Part Fourty-nine

Randy Fratzke

Garden Hackle Revisited

By Randy Fratzke


A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about a guy who "invented" a night crawler "fly" in order to compete, as a fly angler, with his bass bustin' buddies who were using spinning and bait casting outfits and plastic scented worms and out fishing him, supposedly 10 to 1. In order to save a lot of space here restating my position, etc., if you don't remember the article, please refer back to the Panfish Archives.

Since then I have received several Emails from fly anglers, both pro and con, some intelligent and thought provoking, and some, a little insulting, and at best, in my opinion, naive. I would like to once again address the issue and include some of the comments I've received. I have changed or omitted the names of everyone who wrote to save them from embarrassment, harassment, or any unwanted notoriety for their comments. I would also like to repeat one very important message here: This is MY opinion. I'm sure YOU have yours and I'm also sure that if you'd like to write an article expressing it, the publisher would consider posting it, providing you keep it free of profanity.
OK, with all that out of the way, let's take a look a few comments:

1.  "Considering you've bastardized the art of fly fishing by including all the other crap already (meaning non-dry flies was my understanding of this comment) what's the difference of another ...."
All right, guy, get it out of your system! Your obviously in the category I've referred to as a "purist". About the only thing I can say is when the "dries" aren't working, and your too "proud" to try a wet or a nymph, or any other method for that matter, then you don't deserve to catch fish. Go home and sulk, write nasty emails to people who are catching fish, get a new life!

2  "So you don't consider "chenille worms" as fly tackle, but wooly worms, Dahlberg Divers, sliders, poppers, rabbit fur leaches, (etc.) are?"
Like I said in the article, I have to draw the line somewhere. . . and this is where I draw the line. Wooly worms and fur leaches normally represent a creature on which the fish normally prey. Night Crawlers and garden worms are not usually found "swimming in the water." I'll be honest here, I've never been to the San Juan River, so I don't know if those little red worms swim in that river or not. Dahlbergs, Clousers, sliders, and crayfish usually represent forms of fish or aquatic species which are also common prey. Terrestrials, such as crickets, ants, grass hoppers, and frogs are also common prey for panfish as they are blown into the water by the wind or fall off stream side vegetation. But quite honestly, it would take one heck of a gale to blow a worm out of it's hole in the ground and into a stream.

3. "If you were competing against "regular bass anglers" what would you recommend?"
Good question, but first of all let me say that I don't compete in fishing. I fish for enjoyment, so I wouldn't have put myself into that situation in the first place. Second of all, there are plenty of articles in the archives that describe any number of patterns and situations to catch panfish, (50 in fact,) so please, go back and read a few of them, that's why we make the archives available. Thirdly, if you put yourself into a competitive situation, then you only have yourself to blame if you lose. I'm not going to name a bunch of patterns just so you can say that it was my fault you lost because I didn't name the "hot pattern" of the day.

4.  "I'm glad someone has enough guts to say "enough is enough" and draw the line somewhere."
To you, sir, Thank You! Enough said.

Hopefully, I haven't insulted anyone. If I have, gee, I'm sorry, but get over it. If you want to use worms, go for it! If you only want "upstream and dry," go for it! If you want to sit in the house and complain, go for it! After all, it's you life, you live it by your rules. Just remember to let others live it by theirs.

'Til next time, enjoy the fishing, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy life! ~ Randy Fratzke

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