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Just to get it out of the way for you, it's idiotic. Getting into fly-fishing as a sport that is. You can make much better decisions in life, and spend your money and time on more worthy causes. You can catch fish with cheese, bread, corn, a hook and a bobber. I used to see kids doing it all the time.

So you've seen "A River Runs Through It," read a few John Gierach books, and found out that trout streams only reside in really beautiful and whimsical places. All of the above movies, books and streams are true. That's the romance and grace of the "quiet sport." That is until you decorate the tree behind you with your sixth fly for the day, which either way cost you $12 or a couple of hours at the vice plus material. They were really pretty flies, by the way.

Or the pig of a stocker trout you've been hunting refuses your tenth presentation after you've rested the pool three times. He's a stocker, which in fly angling parlance means "village idiot." It only intensifies your aggravation. The quiet sport is punctuated by lots of red faces, white knuckles and swearing. At least at the beginning...

If you've read this far and don't understand my words, rest easy, you may very well be completely sane. If you weigh dollar per fly ratios, call your fly-rod action "tippy," think bamboo fly-rods are the rolls-royce of fishing tackle, or know the latin names of some mayflies and study entomology- you have completely lost your mind and are certifiable. Like myself.

To be fair, I would still ask you to join us in our endeavor, if you're interested. It can be graceful, and quiet. Catching fish on a long whippy pole (with an expensive but mostly worthless reel, expensive floating fishing line that is losing it's floating properties, and expensive tapered mono-filament leaders with wind-knots in it, expensive leaking waders...etc) is a rush you will not quite experience with other fishing tackle.

My first word of advice to newcomers- modern fly-fishing descends from medieval times when you simply tied a feathered hook in the same color as the bugs you saw the fish eating. Make it about the same size, and drop it (present) it without spooking the fish. Forget the jargon, marketing of equipment, or videos you have seen. If it sounds simple it is because it is. Sometimes the fish eat it, but mostly not. When the fish eats it, congratulations, you are an expert fly-fisherman and fly-tier. When it does not- ponder your presentation, speak some latin, look in your fly box for another fly, look in the water for different bugs, change your cast, stare at the fish still swimming there, slide a strike indicator up or down, look at a hatch chart, and then swear. Go to another hole and try again. You are now like us, an idiot.

Dec 3, 2011
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