When I think of the many fly fishing books on the market aimed at budding trout fisherman I have to laugh. Somehow or another the idea of trout fishing got hijacked by the guys with fly rods standing outside the Orvis Shop next to their Escalade SUV’s sipping wine coolers. It’s a scientific crowd made up entirely of corporate engineers and the guys that write fly fishing books.
I am thrilled that’s my competition on a trout stream. They catch a lot of the eight to ten inch trout and are satisfied to do it. I can applaud that. They must be having fun and there’s nothing wrong with a ten inch trout… great eating, beautiful to look at, and some marginal sport.
Fly fishing involves pre-game activity which I will liken to the guys on TV right before the Superbowl. Serious men debating the virtues of a particular fly at the exact moment the actual hatch will erupt at a given time on a given stream and the likelihood of actually being there when it happens resulting in a fish that alas, might be fourteen inches. It is a friendly argument with no one really making a statement that will be contradicted later – they have their reputations to think about.
In another world there are the worm fishermen. A plastic tub of Walt’s Crawlers floats alongside bottles of Bud in a Styrofoam cooler in the back of an almost classic pick-up truck on the way to the same spot that held a trout the last opener. (I occasionally see a worm fisherman on the trout opener (last Saturday in April for Michigan) but seldom see another one the rest of the season).
For the record, I would much rather see a fly fisherman in front of me than a worm fisherman. Worm fisherman can clean up if they know what they are doing, and many do.
I belong to neither group. I was raised as a spin fisherman. We wade patiently upstream and cast lures and spinners at the cover and reel the lure back at a furious pace in order to impart action to the lure, and, for our efforts, we take the trout that the fly fishermen dream of and the worm fishermen don’t tell about. Depending on stream conditions and the time of year, that means brown trout in the two foot class. Hook jawed males with spots like leopards and fat, round females that fill nets.