This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

July 7th, 2003

Expanding Your Fly Fishing

In this weeks mail I received information on a new book about trout of the world. Since I'm not thrilled with the author I won't give it a free plug here, but there was something quite interesting about the promo stuff. . .trout I had never seen. We have other books about trout, some with wonderful painting or drawings of other trout I've never seen either. Fish from remote areas, or countries where trout developed without help from man. I've seen very few photographs of these fish though. But the coloration and camouflage is an absolute wonderment.

We've had articles from readers in countries where some of these fish live, the Iwana and Yamame in Japan, the Marble trout in Slovenia and I know there are many more we haven't yet heard about.

Then there are all the other game fish - (and some not yet recognized as 'game fish') in fresh and saltwater. Most of us will never have the opportunity, time or money to chase around the world trying to add a specific fish to our "life list." For those who are also into bird watching, many birders do keep a list in the back of their favorite bird book, or at least mark the index with birds they have seen. (Sometimes the date too.)

There are tours for birders, taking folks to special places to see birds which aren't native to their region - or country.

I haven't yet seen a travel agency set up to take folks to fish a variety of exotic fish species to be added to some list. But it is an intriguing idea. Maybe a grand slam of who knows what, where?

One of the people in the Chat Room the other night, 'rocketfish' from Patagonia, was telling about catching a fish - and it wasn't one familiar to anyone else there. How neat! Falls into something like fly fishing for mystery fish! (It wasn't a mystery to him, just to us!) We've all heard and read about the wonderful trout fishing in the Patagonia region - but did you consider there are other game fish there we don't know?

I know the Brits were big on planting trout wherever they went (roses too) - but did they do that before or after they tried fly fishing for the local fish already there? Was the choice made to try and plant fish because of a snobbery toward non-trout species? Or maybe just that they were homesick and wanted their fish?

And exactly how many of the various trout around the world were native to a region?

Then there are the salmon. A whole different ball game since they are saltwater fish. But even then, just the numbers of fish were incredible. Until we created canneries. Again, species we don't have in North America, all of which originated in the Sea of Japan. The Pacific salmons were not considered worthy of sport fishing until the very late 1800s.

What else have we missed?

A little reminder here that until some hearty fly fishers decided to try and catch bonefish on a fly they were commercially netted as billfish bait!

I have a little paperback book published by the Florida Sportsman of Florida fish species which is mind blowing! All shapes and sizes - most of which can be caught on a fly rod.

So what is your fish of the day? What do you have? What haven't you fished for? Can it be caught on a fly? Is there an exciting, new fishery to explore? Why not?

Once in a while someone will tell me how many states they have visited - and fished in. Usually they are fishing for trout - but what if the angler was willing to fish for whatever the local fish is?

Ah ha!

Get the books out - start searching the Internet. A new challenge!

A way to extend a fly fishing season? Have you tried fly fishing in saltwater? Another learning experience - one which is a great deal of fun once you make the decision to get into heavier rods and big flies.

No matter where you live, there may be a fly fishing opportunity you have not explored. Perhaps because you don't know it's there - or maybe no one fishes for it at all.

We are just at the beginning of summer, a great time to do some exploring. Expand your horizons, add a little adventure to your life. Get out of your rut. ~ The LadyFisher

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