Thursday, February 26, 2015

Myth Busters - Dead Drift

There are at least a couple of widely held and accepted fly fishing related “truisms” , that at least from my perspective, aren’t so true.

One I think many of us have heard – It’s isn’t fly fishing unless your rod is equipped with snake guides.

I think most of you who may be reading this may have a slightly different opinion.

Another one I often hear – You need to present your fly with a dead drift in order to catch fish.

I personally disagree with this one with as much vigor as with the snake guide axiom. Dead drift is certainly a popular and effective presentation, but it certainly not the only presentation that works well. Not everything that a fish may eat floats along lifelessly in the current. A lot of things move, whether it be in the form of a struggle, or purposeful means of propulsion. Don't be afraid to twitch, skate, skitter, swing, flutter, lift …. your fly.

Anytime one is engaged in a discussion, it’s always nice to know at least a few other folks share your opinion. When it comes to fishing alternative presentations to dead drift, I think I am in good company. If I ask you to close your eyes and picture what is commonly referred to as a “tenkara” fly, chances are you envision something that looks like this

So ask yourself, why tie the hackle forward? I probably don’t need to tell you it’s designed to add movement to the fly as it is twitched during the presentation. It’s to make the fly look alive via the movement imparted by the angler, and the resulting pulsation of the hackle. These flies are specifically designed NOT to be fished using a dead drift presentation.

As least for me, another fly fishing truism bites the dust.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

But another validity discussion

Another day, another it ain't really fly fishing discussion in a fly fishing forum. I find it interesting that if you do a google search on a guy named Izaak Walton, you'll find several hundred clubs, organizations and other miscellaneous stuff named in his honor.

Guess what? He didn't use a reel either.

As you spend some time looking into things, you'll find the development of fly fishing in both East and West is remarkably similar in terms of time frames and the types of equipment used.

I personally don't think there is anything mystical or zen about using a fixed-length line set up to fly fish. It's a simple and effective way that some folks choose to fish.

Quite honestly, the vast majority of good old boys and bubbas can't help but smirk when they see somebody standing in rubber pants, waving a stick around as they zoom by in their bass boats. It's all just a matter of where you happen to find your interest along the curve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's not fly fishing if it doesn't use snake guides

I recently saw another of the seemingly endless proclamations in a sub-forum targeted to tenkara - It ain't fly fishing. My initial inclination was to enter into the fray, but after second thought, decided not to participate. Of course there was the requisite attempt to post a "humorous" photo to hammer home their point
The one thing I tried to figure out - Why is it folks who claim to hate/detest fishing without snake guides actively seek out tenkara focused forums and discussion groups? I personally don't like brussel sprouts, I feel no need to seek out brussel sprouts recipe pages to tell other folks they shouldn't eat them. I guess maybe doing so somehow strokes these folks egos, making them feel some how superior that they are indeed true fly fishers. You know, the folks who tie on a strike indicator, clamp on a few split shot, and fish the "traditional" way. Out of the blue, I saw a quote which I think answered my question - Hanlon's razor is an adage, most commonly attributed to Robert J. Hanlon which is generally stated as: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."