To fly fish or not to ?

September 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

To fly fish or not to fly fish, that seems to be the question! I was a bait fisherman for most of my younger years. We use to fill the freezer with fish. I have never been a huge fish eater but my parents loved to eat fish. It just seemed that there was always way more then the family could eat.

Being that I didn’t like to eat fish it started to make no sense keeping so many. My father had been a fly fisherman and tier in his younger years. He had introduced me to it and I had always been fascinated with the flies. I went to college  and stopped fishing till I got out. It was like the outdoors called me back. I started hunting again as well.

I liked to be challenged more now though at that point so I took up bow hunting and at the same time my sister gave me a book on fly tying.  Something all clicked at that time. I started to learn to tie and got pretty good at it. Then I built my own rod at a shop. Everything was about doing it myself to challenge myself. The next part was learning to really fly fish. I had no one to teach me, hell no one I knew fly fished, you mentioned it and guys would snicker and laugh.

I was determined to catch fish this way and I read everything I could get my hands on. It wasn’t easy trying to figure things out. There was so much to learn-from casting to line control to figuring out what the fish were eating. It was all very interesting and just made me work harder at it. It took time but I started catching fish here and there.

Then comes getting good at fly tying  and this is no easy feat. There are about a million different ways to tie and about a million different flys and types of flys for all manner of fish. This just made it even more interesting.

Now when it comes to trout I’ll say this, if you know what your doing you can out fish a bait fisherman at times, but if you want to fill your freezer to catch something to eat you might want to go with bait or a lure. Fly fishing is about the challenge of catching a fish on something you made out of fur, feather and hook. You need to present the fly to the fish to make it think it is food. This is the artful part of fly fishing. This takes practice and lots of it.

Now for me it has always been about fsihing and being out there in the outdoors.  I like to hunt big fish, for others it is about how many they can catch. So to get to my point; to Fly fish or not?

I think a lot of us have taken the fun out of fishing. It seems to have become some test or game of who is better then who. One guy nymph fishes, another dry fly another bait fishes or uses lures. Disrespect  between  sides has become  common place instead of just being respectful. On more then one occasion I have been low holed by both bait fisherman and fly fisherman. Not everyone knows what low holing is. It is basiclly when you cut in front of a guy working through a run. Fly fisherman have their own set of rules as well. You aren’t fly fishing if you are using an indicator or just plain nymphing. Or you are called an elitist because you have that view that only dry fly fishing is fly fishing.

I have heard it all from every different direction. I for one would like to say each to his own! I can remember using a spinning rod with 4 pound test on trying to match wits with a six pound bass and not break off. If I landed one of those fish the satisfaction was what counted. More then once I lost the battle. Every step of my journey to become a fly fisherman has been just that steps. What happens when we as anglers create the look of we are better then you because we dont bait fish?  We drive people away from the sport or make oneside hate the other more. I don’t know how many times a bait boat has swamped me with his boat just because I had a fly rod in my hand.  Now I just wave most of the time. There are times I have had to yell which has never been fun. It is a respect thing out there. Often I wonder why there is so much disrespect but I have seen it from every type of angler.

So as a fly fisherman how do I set the example? This is no easy feat either.  All I can say is I’ll keep trying my best. I’m not a perfect person here either. So when you’re out there fishing think back to where it started; when it was fun and not some contest? Try to think of what is was about in the first place which was to get away for awhile and spend some time in nature . Stop for a second when you’re in the middle of the run or the drift and appreciate what you have been given which is more then that one fish. you have been given a planet with some of the most amazing things to see. Fishing in it is just the benefit of living a good life! So if you are up for the challenge try fly fishing  or bait fish or use lures however you like but try to enjoy life and what you have been given and show a little respect for the guy next to you.

Peace ,




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  1. Well said, Mike. Not everyone has the same tastes in life or in fishing. What you do or what I do is best only for us, but not necessarily best for someone else. How a person fishes doesn’t matter. As long as they’re playing by the rules and treating the resource with respect, then everyone is OK in my book. Except those who nymph with beads for steelhead…;)

    • Hmm Kirk ,
      Knowing you that might be a wise ass comment but seriously ,i dont care how some fishes anymore ,Im tired of the elitist attitude it is closed minded, and it is what has made fly fishing a sport of separation.My friends fish for steelhead with bead heads and even indicators ,I did it too when I got into it. Swinging for steelhead was the next step, I’ve listened to guides sa,” that guy isnt a guide because he uses indicators.”That is how they do it in upstate NY ,swinging to them is a whole new concept. This little corner of the world is coming to life due only in part to the advent of the two handed rod .Yes what you think is right, might not be right to someone else and vise versa

  2. Righteous words my brother! I to started as a spin/bait fisherman with my dad many many moons ago. I graduated to a fly rod and vice 9 years ago as a way to enhance my sobriety (a suggestion from someone who had more experience in living life on life’s terms). I’ve never looked back but instead have also often contemplated the why-for and how comes of this loveley obsession. I hope I never reach a final conclusion. It is something I find intriguing and fulfilling while I am out wading a stretch of water trying my best to fool some willy little piscatorial adversary into taking my meager imitation of some exquisite litle bug. I enoyed the post and am glad I’m not the only one who like to roll that queery around inside the noggin.

    • its all about being out there and forgetting about all this!to be honest Ross i would rather be out there then have ever picked up one of these computers

      • AMEN!!!

      • you can say that again,I tell you what this post doesnt seem to be generating much interest or maybe it is but no one wants to say anything,could I have hit a nerve? Seriously where did the fun go? You get on here and everyone is sprouting off about this that and the otherthing and never having much good to say.When I do here the good it seems to be out weighed by the many haters.Take moldy chum for instance.They pos a pic of something people dont like they call it gay ,tell them they are jackasses.Or for that matter go to the drakes forum board.Now talk about depressing,I have gone on there only a few times and it is all out war over there killing the sport in my opinion.That is my opinion ,I have to state that because if I dont it might hurt others,Ive just seen this mass movement to become brash and outlandish in the fly fishing world.We seem to create super heros out of people.Some guys are just better at it then others.So i look at them as if I need to beas good as them if I can but as gods of the sport ,give me a break!

  3. I do not participate on the Drakes forum. IMO those guys are nazi assholes! I’ve read their stuff and its all self righteous “my shit don’t stink but your a tool for even tryin to get a whiff of my ass bullshit!” I wouldn’t fish with those quasi-humans for nothin! This blog is relatively new and it take time to build a readership. Do the promo work on FB, write with passion about those things you are passionate about, take it all with a sense of humour and a grain of salt and it’ll all go well.

    • This is why the sport has become so divided ,it will take great time for things to change hell half the people on those forums dont even fish just like to yak yak yak .I am writing from the heart amd trying to be honest with what I see.To me fishing is more of a spirtual experience not just going out there and rompinmg on the fish .Im lucky right now and have time to be out there ,a good job comes along and that will end .So for now i will do what I can to try to improve the sport.I will not post negative stuff on my blog, though i will stand up for what i think is right.

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