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Thursday, December 10, 2015

That's Not a Fly. It's a Lure!

Learn the rules!!!  dang rookie

Is this a fly or a lure.  Do you care? Neither do I.


I think we have all seen it happen before on the interwebs, an expo, or on the river.  I frequently see this type of expert authoritatively prance into the expo room floor.  He's dressed in his zip-off wet wading pants and long sleeve "technical" casting shirt with sandals and socks.  His flip up polarized lenses are ready to be slapped into place in the event that he needs to cut glare on any water he may confront.  He has an Indiana Jones style hat perched upon his crown with a lambswool patch that masterfully shows which "flies" he has been catching trout on.  His right hand is tightly gripping his wading staff as he scouts for people who need to be "educated," and his left hand is jostling for something deep inside his black leather fanny pack that he wears facing forward (probably a fly box of patented "flies".)  He spots a young tyer who is happily dressing some foam poppers out of 90% synthetic materials and super glue, and he is now locked on like a mako shark on a chum trail.  Our expert has found his pupil so he plops down in front of him and proclaims....  "NICE LURE!"  With those two words our expert has educated this young simpleton that "flies" are tied out of feathers n' fur dammit!  Not polyurethane, antron, and resin!!  What he was "making" were, gasp, "LURES."  

Fly or lure?  Don't Cuuuuurrrrrrr
I'm always looking for forms of entertainment in my life, and witnessing this behavior is about as good as it gets for me.  As I have said many times, I really enjoy fishing.  Fishing with flies...  Fishing with lures... Fishing with bait...  Ice Fishing...  All of it.  I really like fishing!  The beauty of this is that I don't have to make up sets of phony rules that dictate how I will fool fish into eating hooks.  I don't have to limit myself to what I put on a hook and call a fly (because that's how I'll present it to the fish.)  Really though...  who cares!!??!!  Who cares what the thing on the end of your line is called as long as you are having fun, right?  Lure? yep.  Fly? yep.  Fun? yep.  Let me be very clear though.  This is just my opinion, and you don't have to agree with it at all.  The reason I bring this up is that there are a lot of experts like our "Expo-Educator" who really can't sleep at night if they don't convert everyone to their way of thinking.  One of these days I'll get one of them to show me the manual with the rules. 

I worked in a shop for a little while some years ago, and the owner always would say "these are the good-ol-days of fly tying." Meaning that we have more variety and quality in materials than ever before.  There are pre formed hopper legs, curly tails, tungsten formed stonefly heads, and soft squishy eggs.  The question I have is, where to you draw the line?  No synthetics? No beads? No delicious soft squishy eggs? No pre-formed bodies? If I were to answer my own question, I'd say that you don't draw the line at all.  With the vast amount of synthetic materials out there, the definition between fly and lure is probably best left to the presentation of said lure or fly.  If you can cast it on a fly rod, you are fly fishing.  If you can cast it on a conventional rod, then you are lure fishing.  Or how about this...  If you throw it in the water in hopes to fool a fish, it is called fishing. 

This is definitely in no way a dig at anyone who prefers to tie flies or fish a certain way.  If all you do is wear tweed, fish a bamboo and a hardy, and swing classic wet flies?  More power to you.  If that's how you have fun, then you are doing it right.  What I have an issue with is when people "educate" others about the do's and don'ts of fly fishing and fly tying when it's unsolicited.  Maybe I'm way off base here, so I welcome any comments on why it might be important to make sure we follow the supposed rules of "fly" vs. "lure." 


~ Cheech

 

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Great write up, you nailed it with this- "If that's how you have fun, then you are doing it right"
    "Educators" tend to be no fun and have very few real friends in my opinion.

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  3. I'm a fisherman. I tie flies. I tie lures. I've fished with a rapala on my "bamboo" and I've tossed gnarly streamers with a baitcast reel and a rod with a trigger handle. If I'm catching fish I'm good.
    BTW, I just drove past strawberry on my way to vernal and saw ice in the bays. I can't wait to jig a streamer, tipped with a wax worm on a 3ft rod with a Zebco 202.

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  4. Blasphemy I can't believe your arrogance lol. Obviously I'm joking. You hit the nail on the head. It's about having fun. I do a lot of bass fishing with my fly rod and chuck and duck style with tons of wieght and a big streamer about 4 feet down the leader while I drift in my kayak I drift and it's super effective and super fun cuz I catch huge bass and I don't care if it's not considered fly fishing to some. I don't care what it's called. All I know is that I feel proud that I took a style of fishing and adjusted it to the fishing around where I live and it works

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  5. The reason I tie and fish is to have fun.

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  6. Right on! I was working the shop one day and had a 12-year-old kid tell me "he went through a streamer stage once, before he went back to real flies." I can't imagine how much fun his father is when it comes to debating the finer points of fly fishing...I told him if he ever wanted to take another stab at streamers I'd take him fishing any time.

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  7. There are days the fly rod does very well, and there are days my casting rod does very well. I enjoy them both equally. As long as I am on the water, I'm good.

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  8. Probably just experts. There are experts in some things and experts in many things. I like what John Gireach writes about "expertizing." "Expertizing means acting like an expert. Not necessarily being an expert, mind, you, but acting like one. There's a big difference. It's an act we all slip into from time to time when we know just a little more about fishing than the person we're talking to, or, worse yet, that we really don't know any more, but that the person is willing, for whatever reason or another, to believe we do."

    John goes on to explain that many believe things they read are true because, well, it's in a book, or in an article, or now days on the internet. He mentions that when we read something we believe the person is an expert, but in reality they are probably just better at writing it.

    I remember years ago walking into a fly shop and telling the owner that I was catching more trout on Blue-winged Olive dries that had orange heads (the whipped head was tied with orange thread). The reason I was doing it was because I noticed that all the photos I had seen of male baetis showed large orange eyes. I really had no way to quantify if I waas catching more fish with those orange head patterns than a standard pattern. But I wanted to be cool and be an expert.

    The following year, I went to a tying demo that this shop owner was doing and low and behold, he was telling my baetis story and the theory of the orange eyes only he was the one that had discovered it. Stuff like this happens all the time. Everyone wants to be an expert. Everyone wants to tell the next guy how his theory, his idea, his tying technique(s), his fly fishing techniques are better, more fun, or not as limiting as the next guys. And we all, one time or another, rub somebody wrong--it's pretty much what being human is all about. I think the secret is to not let it get to us too much.

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  9. I think you are spot on! As a new tyer and flyfisherman, I can have a respect for more traditional methods, but I am not going to forgo the advancements of technology just so that I can make any claim as to whether I am "flyfishing" or "fishing." You guys do a great job of incorporating conventional and new techniques together. If flyfishing is going to continue forward, and not be relegated to the history books (much like those "experts" will one day) the industry needs to embrace the ideals of younger generations....and that includes an acceptance for plastics, polymers, synthetics, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you are spot on! As a new tyer and flyfisherman, I can have a respect for more traditional methods, but I am not going to forgo the advancements of technology just so that I can make any claim as to whether I am "flyfishing" or "fishing." You guys do a great job of incorporating conventional and new techniques together. If flyfishing is going to continue forward, and not be relegated to the history books (much like those "experts" will one day) the industry needs to embrace the ideals of younger generations....and that includes an acceptance for plastics, polymers, synthetics, etc.

    ReplyDelete

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