Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
September 4th, 2000

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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