Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Best of Both Worlds

A link on some of the fly fishing blogs that I like to peruse, such as Fly Fish Magazine and Fishing Jones is to an article written by Mark Taylor, an outdoors writer for Raonoke Times. Mark discusses the long standing division between fly fishermen and gear fishermen. As he so eloquently puts it, these 2 schools remain on opposite sides of the bank because of the common stereotypes of each.

In the eyes of plenty of fly anglers, conventional tackle anglers are a bunch of bait-chucking, worm-plunking, fish-killing, stream-littering, resource-abusing rednecks.
Many conventional fishermen don't think much of fly-fishers, either, considering them a bunch of fancy pants, "River Runs Through It"-watching, influence-peddling, elitist poseurs who think that money can buy fishing bliss.
The attitude is not good for anyone.

Another, but related misconception spanning the fishing world is that you are either a fly fisherman or a gear fisherman. It is this misconception that leads to the ignorance on both sides of the other means to the same end. Many fly fishermen stay clear from ever using traditional gear or ever admitting to it for fear of being labelled a meat-hunter redneck, while many gear fishermen will steer clear from ever trying fly fishing for not wanting to be a part of this elitist cult.

Giving way to these misconstrued ideas is sadly self-limiting in the pursuit of our finned friends. Gear fishermen will never know the reward of delicately placing your hand tied fly in front a rising trout to see it gently sip it from the surface, and the ensuing explosion as you raise your rod tip to set the hook. Fly fishermen will never know the exhiliration of being so intimitely connected to a steelhead as when using a centrepin reel, feeling every head-shake, turn, and roll in the palm of your hands as they act as the always adjusting drag system. Limiting oneself to just one method of fishing will probably make you good at it, but it will never make you a great fisherman.

I'm not a great fisherman (which is a whole other issue), but I love them both, and I could never choose one over the other. Variety is the spice of life as they say.


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