Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thoughts on Tradition aka An Insomniacs Rant

Couldn't sleep so please excuse the ramble and over zealous punctuation.

Fly fishing is steeped in tradition. Some of the old names associated with our sport are, or should be, instantly recognizable. What fly angler, worth his salt, is not familiar with names like Lee Wulff, Hardy Bros. and Orvis. As a graduate of the gear fishing fraternity I must say there are very few "legends" in that type of fishing that are not just regional names. Sure most gear guys know who Buzz Ramsay, Jim Conway and Clancy Holt are but their fame do not go much beyond the Pacific Northwest.
I do love much of the folklore and tradition of fly fishing but am not so rigid that I have become dogmatic about it like some I've encountered. I do use a split bamboo fly rod for trout but if I were a strict traditionalist I would also use a silk fly line and a gut leader.
I also think that fly fishing, as far as the efficiency of it, is very impractical. Think about that last statement for a minute. If our goal were just to catch a lot of fish in the name of sport isn't there easier ways to accomplish that and still call ourselves sports anglers? I know for a fact there are. Getting past all that crap about "Isn't it cheaper and easier to Safeway and buy your fish" that is what the practical man would say and I say he is full of it. However there are easier ways to satisfy ones hunter/gatherer instincts!
I could have kept my old Lamiglas drift rod with my ABU Ambassadeur level wind reel and tied on a bit of salmon roe then let fly. Been there and done that! Caught a lot of salmon and steelhead that way and while it was fun it became very routine and not very challenging.
Hence my entry into the world of fly fishing. I give homage to the traditions that make this angling pursuit what it is and why the legend and lore of it are so appealing.
Taking that further I think we, who chose this method of sports angling,should at least give a passing nod to tradition.Tradition is all the things, at least to me, that make this sport such a pleasure. Many of we fly anglers do offer something to tradition and I hope that once us old guys have made our last casts that some of those traditions will not die with us.
I wonder though....Would Norman Maclean and his brother Paul have used a strike indicator?
- Tight Lines -

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