Dry Fly Fanaticism
By Ed Zern
From To Hell with Fishing, (1945), published
by D. Appleton-Century Company, New York.
Personally, I can't understand the fanaticism of the dry-fly
purist. Except under abnormal conditions, trout in eastern
streams are easier to take with the artificial fly than with any
natural bait I've ever tried - and, of course, a lot more fun.
But if there were such a creature as an unbiased angler, I think
he'd admit that in clear water flowing at normal levels during the
season when natural flies are hatching, there's more skill and
streamcraft involved in taking trout on a worm than in flimflamming
them with a floater.
Fishing the lower Brodheads with Larry Madison one day, I saw a
brown trout as long as your leg poke his head leisurely out of the
water, take a large butterfly fluttering about ten inches above the
surface, and slide back into the depths. When my hair had uncurled
and I'd told Larry about this, we each caught a large butterfly, tied
it with thread to a #14 hook on the end of a stout leader, and waded down
opposite sides of the stream, letting the butterflies butterfly around at the
ends of their tethers. For all the fish we caught by this ingenious
trick, we might as well have been trolling Rangeley spinners from
the back of a Fifth Avenue bus. ~ Ed Zern
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