I recently attended a fly fishing film festival at movie theatre/beer hall in Portland. The festival featured short clips of various fly fishing destinations like Belize, British Columbia,Mongolia and Kamchatka and all in all it was enjoyable to watch.
While it was fun to see these fantastic locations and dreamed about places I have to wonder if this trout bum phenomena is a good thing for our sport and for wild fish in general.
There was one clip where the anglers had to be helicoptered into a remote river in order to fish for huge rainbows and I wondered if there any place in the world where wild fish are left alone anymore? Is there any place where man cannot reach them?
I also wonder if the anglers in these films who travel to these exotic locales reflect what is best about fly fishing? The image of these guys holding a trophy trout out of the water with their rod firmly gripped in their teeth is kind of repulsive to me.
Some of you might think I am just envious of these anglers and them getting a chance to fish where most other guys only dream of but I'm really not.
I love my fly fishing world and am satisfied to fish where I am. The pursuit of steelhead and trout here in the Pacific Northwest is a very satisfying experience for me. Trying to preserve the wild salmonids of this region provides enough of a challenge and chance at gratification as I want.
When I abandoned my bait and gear angling life in favor of fly fishing only, it was for a reason. That reason is a lot more than having my grinning face plastered all over the internet with my latest conquests. I got into fly fishing for the sheer joy of it and I dearly love every tradition from the past that goes along with it.
No doubt there are millions of fly fishermen out there that feel the same way.
Sorry but the whirlwind "Endless Summer" fly fishing movies are nothing more than eye candy and something I would not pursue. The young guys in these films are not someone I envy as they place their indicators on their line and have at it.
Call me cynical if you want but to my way of thing this type of fishing over kill flies in the face of tradition and the meaning of why I travel this road.
If someone offered to pay my way to New Zealand to fish for those big browns and rainbows I would go...who wouldn't? The point I am trying to make is I think this type of search and destroy barn storming throughout the world is, in some cases, obscene and over indulgent.
The Deschutes or the Metolius rivers are about as exotic as I care to get at this stage of my life and the joy of a nicely cast dry fly is reward enough. Big numbers and lots of ego photos are fine for some but not for this old gent.