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Mike Ormsby

Snobs and Fly Fishing?!?!?

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There was a post on a fly fishing forum about fly fishing snobs and how one told if you were a snob or not. I thought of the quote I'd read somewhere once about fly fishers being snobs as far as looking down their noses at other anglers, like spin fishermen or bait casters. That they see fly fishing as the pure form of fishing, the most beautiful way of catching a fish, the sweetest science of angling. And that of fly fishers, dry fly fishermen were the biggest snobs since they saw themselves as the purest of fly anglers. Well that thought caused me a problem -- I don't like to think of myself as any sort of snob -- but I do love to fly fish almost exclusively -- and I do prefer drifting a dry fly to a rising trout.

Then I thought of another quote by John Gierach that always made me think of what others might consider "snobbish" fly fishers:

"Fly fishermen would descend on the stream like information-gathering modules, sprouting collective nets, specimen bottles, and stream thermometers, and could often be heard muttering to each other in some foreign language I later discovered to be Latin."

But then I realized I knew Latin terms such as:

Amelitidae (for Brown Duns), Baetidae (for Blue-Winged Olives), Baetiscidae (for Armored Mayflies), Caenidae (for Angler?s Curses), Ephemerellidae (for Hendricksons, Sulphurs, PMDs, BWOs), Ephemeridae (for Hexes and Big Drakes), Heptageniidae (for March Browns, Cahills, Quill Gordons), Isonychiidae (for Slate Drakes), Leptohyphidae (for Tricos), Leptophlebiidae (for Black Quills and Blue Quills) and Metretopodidae (for Pseudo-Gray Drakes) -- and this just for Mayflies (or Family Ephemeroptera).

Damn does knowing all these Latin terms really mean I've become a "fly fishing snob" myself?!?!?!? Or did those Biology classes actually come in handy after all???? LOL LOL

"Fly fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with aesthetic considerations. It?s not even clear if catching fish is actually the point." -John Gierach

Updated 01-05-2009 at 11:58 PM by Mike Ormsby



  1. vargoje3's Avatar
    Well I would have to agree that i've met some real big snobs while fishing and they ALL have been dryfly fisherman. For example last year when i was fishing the Madison a dryfly snob comes fishing up the bank i'm on. I've been in the same spot for over an hour and had caught and released about 4 or 5 decent sized browns and bows. I hooked into a real good one and it took off downstream. As i was getting to this guy I said sorry but i couldnt help it and you know what the sob did, he reached out grabbed my flyline and broke me off. I've also had dryfly guys fish up to the hole i've been nymphing in for hours and literally tangle there flies w/ my line and get pissed off at me!
  2. Bad Luck Larry's Avatar

    Nah....knowing all those Latin names means that you just want to be closer, more intimate with flyfishing. I think that's what we humans do when we love something: We want to know everything about it.
    I love fishing, period. I also spinfish as well. But, it's a different experience altogether.
    Like you, I PREFER flyfishing. There's something indescribable about the experience.

    NOW....if you 'poo-poo' and 'pfah-pfah' anyone else NOT flyfishing OR nymphing while you SHOULD be dry flyfishing; or cutting their tippet with their teeth instead of clippers (not scissors); fish outside of a full moon or between the hours of 7-9 pm...(you get the point) ARE a snob.

    I've met my share as well. I laugh at what they know not, and wish the best for them. And, learn from the experience.