I have been doing it again. Not that I am all
that interested, but at that hour of a weekend
morning when I don't have the time to fish, but
have to work that day, I stupidly tune into those
darn fly-fishing T.V. shows. I've got to quit doing
that. I get all confused. I do enjoy seeing the
different places these guys fish though, most of
which I will never get to see, let alone fish.
This is one of my problems with them. There is
always some young guide who knows all the hot spots
and honey-holes where all the fish are. The 'Star'
(dude doing the actual fishing) is usually much older,
a few decades often, and seems to have no clue at
all where he should drag his nymph. Now, after
thirty or forty years of attempting to take fish
using a fly, I think most of us would not need some
whippersnapper kid telling us how and where to cast,
how to play the fish and how to just stand there while
he scampers downstream and scoops it up for us.
By golly, I'm no mental giant, but, I can recognize
at least some of the little hidey-holes that fish
like to hidey in. Seams and runs and pools and
slicks and such places. So here we have the kid
teaching the old guy. And the old guy plays his
part in the theatrical as well. He always expresses
his deepest appreciation to the kid for all the
wonderful information he had shared. Goodie.
Now let's move on a bit further. When I fish, I
fish alone; unless I am fishing with someone; then
I still fish alone. You got that? I fish alone. You
fish with me and we will never be close enough
together to net each others fish except during
lunch to share the grub. The problem here is this.
Is it better to land a fish real fast and not tire
it out? Sounds logical to me. But what of us old-timers
who do not have a gillie to leap like a gazelle with
out-thrust special rubber bottomed net and deftly
swosh up our prize? I ask, what should we (I) do?
You see, when I get a fish on, I have to get at
least even with him, or downstream to have a fair
chance of success. Now, during such times as I am
pirouetting the streambanks there is most often
little play between me and the fish, we just try
to stay connected. If I am wading in a stream, it
is a bit of 'hold-em-in-the current-while-I-sneak-past-him'
thing. Either way, when it's over, I end up with the
fish real close to me and then I net it, or hand land
in many cases.
This morning I watched a 'old-guy' (on T.V.) play
a fish all by himself (he outwitted the guide). I was
mentally cheering him on. "Go for it 'old-guy.' Too
bad too, nice rainbow he had managed to drag back up
stream on a light rod and a six-x tippet. Of course,
when he grabbed the leader and tried to pull straight
up, the thing became un-buttoned and swam off. Some
things just should not be attempted. (Downstream hooking,
dragging back against the current, grabbing the leader
and lifting straight up on a nose hooked fish), just
to mention a few.
This is where I am confused. Should we not fish alone?
Should we always have a non-fishing accomplice to
immediately net our catch, (as seen on a T.V. near
you soon) or is it alright to play them in the
conventional way? In fact, is a fish really caught
if I cast downstream, hang a fish and have a guy hop
in and snatch it up with his trusty long-handled net?
Is that considered ethical? Is it fly-fishing? It is
what is being shown and taught to the viewers of
today's T.V. shows.
Hell, even on that 'Masters' fly-fishing thing some
guy runs out to his partner with a net. I always have
to handle my own fish. Why can't just one of these
T.V. programs show it like it actually is in the
real world of fly-fishing. Come on ESPN, ESPN2, OLN
and any other guy with a video camera. Just once, try
doing it for real. You are losing your viewers to that
darned Fly Anglers OnLine Internet joint.
~ James Castwell