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June 21st, 1999
How To Catch Fish With Flies
by Ed Zern
From To Hell With Fishing published by
Some wiseguy once defined a fishing line as a piece of string
with a worm on one end and a damn fool on the other.
This is a silly definition, of course - for many fishermen use flies
instead of worms. They think it is more hoity-toity. If worms
cost two bits apiece, and you could dig Royal Coachmen and
Parmacheene Belles out of the manure pile, they would think
differently. This is called human nature.
Fly fishermen spend hours tying little clumps of fur and feathers on
hooks, trying to make a trout fly that looks like a real fly. But
nobody has ever seen a natural insect trying to mate with a Fanwing
Of course, every once in a while a fly fisherman catches a trout
on a trout fly, and he thinks that proves something. It doesn't.
Trout eat mayflies, burnt matches, small pieces of inner tube, each
other, caddis worms, Dewey buttons, crickets, lima beans, Colorado
spinners, and almost anything else they can get in their fool mouths.
It is probably they think the trout fly is some feathers tied to a hook.
Hell, they're not blind. They just want to see how it tastes.
Trout flies are either wet flies or dry flies, depending on whether
they are supposed to sink or float. If you ask a wet-fly
fisherman why a natural insect would be swimming around like
crazy under water, he gets huffy and walks away.
Many fishermen think trout are color-blind, but that is nothing
to what trout think of fishermen. ~ Ed Zern
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