on! I dropped the yarn into the shadow of Gabe's van, then stripped some line and twitched it in a slow drift past this monster cat(fish). When the strike comes it can be sudden and decisive.

Gabe and I rigged up for a bit of casting out in front of my house. It's an odd-numbered year, which in the Pacific Northwest means there is a monster pink salmon run returning to the Puget Sound waterways. I've been gearing up to get out there this fall and catch some pink salmon, which means researching great places to fish, tying some pink salmon flies, and dusting off my fly rod for some essential skill building. We tied some yarn to the end of our lines, which is easy to see as it flies overhead, making it helpful for finding flaws in casting technique. Casting bits of yarn was how my Dad taught me to fly cast as a kid. When Lucy, my cat, took an interest in the goings-on it turned the esoteric activitiy of casting and made it suddenly very practical. Lucy made a great target for judging distance, shooting line, and trying different methods of presentation. And yes, even setting the "hook."

It was an easy bit of fun, and maybe it could be a welcome distraction for the soon-to-be out-of-school youths in your family. Rig 'em up, and get send those kids out cat(fish)ing! Perhaps when the pink salmon arrive you'll have some seasoned hands ready to take their skills to the water.

It's possible, however, that urban cat(fish)ing as an adult, on a well-traveled neighborhood street, may result in a reputation for eccentricity. Which, given my track record of roasting a whole pig in the front yard, keeping bees above the garage, and late night squid hijinks, may be well deserved after all.

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