As editor of FAOL I sometimes watch fishing programs
on TV rather than read the Wall Street Journal. With
very few exceptions, as I do, I get upset, angry,
bugged, and just plain 'you know what.' If you are
somewhat new to fly-fishing you might be watching
them too. My complaint is this. Between many of them
you will rarely find agreement on how to do things.
There seems to be basically two formats; showing you
how to do something and telling you how to do something.
The first usually has two guys fishing and you must watch
and listen to see and hear how they do things. Not a lot
of mention about how to, just mostly fishing.
The other has the host explaining every little thing
he is doing, why he is doing it that way and how you
should do it. These are the most egregious. It is not
so much that what they do is wrong, it is just not
as right as it should be. Here I am referring to things
like rubbing you fly rod on your nose before putting
it together. Things like that.
When you see these guys strip in line with their hand
instead of controlling the slack by putting it on the
reel and then dancing around the floating line as
they swipe at a fish with a net, just remember there
may be a better way. Then again, they just may not
know any better. I don't mean to say that there
aren't times when some of these things are not
proper, there are. I am referring to the times
when they are not.
Don't take what you see as the 'Gospel,'it is not.
It seems that anyone with access to a video camera
is an 'instant expert.' It amazes me they can get
so many companies to shuck out dollars to sponsor
these things. They are not only poor, they are
often wrong. I have seen guys break rods by pointing
them up and back when landing fish causing a 180
degree bend. This breaks the rod and puts no force
on the fish either. The lower you keep your rod,
the more force is applied. If you raise the tip,
you are using the tip; if you lower the rod, you
are using the butt of the rod. Simple stuff.
I've got a few years under my belt and still find
new things to learn. That is the great fascination
of fly-fishing. You never get to know it all.
The fact remains that they are something to watch
when the neighbors dog has christened your copy of
the WSJ and you are desperate for entertainment.
Just be forewarned, many 'experts' have been
postulating doing things exactly as they do it.
They cannot change to anything new and still claim
their deity. They are stuck doing things the same
way forever. You are not.
Don't be afraid to take what you want from any of
them, and leave the rest. There is a big difference
between 'experts' and professionals. It's your job
to sort them out. ~ James Castwell