May 6th, 2002

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Self-made Fly Fisherman
By Vaughn Pemberton

I recently was looking at a fly fishing book in the library. I believe it was part of the 'trial-side' series of books. The thing I read in this book was that fly fishing is an inefficient way of catching relatively few fish. Now I would not have known this if I had not read this book. I do not know or have ever known another fly fisherman, so I just did not know that fly fishing was an inefficient method of catching fish. In all of my life I have only seen two people fly fishing. One of them was here where I live and the other one was chest deep in the Big Cedar River in Iowa, and that was before I started fly fishing.

What sparked by interest in fly fishing was watching Fred McMurray on television fly fishing for - and catching grayling, and being a curious sort of person I have tossed a many bug on the water just to see what was living there, and when a fish took the bug I would think if I had a hook and a line in that bug, that fish would have been mine, so I saw the potential for catching fish with a fly rod.

Where I live nobody seems to care about fly fishing and you can hardly find anything in the stores or the tackle shops pertaining to fly fishing. Thirty years ago when I was twenty-two I found a fly rod in a bait store and started fly fishing, if you could call it that. I found the fly rod very difficult to handle, but with persistence I learned how to handle it. I do remember someone telling me about the roll cast, but other tha that I was on my own. Back in those days I was just a back-woods-country boy and did not have much in the way of money, so hunting and fishing helped put food on the table.

All I had was two popping bus, one to use and one for backup. I can remember using the same fly the whole summer, but I put fish on the table for pennies a pound with that fly rod. Now I do know know that ultra light spinning will out fish the fly rod, but nets will out catch them all, and any system is inefficient in hands that do not know how to use them.

I have heard it said that 10 percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish. So I think knowing how to catch fish is 90 percent of your success and the equipment you use is only 10 percent.

Here is an example of my way of thinking. My wife is from a third world country and knows how to forage for food. She never had a sporting rod in her hands before I brought her to the USA. I taught her how to use an ultra-light spinning rod and artificial bait. She was amaged that you could catch fish with such a thing. Now when we go fishing, fish tremble at the sound of her name.

I think fly fishing is the most enjoyable way to catch fish. I still use that same fly rod to this very day. I know there are a lot better rods on the market today, and now could afford any fly rod I so choose, but that rod holds a lot of memories, good and bad, of days gone by, but that is another story. Remember this, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work. ~ Vaughn Pemberton


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