June 13th, 2005

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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The Hard Way
By David Marin, Columbia

Last sunday there were two older (may be 60-70 years) and "experienced" fishers along the same bank I was fishing from, they were the commonly seen here "spinners," using, what I have always seen as excessive, triple hooked spoons in sizes well suited to land a big salmon or something. They kept on casting all over and most of all to the little rises that bubbled on the other shore 50 feet away. When I saw that I corrected my first impression and realized they were no experienced fishers or at least they are not the kind that tries to read the water and fish accordingly but to my impression, dangerously close to a species of fishermen I happen to almost hate:

They use spoons cause for highland rivers trout, the ones we have here, they are almost unfailing; they never release what they land; keep even the very little ones to make the long story short they are just what we DON'T need in terms of conservation. But worst of all they never really care about learning about the multiple sides of fishing: what trout eat, why, when, where.... they just rely on their almighty spoons.

After 20-25 mins sitting by the water, trying to get clues on what to tie to the tip of the leader, of course also watching the air-ground attack the "cuchareros" (a spanish word for spooners; a little despective term used to define this kind of predators) were putting the trouts under, and a few casts after the first rainbow was safely landed and released, in the mean time the spinner guys were making every possible joke about a young man and his fly fishing gear... that was me of course. But they never managed to catch anything.

That kept on for about 2 hours. Fishing was good, nor were the river sides, so walking to another spot was out of my mind. When in despair after no strikes, the spoons began to fall over the exact spots I was getting my line to. So I decided to walk the few feet that separated the two worlds and talk to them. I greeted and smiled to them asking what they were using and how luck works a great deal when fishing. Their answer: two "aha" followed by both of them casting (they were more likely bombarding) to the same rise! I thought a little help may be of any good and told them to quit casting to the rises, "trout that rise are not after any metal running in front of their noses," in other, more friendly, words of course. I added that I thought they'll do better just casting away from them, across or down. They didn't replied to my comments so I withdrew and kept on enjoying the rest of the day until one of their triple hooks landed just on top of my fly. Spinners can cast very far!

I decided it was time to leave. As I was walking to my car they approached and asked me how it ended, I told them that I managed to catch 4 big rainbows, and some bla bla about the weather, the trouts behavior, etc etc. They showed me their empty buckets and long faces.

I drove back thinking about patience, concentration but most of all about how important it is to learn about your field, whatever it is. Patience to stop, think about the situation, try to find a solution and keep on going. Concentration to help you accomplish that task using your mind not brute force. But most important learning. I am a self taught photographer, fly fisher and rock and mountain climber. All of which I have managed to learn by carefully reading any literature available, watching others, listening to what they had to say and of course putting it in practice to see if it will work OK for me.

That's why your words (Paying Forward) hit a very sensitive fiber inside me. I watched, listened and practiced. I keep on doing it, I will do it forever. I am thankful to the people that have helped me in my task. That's why I try to pass it on. But I have to say I hate it when people don't listen just because they are envious or think you are to young or too whatever to teach them something. ~ Dave Marin

Publisher's Note: Dave is the person who has translated Al Campbell's Fly Tying Instructional series which are now here on FAOL. Dave is a professional photographer in Columbia who translated Al's series into Spanish for his mother who wanted to learn to tie flies. He contacted us and asked if we would like the translations for use here on FAOL! Obviously the answer was YES!


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