Some say fly fishermen have a different attitude towards fishing.
I have heard we have a greater awareness of the environment as
well as a more developed sense of responsibility and ethics.
Even authorities such as game wardens recognize this. I, and
those who were a part of the Texas Fish-in this last April have
seen this as well. A game warden was checking for Trout stamps
and never stopped to check any of the fly fishers. When
questioned he simply stated, "I never have to worry about fly
fishermen, I have yet to ever find one without a license,
needed stamps or illegally kept fish." We have a tradition,
a way of life we can all be proud of. We have learned to be
a part of nature and not to take from it without giving
For most of the people I have had the honor of sharing water
with, the attitude has always been relaxed and easy going,
whether we caught a few fish or a lot of fish, small fish
or large fish. We simply enjoy the day with whatever it
brings us. I remember a story where a new fly fisherman
was doing his best to catch some trout and ended up catching
two small fish for the day. During this time he was watching
a couple of other fly fishers across the small impoundment.
On the way out he overheard the conversation, as one of the
fly fishers was upset and actually angry about only catching
one lousy fish all day. The newbie, trying to be friendly,
said how he was sorry that the other fly fisher had caught
only one fish and would be glad to give his two if he was
planning a meal or something. The other fly fisher held
up his single fish - all 25 inches. The newbie's jaw dropped
and exclaimed "Boy, if only I could ever catch something like
that!" The harshness left the old timers face and he seemed
to suddenly remember it wasn't about the most or the biggest,
but just being able to be out and enjoying the time we have.
I've had people ask me why I don't become a guide, as I know
the rivers and fish in my area so well. Well let's see. . .
When I "guide" it's only in the capacity of leading fellow
fly fishers in waters that are unknown to them. I refuse
to be paid for any instruction, flies provided and guiding.
I firmly believe in friendship and not client relationship.
Anytime money changes hands certain expectations and legal
responsibilities come into play. Neither of which I chose
to deal with. People who fish with me will catch fish, but
not necessarily big fish all the time and most certainly not
any guaranteed species. They will catch fish and usually a
lot of them and most importantly we fish as friends, people
sharing a common way of life.
1. a.One who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising.
- b.One who serves as a model for others, as in a course of
- 2.A person employed to conduct others, as through a museum, and give
information about points of interest encountered.
(From Online http://www.dictionary.com/)
I have a really hard time conversing or fishing with bass
fishermen, more especially, pro bass fishermen. Don't get me
wrong, it's not the people, it's the sport. It's always about
the most fish and the biggest fish. This is because the bottom
line is money. Time constraints of the contest and the ability
to get to the best spots first and ample prize money has driven
this style of fishing into a frenzy of competition. You think
fly fishing is expensive? Serious bass fishing begins with a
$20,000 boat and that's a low-end model! Gadgets you say? I've
seen some really high tech boats with buttons, bells and whistles,
including the now controversial underwater video cameras.
Even if there is not a meet going on, it seems they are always
in that mode of fishing. I asked one once what he did to relax.
He simply replied without any humor " I go to work". . . Ouch!
Not a way of life for me.
While keeping all of this in mind, try to keep it simple and
relaxing. Fly fishing is a state of mind and a way of life
in tune with nature. . . not just a hobby. ~