Before you tell me to get some Calamine Lotion, bear with
me for a while. This RASH, read that Recreational
Activity, Sport, Hobby, is Fly-Fishing.
I recently considered the appropriateness of getting some
store bought flies. I will add that while I do and have
had some store bought flies, I have never actually bought
a Fishing Fly. I bought a Nymph wallet from Orvis once
that came with 6 nymphs (all gone now) and my brother bought
me two small collections of flies when he fished Scotland
which I still have since I never fished them. Other than
that, I have tied or traded with other tiers, what I have
used for every fly with which I have fished.
The question of appropriateness is because I wondered how
much of a Fly Fisher I am. I will use the term Fly Fisher
because I am sensitive to the fact that our RASH is a
gender-less pursuit. There are many levels of Fly Fishers.
From the fellow with a spinning rod and reel and a casting
bubble dragging a fly across the current to the other who,
grew his own cane, split and glued it, varnished and wrapped
it, tied the fly from an original pattern, affixed to the line
and fished it from a canoe that he built himself in the workshop.
I am somewhere between the two. Admittedly I am closer to
the second than the first. I say that to let you know who
I am, rather than bragging about my position in the hierarchy
of Fly Fishers.
When I was introduced to fly fish by John Scoggins in the
rivers and ponds around Nashua New Hampshire, fly tying
was taught as part of the pursuit. I never considered
buying flies because I always thought that to make the
experience complete, one had to make what he or she used.
And at John's suggestion I even built my own rod, but
found the effort tedious and not worth my time given my
only fair results.
So I wondered if I would consider myself less of a Fly Fisher
if I were to buy some flies. I only considered my own opinion
since my opinion of myself is really the only one that counts.
There were two aspects of the question, one practical
and the other philosophical. From a practical point of
view, I recently found some sites, such as Flyshack.com
and Hills Discount Flies (both FAOL Sponsors) and they
have individual flies and assortments that appear, at
least on my computer screen to be terrific bargains. I
can easily see myself spending at least what they are
asking for these flies, to be able to tie them myself.
This is partly due to the fact that I have to travel two
hours to visit a Fly Shop where I can buy an assortment
of materiel. So I wondered if these store bought flies
were a viable addition to my fly boxes. Then I figured
that many Fly Fishers have never tied a fly and have caught
many fish. So if these folks are catching fish using store
bought flies, they must be, at the very least, acceptable
to the fish. This time the only opinion I considered was
the fishes' since in this case the fishes' opinion is the
only one that counts. So, on the practical side the decision
to buy some flies has been made. But now I have to consider
the philosophical aspect.
Would I be less satisfied catching a fish on a fly that
I bought, as opposed to one I had tied myself? I count
some of my best hours as those fishing with a store bought
rod, in a store bought canoe. I don't think the
satisfaction of knowing that I tied the fly was the
pivotal point in the enjoyment of those hours. So I guess
I will buy some flies and have to spend countless hours
continuing my quest for the deeper meaning of The
Complete Fly Fisher's experience. ~ Clint