First off, there may not be such a thing. A 'Purist.'
We have all heard rumors of them, a bit like 'bigfoot,'
or the 'Lock Ness Monster,' but when did you ever see
one in person? I mean a full fledged, dyed-in-the-wool
Purist? Oh sure, the bait-slingers all whine about the
'Purist' this and the 'Purist' that, but pin them down
on just exactly who it is they are talking about and
watch them clam up.
For my first bit of evidence I will suggest that all
the stories of the 'Purist' screwing up the fishing
for these guys is bunk. No 'Purist' would ever be
caught in the same local as they frequent. Can you
visualize a 'Purist' and a bunch of worm-stranglers
fishing the same pool? Never happened, never will.
The same can hold true of the 'Purist' in a fancy
'Fly Shoppe.' What the hell would a bait-bouncer be
doing in a fancy 'Fly Shoppe?' So there you have it,
if the 'Purist' even did exist the two could never
have been in actual contact.
Just what is a 'Purist' supposed to be anyway? From
what I can gather he should only fish dry flies, only
to rising trout (brookies preferably), of course only
upstream, cane rod, silk line, gut leader and hand
tied (no vise) fly (damn small).
A walking stick (wading staff), a Tyrolean hat, proper
vest, argyle socks and a tie. So, just when did you see
one of these? I ask you point blank. Never, I suggest.
Again, debunking the myth of the 'Purist.' Evidence
seems to suggest they could not possibly exist, only
a figment of an over active imagination of those
inclined to dig worms.
On the other hand, perhaps it may be too bad that the
'Purist' does not in actuality exist. Look at it this
way. Say you and he live in the same region, fish the
same streams, even know each other and sometimes fish
together. Say he knows of a dandy pool on a little
known stream. Should he tell you about it? You might
think that would be a good thing, but you would be
wrong my friend. Forever and ever, when ever you fished
the pool you would be fishing 'his' pool. It would be a
far better thing for him to do, not ever mention it to
you. Let you discover it on your own, then you could
fish it at your leisure, a much preferred situation.
This is how a 'Purist' might do things.
Would a 'Purist' tell you exactly which fly he just
caught that big brown on? Again, you probably guessed
wrong. Of course he wouldn't. The rewards to you of
figuring things like that out by yourself are self
evident. Would he help you with your casting? Make
it known he was far superior to you? Embarrass you
like that? Never, if you got better you might get
to be just as good as him.
It seems that the 'Purist,' if ever he did materialize
would be a real friend, fish on his own, keep his mouth
shut about flies and places and casting. All in all,
the 'Purist' might make the perfect fishing companion. ~ James Castwell