View Full Version : fly fishermen, an existential question. . .

Paul Pless
01-17-2015, 01:39 PM
Why do 'we' do it?

01-17-2015, 01:45 PM
trout is veryvery tasty

Paul Pless
01-17-2015, 01:46 PM
sure, but there's a heap of other methods besides fly of catching very very tasty fish

Gib Etheridge
01-17-2015, 01:51 PM
It's the stalking instinct that does it. It's way more of a hunt, more intimate, especially if you tie your own flies. It's probably the most engrossing and involved way of fishing with a hook and line.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-17-2015, 01:55 PM
I guess I'm just a slow learner

Old Dryfoot
01-17-2015, 02:31 PM
Personally, I can get the same satisfaction from fishing without a fly rod, so I've never understood the attraction. If anything, it seems to make fishing more like work. :D

Ian McColgin
01-17-2015, 02:32 PM
It's an addiction like heroin but worse on your social relationships and general health.

Sky Blue
01-17-2015, 03:02 PM
Fly fishing is a higher level of sporting accomplishment (imho). It is a greater interaction with your surroundings; an active rather than a passive pursuit.

All that is needed is a rod and a few flies and fish in the river. One can keep his rod and a few flies in his truck and stop at the water for a few strokes of quiet meditation. No tricky or innovative gear required. No stinky bait required. No company required.

My father died a couple of weeks ago and fishing always reminds me of him. Pops was born, raised and lived in the Seattle area his whole life. He was a sailor and I draw my love of boats and fishing from him. My father and mother had a very difficult marriage and sailing his little glass boat throughout the Sound and the San Juans, alone or with me, was his peace. Some of my earliest memories were on the boat with Pops, trolling when there was no wind, or mooching with the drift and tide.

Pops did not do any other kind of fishing except as incidental to his sailing and he kept a couple of cheap poles on the boat. He would have never described himself as a fisherman, though he was a good one. I would call myself a fisherman, though not a good one. Funny how that is.

I haven't fished much in the last two seasons. Maybe I should put down the laptop and go flog the water a bit.

Paul Pless
01-17-2015, 03:13 PM
My condolences on the loss of your father. My father died twenty three years ago, tomorrow would be his ninety fifth birthday. I often think of him while boating and fishing, two things he taught me to do.

Sky Blue
01-17-2015, 03:20 PM
Thanks, Paul. I appreciate it.

01-17-2015, 03:27 PM
Solitary quietness, self discipline, awareness, concentration. I was looking at my rods yesterday and realising I haven't used them in a year. I have my grandfathers kit with his Hardy reel, his big cane lake rod as well as my favourite French built cane for mountain streams, and a newer CF rod I had built 20 years ago. I will have them out before the end of summer.

bob winter
01-17-2015, 03:32 PM
I used to go fishing a fair bit when I was young. Now, if I feel a need for fish, I will go to a restaurant. My cousin Geordie would be happy ship me some but his minimum quantity seems to be a thousand pounds. Not sure where I would keep it

Paul Pless
01-17-2015, 03:33 PM
Another example is taking a mess of Bluegills out of the shade under a tree, when all they'll hit is a surface bug.that's how i first began 'fly casting'

using a fly rod to throw live crickets under a tree on the bank to catch blue gill, i was . . . i don't know eleven or so years old. . .

01-17-2015, 03:37 PM
Ron is permanently angry. It's a confected attitude.

The least important pert of fly fishing for me at least is keeping the fish.

Sky Blue
01-17-2015, 03:41 PM
romance of fly casting

To me it is just another method. There is nothing, however, like having a big steelie (something they have in Michigan, big time) strip your reel. I've thought that fly casting poppers for Florida strain largemouth would be a lot of fun, but I've never done it. I've though about fly casting for Redfish, too.

I don't tie flies, but may get into it at some point. I still bottom fish from time to time, and when I used to live in the Bay Area, I would go charter fishing on salmon crab combo trips. Now I live very close to a prime steelhead and salmon river (one of the reasons I moved here), but there just has not been enough water these last few years.

Michael D. Storey
01-17-2015, 04:05 PM
Why do 'we' do it?

same reason a dog licks himself

Phil Y
01-17-2015, 04:23 PM
Speaking of big Steelhead, I saw this one on the news the other day:

http://media.spokesman.com/photos/2015/01/16/Clearwater_Rainbow_t700.jpg?d604143ab53e2747e497be 87bd5b369f57460b3b

Larry Warren holds a rainbow he unofficially weighed at 28.37 pounds and measured 32 inches long and an amazing girth of 28.5 inches before releasing it back into the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam on Jan. 8, 2015.

It would have been a new Idaho state record, but he had to release it, due to state law.

Link (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/jan/17/giant-rainbow-trout-caught-nf-clearwater/)

Big Steelhead. Is that the man or the fish?

Gib Etheridge
01-17-2015, 04:28 PM
Did you hear about the cowboy and his girlfriend sitting on the corral fence watching his dog doing that? "I wish I could do that", he said. "Go ahead", she replied, "he's your dog".

Off topic, I know, but my mind is reeling today. Must be a flashback. :arg

Gib Etheridge
01-17-2015, 04:30 PM
Big Steelhead. Is that the man or the fish?

Not a steelhead, it's a rainbow, but a steelhead could look like that, for a little while anyway, if you took the right additives.

Special for you Ron. :cool:

Brian Palmer
01-17-2015, 04:33 PM
It's a nice way to fish. Tying your own flies. Learning to put them right ....there! (Next to that log or rock, etc.) Watching a fish take the fly off the surface. Holding the line right in your hand to feel the take.

Chris Smith porter maine
01-17-2015, 04:57 PM
For me I moved to the river, fished it with plugs, spinners, and worms, made a few lures, wanted a bit more, learned to tie some flies, took a class from a guides wife, drew some blood learning how to cast them, built a few rods, travelled a bit to other waters some local, some states away, last couple of rods have been cane, learned my river, its spots, seasons, all over time, Simple is best and to do it well requires few things but I learned many. Some how that's why. The book trout Bum is worth a read.

01-17-2015, 06:13 PM
I grew up with weekends to the Beaverkill, the Flatbrook, the Ausable, stony brook with my dad in a station wagon. Dad would drive us Friday nights , Wake us up for eggs and bacon cooked on the green Coleman stove.

Dad would take off with his Leonard fly today for the whole day leaving me and my brother alone.

I think he ran away from us .

Nowadays no one would leave young boys alone for a day by themselfs.LOL..

After fishing for a few hours we lost intrest and mainly threw to rocks in the river, wrestled. Climbed trees, waited for dad to come back to cook his trout for us.

I used spinners and even when young could catch trout.

Even if it was a fly rule only I paid no mind.

however I never could be a good fly fisherman.

nothing beats having a trout rise to a dry fly...

It's a lucky man that has these skills.

01-17-2015, 06:35 PM
For me, it's the only kind of fishing I can enjoy even when I'm unsuccessful in actually catching fish -- the casting and stream strategy are engrossing all in themselves.

Paul Pless
01-17-2015, 07:00 PM
I agree with Donn 100% on this is thread, especially his last post.

Robbie 2
01-18-2015, 03:09 AM
I don't do enough to be good at it but hope to do more in the future.
I love Fly fishing...............have been very successful catching Kahawai on the fly at sea.

01-18-2015, 03:17 AM
I agree with Donn 100% on this is thread, especially his last post.

Absolutely...the difference between merely existing and existential living. Canoeing across the ponds and portaging the elders' trails, their footprints lost with overgrowth to time. Arriving at trout heaven where the large ones at sunrise nearly rip the rod from your hand. As the wise ones say, in being we shall be.

01-18-2015, 06:03 AM
Son Brendan was reading the water yesterday. He reported that, "it was hard". This can severely limit the all important presentation! He did bring home dinner. You should have seen the one that got away.

http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b489/fitzyknu/FITZGERALD-PC/Pictures/image_zps68eb3f31.jpg (http://s1288.photobucket.com/user/fitzyknu/media/FITZGERALD-PC/Pictures/image_zps68eb3f31.jpg.html)

Paul Pless
01-18-2015, 06:17 AM
That's a pretty fish, Fitz.

He did bring home dinner. You should have seen the one that got away.

gonna need a bigger hole?

01-18-2015, 10:58 AM
Maybe the best thing about fishing is passing it on to your kids, and (at least to me) that goes even more so for fly fishing.

So we go from this, my Pop and Uncle:


To my son then:


To my son now:


And how I wish my Dad could have seen that last picture.....

George Jung
01-18-2015, 11:18 AM
Fantastic thread, Paul! I've already enjoyed many of the responses.

I loved fishing when I was a kid - but, and I know you won't believe this - there's not much fishable water in central Nebraska! Dad wasn't very interested, though I recall catching panfish at Niobrara one summer day - and as a result, 'if ya don't use it, ya lose it' comes into play. When I lived in SD, I did quite a bit of fishing, though had I grown up on the Missouri there, I'd likely have been a river rat, out every chance. My buddy was always looking for a partner in crime, whether hunting or fishing ( he needed several - he was high octane, and damned near wore most of us out. Remind me to tell you about my 'Bataan death march' out of Redlake sometime), and I fished with him a lot - mostly from an 18' Lund, spinning or baitcasting reels, dragging a Rapala. And we caught a lot of fish (my wife loves walleye) and had a lot of fun - but for me, it was more about the comraderie, less about the fishing. That changed when I lived in Soldotna, Ak for a few months. I 'caught the bug' salmon fishing, big time. I had to be out there - generally wading the Kenai river to an island, and fishing the downstream side. Intoxicating. Then Les Anderson (he later caught the world record on a line King Salmon) took me fishing a few times - and he had me use a 9' flyrod with a spinning reel, catching way too many (not possible) Silvers. My wrist just ached after bring one in - but probably the best day fishing I've ever had.
I didn't fish much for awhile when I returned to the Midwest - tough to get excited about a 5# walleye after catching several 20# silvers every day.

But I made a conscious decision not to get 'involved' with real fly fishing. The flyrod is beautiful; casting is an artform; and I didn't have enough hours in the day (at that time) to indulge. I knew it'd be 'addictive'. And while you can certainly be 'productive' flyfishing, it's always struck me as an indulgence - the activity was the importance, not the 'end result'. If you're simply after fish, it's less expensive, and for most of us, more productive, to hit the fish market. For me, fishing was never about the meal.

George Jung
01-18-2015, 11:24 AM
An aside - while in Alaska, I was exploring Deep Creek, by Ninilchik ,when, returning from fishing, I saw a middle-aged couple obviously having a bit of a spat. He was exploring the bank, fishing, while she, dressed in her matching hat, fishing vest and pants, was despondently slapping the water with her fly, not really caring about the fishing or beautiful surroundings (rolling hills/cutbanks, trees). I could see a dark shadow just to her left, and suggested she drop her fly there.

'Like this?' she said, looking at me but raising her rod tip and dropping the fly where I'd indicated. She hadn't bothered to let out any line, and when the Steelhead hit, it was akin to a washing machine gone berserk with the lid open. Her rodtip was bouncing all over the place, the watersurface whipped up in a froth, and she was holding her rod out at arms length, screaming. Of course, she immediately had two 'experts' offering advice (her husband had returned), and soon landed a beautiful Steelhead. She then resumed fishing with a renewed enthusiasm, confident in the fact - she was the best fisherman there! I loved it.

Capt Zatarra
01-18-2015, 12:03 PM
I flyfish. For me it is like being in the perfect poem, as opposed to reading a perfect poem. It's hard to explain becuase words fail to describe how 'out of body and expanded to fill my then universe'. Sometimes I get the same feeling when I shave off a perfect curl of wood with a razor sharp hand plane, and the the two pieces of wood that I have been fitting to each other fit together like the had grown that way. It's the atonement for all the other times in my life that I'm just coasting through life not half paying attention. Z.

George Jung
01-18-2015, 12:05 PM
Bingo. Perfect moments, 'perfection'. Worthy goals. So little time!

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-18-2015, 12:16 PM
I like active trout fishing - bottom fishing with bait is sometimes very productive but seldom much fun - flycasting and spincasting are both active and enjoyable ways to fish - walking and casting alternately.

Many of the waters in the UK only allow fly - some have specific fly and spin seasons - so if you want to fish for trout - fly has to be in the armoury.

Tying is fun too - can be done indoors in the warm and it's surprising how simple effective patterns can be.

Passing on the joy


George Jung
01-18-2015, 12:20 PM
As a kid, I was pretty enamoured of 'fly fishing' - though, again, virtually no opportunities. I do recall buying hooks, scrounging feathers, thread etc. and 'tying my own'. They weren't particularly well-done; I possessed no expertise or instruction; and I never had the opportunity to fish with them. But the entire process was fun.

Paul Pless
01-18-2015, 12:26 PM
My favorite fishing has always been river striper fishing. I have stood on ledges below dams and cast for hours, often all night, with heavy casting and spinning gear casting top water plugs and crank and swim baits. Waiting for the giant explosion and long runs a striper promises. I have caught dozens above twenty pounds, a few above thirty, and one that weighed 44 pounds. For each night that I caught one fish, there ten when I caught none.

I have drifted that river for miles and beat the banks with lighter gear including fly rod, usually with streamers for smaller striper s and largemouth.

I haven't found my niche here in Michigan, I've a feeling it could be salmon; gonna take some traveling though, unlike my river in Alabama which was a short walk out of my back door. . .

Paul Pless
01-18-2015, 12:44 PM
Thanks Donn, that's a short drive from my in laws.

Paul Pless
01-18-2015, 12:47 PM
There are abundant small mouth on the Huron which flows quite close to Hell. I've caught many but they are all small smallmouth, nothing over two pounds and most under a pound. Fun, but its like flyfishing for panfish. Small mouth really come into their own when they get above three pounds, IMO. They can be spectacular on a fly rod.

Paul Pless
01-18-2015, 12:49 PM
If you have access to a power boat.its coming

Chris Coose
01-18-2015, 06:30 PM
I don't remember the fish I've caught on a fly as much as I do the spots that type of fishing has placed me in.

Jimmy W
01-18-2015, 07:10 PM
Some of the most fun that I have had was fly fishing in flooded willow trees in an oxbow lake along the Mississippi River during the spring rise. You can paddle under the trees and spot big male bluegills around the tree trunks or between them and drop a sponge rubber cricket in front of them. You will likely lose some fake crickets to the over hanging tree limbs on your back casts. Polarized glasses help a lot.

01-18-2015, 09:59 PM
You gotta fly fish just to meet the women in the sport. "Fly Rod" Crosby from my home digs:


01-18-2015, 10:32 PM
I fish with the long rod from time to time. In some cases its the only way to go, an obvious example being a fly-only section of regulated stream ( we have ine around here) Another time fly is "go to" for me is when striper fishing in our local bays during a cinder worm hatch. On most days, I can get a striper to chew out of territoriality with a topwater plug, if I can find her. But during a cinder worm hatch, they wont eat anything but cinder worms and the best way to "match the hatch" is with a cinder worm fly. So fly tackle can simply be practical.

As for more challenging? Yeah, its a self imposed handicap. Compared to casting tackle or spin gear, you dont have the distance, the accuracy, or the ability to throw into the wind; you have to get the boat or yourself closer--which often means shallower. The frequency with which you can present your offering to the fish is halved, at least. You take up the whole boat, whereas two or three anglers fishing spin can work simultaneously off a 20 foot boat.


01-19-2015, 01:50 AM
Some time ago there was a similar thread which turned to Float Tube Waders for fly fishing, one I remember even had a sail.

01-19-2015, 02:49 PM
Paul... late to this thread... a nice subject and not political.

I began fly fishing after several years of using just traditional equipment. Since I had spent lots of time fishing the Texas coast (and bass fishing on lakes) ...I was used to using the level wind reels and spinning reels and usually fished with live bait (shrimp) and a popping cork to start. Usually, after catching enough fish to take home (filleted and frozen in zip locks full of water) ... we would revert to using only lures and constantly tried to perfect our retrieves with mirror lures, spoons, rubber shrimp tails and Zara spooks, etc. My buddies and I were always very competitive and had a lot of fun seeing who could catch the most. This was a successful strategy and we always had a good time and tried to become better fishermen as time went by.

I began learning to cast a fly rod in my mid thirties. I was interested in it because it had similarities to bow hunting which had a learning curve and was more of a challenge. You also had to become a competent caster if you wanted to fish from a poling skiff and "sight cast" to targets as the boat was poled along which usually was only a few seconds of a time window before the fish was gone. Sight casting to game fish was very similar to bowhunting and just seemed right to me. IT took a bit of practice to become proficient with a fly rod and the salt water flies. Additionally, the chances of being successful with live bait fished properly were pretty high...whereas with lures or flies...you needed to have a good "lifelike" presentation to succeed....kinda like deer hunting with a rifle compared to a recurve. Fly fishing was also cool in that when you caught a fish, only the fish and a very light weight fly were on the end of the line...which I much preferred from so many of the heavier lures etc.

The conversion to exclusively fly fishing for me took place over about 4 years where I took my favorite traditional fishing equipment along with a fly rod to try once we had our fish with live bait. Over time we were improving our fishing success with traditional lures and also with fly rods. Our target fish began change... as we were becoming more interested in the larger game fish.... like bull reds (over 28 inches) and 10 lb speckled trout... and of course our once a year trip to catch Tarpon in Florida during the annual migration.

Fly fishing was superior in my mind because it was very simple, required less equipment and lent itself to just about every situation if you took time to learn the habits of the fish, considered the tidal movements, and understood structure. It was just so easy to throw one fly rod with a few flies and extra leaders in the truck and have it around if a opportunity came up to fish in a pond full of bass or a coastal flat. Early on I fly fished for trout in New Mexico and Colorado and some small mouth bass in our rivers...but my favorite has always been the wide open coastal flats.

Once I decided to build a boat just for the Texas coastal flats I pretty much have not used anything but a fly rod to fish with. Sometimes on very windy days...we keep a decent open faced spinning rod and reel around with a few spoons or rubber shrimp tails because it is the best tool to cast upwind... but the fly rod is my main fishing tool today. Hope this helps...

The following video is a friend of mine who is a fly fishing guide out of South Padre Island/Port Isabel area. Note he gives lots of instructions to his clients. This is a very windy day...we have those...but we have lots of less windy days with very clear water. If you fly fish on the Texas coast... you have to know how to cast in wind...
You'll note he is fishing from a Maverick HPX, which I built a very similar boat for my pro Tarpon fishing buddy Mark.


The flats stretch out for miles... love it down there.

Another video from the air... shows the area better.


Paul Pless
01-19-2015, 03:01 PM
nice video, nice fish, rod

i know a number of guides, and am close friends with two
i would never minimize their work, its a tough job, risky, long hours, stressful

but damn its pretty good work too

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-19-2015, 03:05 PM
Some time ago there was a similar thread which turned to Float Tube Waders for fly fishing, one I remember even had a sail.

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d165/DougReid/Nealy/AlienTrout.jpg~original (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/DougReid/media/Nealy/AlienTrout.jpg.html)

01-19-2015, 08:59 PM
Tying up Red Quills, Hendrickson emergers, Quill Gordons and apple caddis.....the usual suspects on the WB of the Delaware at Hancock NY. My new rods a Loomis, not a Leonard...I wish.

01-20-2015, 09:47 AM
If you've casted your whole life with fast, stiff graphite it's not possible to slow down for glass or cane. Some are so whippy you could eat lunch while your back cast loads the rod. It's a matter of taste. There a lot of expensive cane rods being made and sold. Beauties.

01-20-2015, 12:12 PM
If you've casted your whole life with fast, stiff graphite it's not possible to slow down for glass or cane. Some are so whippy you could eat lunch while your back cast loads the rod. It's a matter of taste. There a lot of expensive cane rods being made and sold. Beauties.

I used to have an 8 wt Browning IM6 rod and really liked its whippyness... it and it was pretty flexible. As time went by and I was casting more in windy conditions... I began trying the stiffer modulus salt water rods.
Casting 6, 8, and 11 wt rods in windy conditions is much easier with the latest generations of graphite. I use the 3 piece Sage RPLX saltwater Rods in 6, 8, and 10 wt for coastal fishing in the flats and the 8 wt is also killer on bass. I have a 8 wt Loomis two piece high modulus graphite rod and tend to use it a lot in moderate conditions... but my Sage RPLX 8wt is the most powerful in windy conditions. I have not bought the latest rods from Sage as I am so happy with the older ones I have.


01-20-2015, 01:32 PM
"The second way will catch more fish, every time." Not if you are fishing for the giant carp off the dock near Ol Silversides up in Muskegon.the first way works best.

Sky Blue
01-20-2015, 01:36 PM
If you've casted your whole life with fast, stiff graphite it's not possible to slow down for glass or cane.


01-20-2015, 01:39 PM
the short answer is "because I can"

The long answer though, it involves learning about how our world works around us, bugs and fish and hydraulics and temperature. And about spending time with friends and family and solitude all in one day. It is about puzzle solving, patience, practice. And the scenery. And...

01-20-2015, 05:15 PM
I learnt on a Hardy cane rod in the mid 60s. These days I stick with soft modulus 4-5 and 6-7 pack rods and a quick 8-9 graphite for salt work on larger species. Reels are Lamson on the 8-9, a rough old Abu for the 6-7 and my Hardy featherweight for the 4-5.

John B
01-20-2015, 06:47 PM
I fly fished as a kid but it requires getting in a car to go and find them . But I really have enjoyed fishing with a light soft bait rig on the sea over the last few years. last year I was trolling for and then casting for kahawai. As the lure became beaten up and eaten and finally gone I was casting just the jig head at them and still pulling them in, too much fun. I jigged at and caught a 2 ft long kingfish a couple of weeks ago on the same gear... just run after run after run. Lip hooked and easy to release.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd48/Waione_photos/cruise%202015/IMG_7363.jpg (http://s227.photobucket.com/user/Waione_photos/media/cruise%202015/IMG_7363.jpg.html).

dunno about existential though, sounds a bit too much of an arty concept for me.

But man what a buzz, makes a man feel good to be alive!


03-13-2016, 04:23 PM
...because it is such a pacifying sport.

There is an off leash dog park here where I take the mutts. It has a creek running through it. There was a kid there last fall catching trout by hand. Little ones, 4" or less. He was quite successful.

Hugh Conway
03-13-2016, 04:25 PM
because it provides some white noise for thinking and reflection. and it's a good excuse to explore interesting and pretty places (imo native trout rarely live anywhere else).

03-13-2016, 05:13 PM
If I fished to catch fish, I'd stop fishing. Aside from practicing catch-&-release, I don't actually do a lot of catching.

I fly fish because I love the cast, the presentation, and the challenge of light line. I much prefer fishing moving water where I can stand in the stream up to my hip, feel the cold (hopefully clean) water on my hand when I drop it to my side, and enjoy the fresh air while I work to attract a bite.

I remember fishing in Banff, up to my hip bear legged in a glacier-fed stream, as an eagle flew overhead. That was a good day!

03-13-2016, 05:35 PM
I started at 15 but the most satisfying time was when out with some TOs (relations) in Arnhem Land near Milingimbi. They had their spears but our methods of watch and stalk were the same. I got satisfaction when one of them said "that new way but properway too!"

03-13-2016, 05:51 PM
Son Brendan got this one today. Some sorta "spinner bait". I need to have a talk with him. At least he was in a nearly 100 year old canoe.

http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b489/fitzyknu/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps9qithk3x.jpg (http://s1288.photobucket.com/user/fitzyknu/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps9qithk3x.jpg.html)

David W Pratt
03-13-2016, 06:02 PM
Anyone else appreciate the irony of someone asking an "existential question" on the
Woodenboat Forum?

Too Little Time
03-13-2016, 06:42 PM
Why do 'we' do it?

Some people like to make up rules. Fly fishing has rules.

I prefer to wade into the water and grab the fish. But it has been a decade since I was out far enough that I needed to pause to fish.

03-13-2016, 06:44 PM
I like fly fishing because of the skills involved, and the places you go to fish. A catch is good but not necessarily the object of the trip.

03-13-2016, 06:50 PM
I like fly fishing because of the skills involved, and the places you go to fish. A catch is good but not necessarily the object of the trip.

That is why it is called fishing and not catching. |;)

CK 17
03-13-2016, 06:53 PM
Why do 'we' do it?
It's more challenging than using a worm and float?

03-13-2016, 06:57 PM
If you don't flyfish you are not in a position to answer, but then you are an American so go ahead. I've flyfishing for fourty years. Right now I'm tying for the season. The challenge is can I make a fly that fools a fish that was born in the west branch or the Delaware? Can I cast it in a perfect line with the rising fish without drag? Can I fight him to the net, admire him and release him unharmed. Every year you face the unknown, do I still have it...did I ever have it? Caught the first little brown of the season on valley creek in valley forge were Washington forded the stream on Tuesday. #18 beadhead zebra midge with a little fine wire wrap. O, and if I don't catch fish the day sucks. I've seen enough sunrises, Eagles, Ospreys, beavers, hooded merganzers to last a lifetime. I still want that 18 inch rainbow or 24 inch brown.

03-13-2016, 07:27 PM
It's fun. But I'm a catch-and-devour fisherman. For years when I was a backcountry ranger, trout were part of my daily ration.

If I'm not hungry, I don't bother the poor dears.

03-13-2016, 07:37 PM
It's fun. But I'm a catch-and-devour fisherman. For years when I was a backcountry ranger, trout were part of my daily ration.

If I'm not hungry, I don't bother the poor dears.

I used to live in Delaware on the Pennsylvania border. There was a river so polluted by heavy metals that they would stock the trout and the goal was to catch them before they died. You had maybe 6 weeks.

But you never, ever ate them!

I now live in a place where the river is clean, but I throw them back in the hope of catching them again. There are never enough.

What angers me is those twits with the cooler and bait that try to catch them all on the first day of fishing when the fish still taste like the fish food they fed them in the hatchery. I have never been able to understand that.

03-13-2016, 08:39 PM
A friend in Montana camps up in the mountains. He fishes for grayling (sp?) for breakfast and says they are delicious. I've never even seen one, but I want to. The pictures are beautiful and I hear the flesh is unique as if it already contains herbs.

03-13-2016, 10:15 PM
Why do 'we' do it?

Fly fishing is only an excuse for walking a stream and panning for gold.


nothing wrong with gold

03-14-2016, 12:29 AM
Fishing was good, in the Wind Rivers. I could catch a limit (6) of brookies on dry flies in a half hour. This was my patrol cabin at Cross Lake.


Smoked brook trout are the food of the gods.

Paul Pless
03-14-2016, 06:03 AM
In the late seventies, when he was 17, my brother went by himself into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana for three weeks. He brought only sacks of potatoes, rice and pancake mix, as I recall. He became so starved that he would wake up in the morning and immediately start fishing. He came out of the woods because he ran out of food. He stuffed himself for a few days, and then went back into the Bob again.

Similarly, my father and a friend took off in a canoe into the Boundary Waters with scant supplies other than light fishing tackle back in the Seventies. They came back when they had run out of frying oil with tales of catching hundreds of fish per day! That fueled some dreams for me as a boy until I was able to go and see for myself. :)

03-14-2016, 07:28 AM
Ah memories, I guided out of Jackson Hole for years. Nothing like taking a group out fishing. What fun.

Snake river is pretty dangerous tho, so we stuck to the tributaries. The further away from town the better.

03-16-2016, 04:42 PM
I hope he put her back. This time of year, she could make thousands more just like her.

Yep Donn, he threw her back....Funny story about that though. His friend sent the photo to Mass Fish and Wildlife. They called back and thought the fish might be in the running for the largest bass caught this year. Apparently, if you bring the fish in to their office and document it, you may find yourself in the running for a $2,000 annual prize (DOH!). They suggested he try and catch the fish again.

So much for getting my yard work done soon by the young Nimrod.:p

Actually, I just noticed he is not wearing a PFD in the picture. That is a violation. Maybe they are trying to get him to come in for his ticket!!:d I will have a talk with him about that too.

03-16-2016, 06:13 PM
It's more challenging than using a worm and float?

In the fly fisher way, it would be a worm "fly pattern" with a cute name like "pink squirm" and a strike indicator. And cost five times as much. :)

03-16-2016, 08:51 PM
http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Fitz http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=4831605#post4831605)

Son Brendan got this one today. Some sorta "spinner bait". I need to have a talk with him. At least he was in a nearly 100 year old canoe.

Working the shallows by the looks of it. A sharp lad...the shallow water warms faster on a nice sunny spring day, helping the quarry shake off cold-weather lethargy.

Classy in that canoe, too!


03-16-2016, 09:25 PM
I used to fly fish, but salt water fish are so much stronger than freshwater fish so I didn't believe in playing them so long trying to finesse them in on fly gear. It was obvious that when you got them to the boat with fight left in them, their revive times were much quicker. I think that flats fishing with spinning or casting gear really takes the same kind of finesse, at least at the lure end.

In Florida, I never buy live bait, but cast net or hook my own, which is again, as much fun as the other fishing. Throwing a cast net is a sort of art too. I have an 8 (16 open), 10 and 12 ft. The 8 ft, which has 11 lbs of lead, I can get all the way open while wading nearly chest deep. The 10ft, about belt line deep and the 12, thigh deep. Otherwise I use home made lures or soft plastics.

Is why I built the Simmons skiff. It's narrow and quiet in the water. I have had 100 yard schools of redfish part around the hull without being spooked, within reason of course. Never happened with the aluminum jon.

Here's me in the Simmons skiff with a nice red. The boat has never been skunk'd and is now kind of notorious for always finding fish like this.

https://scontent.ftpa1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/282489_2069799938729_3499108_n.jpg?oh=1583f6eb74f5 9f5a2a4cd07b14cf635d&oe=57914445

But seriously, to heck with fly fishing, when you can thumb fish. :D

https://scontent.ftpa1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/v/t1.0-0/q81/p206x206/575537_10200492752295451_1651881422_n.jpg?oh=7c698 bfe2ef6974613e5f0ce2d687dd8&oe=579423D2

Ok, that's a tale. When you catch these "Snook," they will hold onto your thumb as you swim them back and forth until they catch their breath. They seem to appreciate the ride.

Steve McMahon
03-16-2016, 09:28 PM
If I calculated the cost of fly fishing equipment vrs weight of trout caught..........please don't tell my wife, but it is worth it to me. It would be far more cost effective to dine on lobster and filet mignon.

Vince Brennan
03-16-2016, 09:44 PM
Fly fishing! Some of the most intimate relations between hunter and prey available to a rational being. Starting with tying one's own flies, not only trying to imitate (if not improve upon) the trout's favourite food... (How many of us would be fooled by an ersatz steak?), then being able to place that lure so gently as to not alarm a superbly intelligent fish (for a fish, of course... or a Republinut...approximately the same I.Q.), simulate the motion of that favourite food and then...

Set the hook, at first gently and then to pierce the membrane of the mouth, and then allow the fish to try to shake the hook out (the "fabulous leap" of so many videos, but exactly what one wishes to prevent by a consistent pressure) and escape...

I know of several ladies (women) who are comperes in the zeitgeist of the experience, but for most the entire experience leaves them bewildered and unsure of the civilization of their males.

('Z'Ok... I feel the same way about a Saturday spent at the mall in search of the perfect pair of shoes or the most comfortable bra.)

Fly fishing... the sinuous whip of the wrist, the avoidance of the overhanging alder or willow, the landing of the fish and the unhooking and release (or the creeling and filleting of same... MUCH more MY preference)...

They say racing is the "Sport Of Kings". I think not.