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Thread: purist exposed

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default purist exposed

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    This picture is off the catalog cover of LL BEAN
    I got a new Catalog today and busted a gut
    Kid with a Cane pole selling his brook trout to the purist that cant catch um..

    but alas,, a real purist would never kill any fish
    Buying fish from a local kid It happens more than you would believe though
    I have a fisherman that lives in my campground all summer long and has for many many years that gets asked if he will sell his fish to folks that cant catch um .
    My # 2 son gets asked the same thing down at Hell Hole ( Bings landing) during the sockeye season,
    my son uses an old rig that is about as good as the cane pole , but he can hook those reds in the mouth like no other..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Good one Max.

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    Many years ago when I was first married in King Salmon my wife and I were down to King Salmon Creek below the bridge. We were drifting eggs from the bank for Silvers. Just taking it easy and playing with the puppy in between fishing breaks. Down the trail comes a retired Col from the Airforce who married local and started a lodge. He had a group of Europeans down there (all decked out like they walked out of the LLBean Catalog) and they couldn't catch a thing. After my wife had baited up and caught the forth or fifth fish since they had shown up the Col. waked over to make small talk. He looked at my wifes rod, a 5' solid fiberglass trigger finger thing with a Zebco push button reel and crusted with old eggs. He looked at me and said "My guys have at least $1000.00 each in gear and she is outfishing all of them with that!" He turned and walked back to the group and didn't say another word... Thanks for the trip back in my mind.

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    Reminds me of my first encounter with a REAL fly fisherman when I was a teen. I was making do, catching trout in the Rockies with makeshift gear and flies I tied myself. Pretty kidlike all the way around, right down to technique, but it was the best I could manage with no mentors and no buxx.

    Along comes an old guy right out of the Orvis catalog, every piece of top end gear you could imagine and their best cane rod. He watched me land a couple, then asked what I was using. I told him and stepped out of the water to watch him, figuring I was finally going to get a real fishing demo from a real fly fisherman.

    He tied on the dry I recommended, then pinned a single salmon egg on it and did this big flop cast into the water. I stood there with my mouth hanging open and watched him fail to catch a thing. He grumbled that I didn't know what I was talking about and moved on downstream.

    Learned a whole lot about appearances money that day.

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    This is the kind of read to get my day started- funny but true! I think we have all experienced it to some degree.
    I was in a fishing store not long ago buying another rod, when the salesperson asked if I had seen the latest high end rod. I said "yeah, I have seen it but really don't think I am good enough to notice the $400 in difference".

    I don't want to be 'one of those guy's on the other end of the joke!

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    There is a lot of negative talk about the purist mentality. A lot of that talk caused me to abandon this forum for the better part of last year.

    I consider myself to be a purist... Fly fishing, in my world, is something to be respected. And that respect and adherence to certain personal sensibilities serves to increase my enjoyment of the sport...
    To me, that is what a purist is.

    That being said, none of my rods cost more than $250, and none of my reels cost over $100. I'm also friendly to absolutely everyone I encounter on the water, fly fishermen or no. Nor do I have any problems with anyone who chooses to fish in a manner that I don't adhere to.

    I guess my point is, let's not confuse "purist" with "elitist"!

    Tight lines, and to each their own!!
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Cube:

    You are absolutely correct- it is generally the elitist that is referred to...NOT the purist.
    BEE

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    Yes Maybe Purist was not the best choice of words..
    and elitist probably fits better, but the picture that I posted was an actual photo dr up from an idea of a painting done in the 1930's
    i watched the video of how they made the photo pict as close as possible to the original painting and it was interesting.
    A few years ago I had a father son from North Carolina on a float trip with me on a tributary river of the Nushagak.
    i brought along 4 fly rods so we could have a variety, none high dollar rigs, I also had a couple of spin cast rigs too.
    No matter how hard I tried,,, those guys had no interest in the fly rods..
    they loved the spin cast rigs.. and that was that.. These guys could catch fish though and could really place their baits with super accurate abilities.. I would say..hey a big dolly over under that bank.. and bam,, they could thread the needle and drop in on it like no other...
    fish on ,, fish on ,, fish on..
    I told the dad before we even started on the trip, that I could fish him hard enough he would put the rod down... and he said that there was no way..
    He caught 29 fish on 31 casts on that little river... and we never counted again... it was a waste of time..
    finally after about 2 hours of fishing from the floating raft,,
    I watched him bow his shoulders in a stretch,, and set down the rod to take a break,,,,
    I busted his chops right there...
    Hey.. what you doing.. ??? I see fish right there..
    you aren't worn out are you ??
    he looked at me in shock ,,,,, he did not even realize he was busted till he was..
    we had a big laugh about that..
    what was amazing was that with those spin cast rigs, they out fished me 4 to 1... they could get um faster, than I could and get them to the boat faster.. release faster and be in the water faster...
    something to be said for guys that fish crank baits all their lives and are good students of different fish species.
    One method is not better,, or worse when it comes to fishing,, as long as conservation , handling and releases are done properly to give the fish anouther day..
    Fly fishing is the most amazing activity on the planet to me..
    Its just such a wonderful and relaxing event.
    Most of us enjoy catching a few fish on our adventures, and love to do it on flies tied by ourselves if we can.
    But,, that is not the most important thing to me or most of us here on this forum..
    its the entire exercise of the majesty of the sport of kings..
    the look and feel of our equipment....
    the cool water pulling on our legs and waders, the colorful rocks and bottom of the stream bed, the dark long shape of our target laying in the current ,
    taking those deep breathes of air that are somehow much more pure, sweeter and better for you when you are standing in the river.
    the list goes on and on..
    In the picture,, maybe the gentleman purchasing the brookies promised his wife something for dinner...
    Maybe he needed to show the fish to his pals at the local watering hole to prove his abilities,
    what ever the reason... its a fun picture that dredges up memories for some of us.. with a dash of humor..
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Cool To each his own . .

    . . He caught 29 fish on 31 casts on that little river... and we never counted again... it was a waste of time..
    As long as we're sharing, here's my take:

    I learned to fly fish on Michigan's Boardman and Big Manistee Rivers. My rod was a 6-weight, 7-1/2' Orvis cane. We tied our own flies, and we fished for brown trout, smart fish, and very, very selective. We knew every hatch that came off those rivers from the first Hendricksons in the spring to the last blue-winged olives of the fall, and our fly boxes were arranged sequentially with nymphs, duns, and spinners for each specie of mayfly, some as small as size 18. Leaders were never bigger that 5X with 6X and 7X much more common. Casts and floats had to be perfect—any drag would put a fish down.

    And we did a lot of sitting and talking, waiting for the hatch to come off, nor did we count fish. What so charmed me about that kind of fly fishing was the necessity of becoming totally immersed in and part of the ecosystem from stalking a likely lie or a rise form, the right fly, a perfect drift . . and sometimes the take.

    Counting fish is, to my mind, a shabby parody of what fishing is supposed to be about, most especially fly fishing.

    To each his own . .

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    Default Used with permission . . .

    Observations on a Soggy Cigar


    By Reed F. Curry


    A few years ago, while sorting through a box of old fly fishing magazines - scanning the cover photos before placing each in its pile to keep or toss - I began to detect an interesting pattern. Curious, I set aside ten covers from the late seventies, and ten covers from the late nineties, all chosen at random.

    Not surprisingly, each of the covers from the 90's journals depicted one of the "beautiful people" draped from trendy chapeau to gravel guard in the latest (spotless) logo-beribboned apparel, tenderly holding an enormous fish (usually a salmonid) and smiling engagingly for the camera. The blotches of oil left behind by a leaky floatant bottle, the smattering of blood or fish-scales from the quick and merciful death of a bleeder, the burn marks from a cigarette falling from open lips as the angler hooks into a "big one" --- none of these were in evidence on the cover photos. But always the fish and always the posed smile.


    In contrast, the earlier covers included a distant shot of a lone angler leaving the water of a western river, a young couple holding hands-- and fly rods-- as they waded, laughing, out of a high mountain lake, a pair of parkas (little else visible) fishing from a driftboat in a snowstorm, two still-lifes of tackle, a lone fisherman framed in autumn leaves, and, finally, a placid John Voelker, crouched on a log in thick pine woods, his rod leaning against a tree, quietly smoking a cigar in the rain. Interestingly, only one of the early covers showed a fish in hand, and this was being displayed to a curious wading Schnauzer.


    I'm not certain what, if anything, this tells us about the sport itself. To the cynical, it may suggest that the magazines get a kickback from fishing tackle makers for highlighting their gear on the cover... or from the American Dental Association. Either of these may be true, but, it is more likely that the magazine is responding to changes in prevailing attitudes toward the sport of flyfishing. Perhaps flyfishing is now success related --- the largest fish, or the greatest number of fish --- rather than the mere opportunity to be fishing. The word "Fishing", if we believe the magazine covers, is synonymous with "Catching", and catching is a numbers game.


    The act of fishing (not necessarily catching) has traditionally had a backdrop of "wildness" that was an intrinsic component of the day astream -- if not a beautiful natural setting, at least a sense of remoteness, a distance from other fishermen. If you must encounter another angler there was a formula that permitted each to maintain their world apart. Just a few years ago, good streamside manners bade a wet-fly angler working downstream to leave the river on sighting a fisherman working upstream, to walk high on the banks around him, and re-enter the flow at least one pool below. Of course, conversation between anglers might take place, but the very acceptance of the buffer zone that each afforded the other strengthened the sense of isolation.


    A second equally important element of fishing is leisure. Fishing offers the opportunity to step outside the timestream of faxes and emails, of conference calls and thrice-rescheduled meetings, to a place beyond time. The third item in the mix -- observation of the natural world -- depends in part on the two previous. Just as TIME is defined by SPACE and MOTION, Timeless observation is defined by the space around you, the macro/microcosm, and blissful immobility. The fisherman who has a warbler land on his rod-tip is doing something right.


    The picture at left says it all. The magazine used the caption:"There are those perfect moments in fishing that require neither stream nor fish. John Voelker was photographed by Robert Kelley at such a time."




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    Interesting sort of reverse egoisms here. It's hard to enjoy one another when we always seem to strive to compare ourselves to what others do, setting ourselves up in our own minds as better or more pure. No one starts out doing what they do by accident, rather we begin by emulating those that we love or respect or admire for whatever reason. Raise up a child in the way they should go and they won't (seldom) depart from it when they get older.

    I don't care who you are or were, no one starts out just fishing flies. We emulated someone else and chose that path to follow. Whether it was our grandpa or Doug Swisher or Jerry MacQuarrie, the choice between an angle-worm and a white-miller, killing all your fish or not, is a fork-in-the-road.

    I don't care what kind of social or monetary background one comes from, rich or poor, a lack of integrity or moral fiber will set the tone for a childs life and future.

    The picture is nothing more than a whistful look at some of our bygone days-of-old when we caught fish as not-so-fancy kids (we relate ourselves to the little boy) and the fancy folk who couldn't. It is a cute portrayal. Nothing more. Sheesh....

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    Thumbs up Learning . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    Interesting sort of reverse egoisms here. It's hard to enjoy one another when we always seem to strive to compare ourselves to what others do, setting ourselves up in our own minds as better or more pure. . .


    No big deal, AKWoodsman, it's called "sharing," sharing our experiences, sharing our values, sharing our views . . hopefully we all learn something. In the meantime, to each his own.

    Oh, . . my copy of Selective Trout (First Edition) is autographed by Doug Swisher . . true story . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    I learned to fly fish on Michigan's Boardman and Big Manistee Rivers.
    My first fly fishing experience was on the Manistee during a major hex hatch. I was hooked after landing and releasing several browns in the 20" class and floating that smooth slow river after dark in Au Sable river boats. Thanks for rekindling these memories!

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    Great perspectives, Canoe, Woodsman, and Marcus... Rep sent.
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Thumbs up Those were the days, those were the days . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    My first fly fishing experience was on the Manistee during a major hex hatch. I was hooked after landing and releasing several browns in the 20" class and floating that smooth slow river after dark in Au Sable river boats. Thanks for rekindling these memories!
    Hey, Danner, how I miss it . . dry fly fishing for browns and partridge hunting . . those were the days.

    Only fished the hex hatch once on the Big Manistee . . wade fishing . . didn't care for it . . not very sporting to my mind . . those big browns are just too easy after dark. To each his own.

    We used to fish the stretch above the old Sharon bridge if you remember. My biggest brown back then was 18 inches. Was fishing a sulphur hatch late one afternoon, when some brown drake spinners began to fall and a nice fish started rising just in front of me. Snipped off the sulphur and tied on a brown drake . . got it just right about the third cast—timing and drift—and down she went. The guy I was fishing with couldn't believe it. Tasted good, too.

    But the dangdest hex hatch I ever fished was on the Mountain Fork River in southern Oklahoma. Every night during the summer months, just as evening fell, the hex came off the water in astounding numbers, and every fish in the river started feeding . . the river looked like it was raining for all the rise forms. We'd load up on rainbows whenever we fished it. As fast as you could unhook and cast . . fish after fish . . the trouble was trying to come up with a pattern that would stay afloat after three or four fish in rapid succession.

    But that's all a thing of the past too . . like you say, "memories."

    Here's a self-portrait I did back in those days over 40 years ago . . matching the hatch on the Boardman:


    Attachment 57077

    PS: You didn't happen to know Bob Summers did you? Summers was a Paul Young protege who went out on his own . . used to have a couple of his rods . . Bob's still there, still fishin'.

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    Marcus
    I grew up in the Upper Peninsula and only made it down to fish the Manistee a few times. The hex hatch surrounding my home was when we would nail big smallmouth and pike on lakes. When I lived in Fairbanks, we would get our dry fly fix catching nice grayling on the Upper Chena. Great memories...

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Marcus
    I grew up in the Upper Peninsula . .
    Where in da UP? We lived for a few years in Alger County, north of Chatham off Rock River Road.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I like to fish with a fly rod but I don't really consider myself a flyfisherman. I grew up in upstate New York and in the summer of 1978 I had an experience similar to the photo in the first post, but in reverse.

    The kid next door and I were friends and fishing buddies. His dad was a foreman on a DOT road crew but an avid flyfisherman with a camp on the Willewemoc (a sister river to NY's famed Beaverkill). When I was 11, Mr. Reynolds taught me the basics of fly casting and Junior and I would spend our summer vacation days stalking the lily pad beds giving the local bluegill population a workout with popper flys.

    In the evenings we would cast mosquito patterns and cheap, mass produced wet flys from docks to rising fish and catch an occasional hatchery trout. I was a passable caster for 12, so long as I had plenty of room to back cast and the fish wanted nothing more delicate than size 14 flies delivered on 5 or 6 feet of 4 lb test (it would be a few more years before tapered leaders and tippets affected my fishing).

    So, for the 4th July weekend of '78 the Reynolds' invited me to tag along for a week at their camp in the foothills of the Catskill mountains. The "Willy" or "Willer" as the locals called it was an idyllic stream. Dark and silky, it was far narrower than the broad Beaverkill and the tall ash, poplar, elm and maple trees along it's banks shaded most runs and holes. It was waist deep on me in most places and my back cast slapped the water enough that men would curse me off the water. This was the 70's and the feelings of children weren't a consideration when they got in the way of adult pursuits, so my first 4 days were frustrating. I caught nothing.

    I got up early on a Wednesday morning and the river was empty. I slipped into the chill water (my waders for summer fishing were cutoffs) and hunted for rising fish in the gray light. I made a few casts to dimples ahead of me--either just right and off target or on target but plunked--and only put the fish down.

    Then a noticed a figure wading out to me. A tall man with a long, tanned face and a shock of white hair. I thought "Here I go again" and began moving off the water. The man motioned for me to stay put and as he sidled up to me he said quietly "Good morning son. How's the fishing?" I told him a few were rising but I wasn't very good and wasn't catching any fish

    He smiled and told me everybody has to start somewhere. Then he had me cast and corrected my form a bit. This coaching went on for 20 minutes of so. I stopped pumping my arm so much and "felt" where the rod tip went. Then he asked to see my fly and I showed him the bedraggled Royal Coachman I had been beating against the water.

    He shook his head, still smiling and said "Good fly but the wrong moment for it."

    Then he gave me a fly to tie on, smaller than anything I'd used before--I later learned was a #18 Adams--then we waded upstream another 100 yards or so to a spot with two sizable boulders in mid-stream.

    He told me not to waste my time on the big pools and slick runs until I improved, but to fish the broken water, and cover. Noiser water was more forgiving of beginner casting errors. Then he told me to cast in front of the near boulder and let the fly wash behind it.

    The little fly drifted 3 feet or so and BANG! Fish on. I fought the fish for a couple of excruciating minutes and the man netted my first wild brown trout. Bronze and gold-bellied with bright red spots. He pulled the fly and showed me how to release the fish into the current, resting it first.

    He smiled and asked me my name, "Erik" I said, and he held out his big hand and said "Nice to meet you, I'm Lee." Then he excused himself saying he was going to fish on his own for a while and that I should keep practicing. He pulled a bushy version of the Royal Coachman from his vest and gave it to me and winked. "Have fun, but try not to kill any fish if you can. Bring them in quick and let them go like I showed you" he said and began working back downstream.

    I fished for the rest of the day and managed to catch 4 more fish.

    That next Sunday as we were loading up for the 100 mile drive home we saw the man in the campground parking lot talking to two men dressed like Orvis models. I waved and he waved back with a pipe in his hand. Mr. Reynolds asked me how I knew him and I told him about our encounter on the water.

    He said, "Well, boy, if that's true you got to fish with Lee Wulff".

    It wouldn't be for another 5 or 6 years until the signifcance of those words sunk in.
    Over the rest of that summer I must of caught 500 bluegills on that hand-tied Royal Wulff...
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Default Lee Wulff and catch-and-release . .

    The Origins of Catch and Release
    By Reed F. Curry

    Americans began to enjoy more prosperity in the days following World War II, as cars, gasoline, and fishing tackle became readily available. With this came the impetus to wander from Eastern cities into the surrounding counties in pursuit of trout. Eisenhower's new Interstate Highway system, and the improvement of other secondary roads, gave easy access to previously inaccessible streams. Soon, the 15-25 fish creel limit that the mountain streams had once managed to sustain proved far greater than the fishery could support under the added take of the "sports" from afar. Rather than reduce the creel limit, most Eastern states increased the hatchery coverage. The fisheries management practice of "Put and Take" was now in vogue.

    However, some anglers were not content to catch the "pale, liver-fed hatchery trout". In an attempt to get more hold-over fish, and perhaps return to natural propagation on some streams, the Anglers Club of New York was one of the first to propose "Limit your Catch, Don't Catch your Limit". Others followed suit, and gradually many of the New England State Fisheries departments reduced the daily bag limit to five trout per day. Conscientious anglers might leave the stream short of even this new limit, having taken only those two or three fish they would eat that day.

    In the early sixties, one of the Eastern States conducted an experiment, declaring "Fish-For-Fun" sections on one heavily fished trout stream… all fish caught must be released. This attracted the attention of commercial interests; guides and fishing camp owners who saw monetary gain in recycling the same fish past numerous fishermen. The foremost of these was a former Madison Avenue commercial artist, turned Newfoundland fishing camp owner, named Lee Wulff. Knowing the ad trade, he marketed the phrase, and its variants, "A fish is too valuable to be caught only once". The sport fishing industry rallied to his banner, for they recognized two important side effects of this campaign:

    1/ If a fish could be "Caught and released without harm", then persons who might not wish to kill fish could now become, without shame, genteel fisherpersons, swelling the ranks of potential customers.
    2/ The avaricious and competitive nature of man could be sated by unlimited fishing. No more would a person have to stop at some state-mandated limit, but could go on to "100 fish days". [One fishing writer, Arnold Gingrich, encouraged the use of golf score-counters, to record the days catch.]

    Commercial interests, principally guiding services, fly shops, and Chambers-of-Commerce, began pressuring their State governments to set aside some of the best streams as "Catch and Release"; and then, since the fish were "being released unharmed", to keep the streams open year-round. Thus we have the "management policy" of Catch and Release. This leaves us with the question: What, or rather who, has been managed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    Oh, . . my copy of Selective Trout (First Edition) is autographed by Doug Swisher . . true story . .
    Roger that on Doug Swisher. "Selective Trout" is some of the best writing and pictures with an appreciation for aquatic biology of the time IMO. A worthwhile text. Did you get it in Grand Rapids? Cool stuff.

    Google Jerry MacQuarrie. His stories are based in northern Wisconsin...the upper mid west, you might like them. They are whistful and funny, writings from an earlier time (50's, 60's).

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