Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps . .


Part Thirty-nine

Turn the Other Cheek

By Old Rupe


Over the years I've witnessed mans inhumanity to man from many perspectives. I've seen it as a soldier in various hot countries and as a tourist, but the most distressing view was as a fisherman in my own country. It was not just the acts visited upon the poor fisherman by the uncouth and sometimes predatory populace. It was how our modern fisherman has been forced to adapt to this new 'environment.' He has suffered a "fall from innocence" in the truest meaning of the phrase. Let me recount some observations that help to support this thesis.

When I got out of college some 30 years ago I lived near a lake that had a nice walleye population. There were 5 to 8 people that would fish them every night off the rip-rap. Nice fish from 10 PM to 2 AM. A chance to bring home a good fish or two and pleasant company with friends. It was an almost every night occurrence. My wife hated that lake. The lake was located in an urban setting and with people comes problems. Since us old hill billies at that time usually carried 2-3 hundred dollars with us, a local biker gang took up robbing fishermen at the lake.

Well I heard the word and carried the 45 from Nam and others did the same. One night, when I didn't fish, I heard on the news that several people had been shot and a bunch of motorcycles had been burned at the lake. They were looking for a large fellow in a snowmobile suit. I sure knew who that was. I had admired that suit all winter, and with that Ruger 44 mag he was lucky that all survived. They never found him and I never fished there again. I'm sure the incident changed him and it changed me a little too.

Five years ago at a local lake several people had been robbed and I quit fishing that lake at night. I was talking to the local game warden I knew and he recounted checking a boat at 2-3 AM and noticing a shotgun in the boat. The boater replied to the obvious question of why the shotgun,"on this lake it's required fishing equipment." The warden said that was his last late night check on that lake.

I was fishing a inner-city lake, that had some real nice bass, almost every evening. I would get 5-6 nice fish a night, but it was a rather scary place. The police didn't patrol there after dark. One night I was motoring back to my van and boat trailer on my electric and I noticed around 10 or so individuals leaning up against my van waiting. I took my Browning Gold Trigger 12 out of the rod box and hit the magazine switch which fed a live one into the chamber. All of a sudden I was all alone. I never went back.

My local river which is rather shallow is the scene of the next tale. I heard this third-hand but believe it. A fly fisherman was fishing the river one afternoon, and it is an afternoon river, when a monster truck chased him out of the river. The driver was driving downstream and ran him up on the shore. He unloaded 2 clips from his Glock 19 on the truck which never stopped. I guess that's why insurance rates are so high.

Lake Erie has had some non-published boat robberies. A boat pulls up along side and collects all the money. Most I know have a stainless 12 gauge on board now. I favor a Glock 9mm with 124 gr hydro shocks and a 30 round clip.

Almost every fisherman I've ran across in the last 10 years has at least 2-3 stories of that nature. Real tales of where he or his buddies were robbed, attacked or molested and the measures they felt they had to resort to protect themselves.

Only a dummy goes out there unprotected and puts himself and or his family at risk. I'm not a militant advocate but I can see that 'good old boys' like rupe have to rethink how and where we fish.

Isn't this sad? The sad part is that it has changed rupe. Now old rupe has to think not only of how the fishing will be there, but how safe he will be there fishing.

One of my old Nam buddies said, "Always turn the other cheek it may give you a better sight picture."

Isn't this a sad true state of affairs? ~ Old Rupe

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