Being the professional expert I am, I felt it might
be interesting for you to read about some of the
stupid things I have never done.
For instance, I have never shot a cast right back at a
fish after stupidly missing the rise, only to realize
that all I would do by so doing is to scare the hell
out of anything within a five foot area. To do that
would be, indeed, dumb.
I have never, not even once, neglected to bend the
little tiny end of my leader back into the loop making
it an 'improved clinch' knot, not just a clinch knot.
I always have taken the time to make sure my knots are
It would be really dumb to fish with a small, insignificant
overhand knot in my tippet, 'dumb-dee-dumb dumb. Nope, never
have, never will. Not even if it is getting dark and hard
to see the stuff, even if it would take time away from a
great rise going on I would change my tippet.
Dressing my fly line? You bet, pretty silly not to do
that each and every time before I go out. If out for
a few days, you bet, each morning before I hit the
stream, dumb not to.
Fish for even one cast without having checked the point
of my hook? You're kidding, right? Be nuts to pull my
fly off of a log and not check to see if it is busted
or, broke off. And when I am casting long lines from
a beach, making sure I have not smacked my fly on a
gravel sand bar behind me, nope, I have never failed
to keep constant vigil of things like that.
Have I ever just tied my fly onto the end of a brand
new leader? That would be not only a dumb thing to do,
it could cost a few bucks. Always I have taken the time
and spent the effort to add a section of tippet material
to any leader. And I always have spare leaders and the
right spools of tippet with me on the stream, a guy can't
be too prepared. I always carry everything I need, never
have had to go back to the car for anything, not even a net.
When I fish lakes I make sure all of my fly boxes float,
and all of my stream boxes sink. That way if I did drop
one, it would float on a lake and I could get it; and in
a stream, it would sink and I could get it off of the
bottom before it sped downstream. Yup, I always have
the right fly boxes with me at all times, never make
a mistake, really, that would be dumb.
When the fish are really rising good, I always take
the time to change a 'raggedy' looking fly, no point
in fishing with a fly that is not as perfect as it
Never have I hollered, "Ya, well, using barbless hooks
ya know!" when someone sees me loose a fish. That would
just be a dumb excuse. And I 'always' use barbless hooks,
they do hook much better and to use the old fashioned
ones with the 'worm-retainer' barb would be less than
Make a mistake and have my drag set so loose that it
spins out of control and makes a 'birds-nest?' Just
how dumb do you think I could be? And never have it
set too tight either and have a fish break off when
he runs... and the reel doesn't.
My fly boxes have never started a 'hatch' all by
themselves, no matter how hard the breeze was blowing
when I opened them. I always position myself so the
wind does not remove any extras. I read once of a guy
who could not get a rise all day, went up to the small
bridge and dropped one at a time, his dry flies over
the side until he saw a trout take one. Great idea,
except he didn't have any more of that certain fly.
I always carry extras of everything I might need,
never run out. Now, that would be silly.
Knots. I am great at tying them, have never had one
come apart when I pulled it up tight, because I stupidly
got some part of it messed up. In fact, I am as careful
of how I tie my knots as I am about making sure my hat
is stuck down good when traveling in a boat at high
speed, dumb guys have had their hats blow off, not me
though. Sometimes I even turn it around backwards to
make sure it will not blow off, or when I want to take
a picture and don't want the hat to pop up because my
hand hits the brim. I have seen guys do that, really,
but never had it happen to me.
And, never once have I pumped up my float tube, stuffed
it into the back of a truck and gone from a low altitude,
up and over a high mountain peak, and had the thing go
'BOOM.' It would take a real jerk to pull that.
Don't ever grab a branch when you are on a moving stream
while in a rubber raft, the pull of the branch will cause
the upstream side of the raft/float-tube to dip, the more
it does, the more the water pushes against it and the
thing can flip. I read that somewhere, never happened
There are probably a few more things I have never done,
one of which would be casting to the wrong (tail) end
of a bonefish when all I could see was a silhouette of
the thing. They may not be too smart, but they do not
see backward very well, in fact... at all.
~ James Castwell