Issue came up in another post that flyfishermen are snobby....is that true or just perception? Maybe a little discussion on the subject could give some of us a better understanding whether this is true or not. My basic
belief at age 51 and having fished since I was 5 and flyfished since I was 16 is that by far and away for the majority of flyfishermen this is not true. BUT there is a very elitist, holier than thou, contingent of flyfishers who look down there nose at anyone fishing any other way. A good many of these people I have come across were from California, or big city areas....but not all....there are always homegrown dieties.
A for intance....this summer while at my parents, on vacation, in Montana I picked up and read a book purporting to be the flyfisherman's bible for Montana waters. I have spent more than a few decades fishing many waters in Montana and found the information was right on the money for the waters I knew....it was really good stuff. But throughout the book the author makes endless comments about the godless and heathenistic "worm chuckers" and that anyone keeping a trout is committing some kind of eternally reprehensible immoral act. While doing this he hypocritically recommends if you have to keep a trout...kill a nonnative brook trout...never a wild rainbow or brown. This disingenuous remark I'm sure he makes knowing full well that the brookies are also "wild" but that neither the rainbow or brown trout is native to Montana....yes that's correct rainbows are not native to Montana (the only native rainbows are "rebands" which were isolated in a small upper northwest corner of Mt). Despite the excellent information the superior attitude and extreme "snobbery" this guy wrote I'm sure has turned off most of those who have read the book.
Another case.....about 10 years ago (while I was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, MT) I was fishing the upper Missouri River and while "nymphing" I struck up a conversation with 2 other fly fishermen on the river. We chatted amiably for about 2 hours....after which none of us had had so much as a strike. I excused myself...went back to my car and changed my 5 wt for a spinning rod and returned to the river. The other 2 fishermen nearly had an apoplectic fit when they saw my spinning rod and after a few rude comments left. A few hours later, after landing several nice trout and releasing them, I returned to my new Explorer to find these jerkwads had put a knife in one of my tires. The problem is, the idiot fly fishing crowd seems to be much more vocal than the majority which can give the wrong perception.
In Alaska waters the increase in the use of flyrods has been dramatic in the last 15 years. Here is my biggest complaint.....when fishing a crowded area, like the mouth of Russian, or anywhere you have a lot of people and current, if you don't know what you are doing with a flyrod, or undergear yourself, it is much more difficult to control the fish and not get in everyone else's way. Just my gripe. When I hike down from the ferry landing and get some room I pull out the flyrod but generally use heavier gear with the crowds.....I just feel it is more considerate. When August comes, though, and the trouting gets great I never use anything but a flyrod.
Last month while in Montana I fished the upper Missouri with my brother in law who is a fairly new fisherman (my sister says I am now "ruining" her 2nd husband like I did the first with fishing), we only had a single day to fish. It was upper 90's, crystal clear, low water and during the entire day we probably fished around 30 other fly fisherman whom we never saw one hooked up with a fish....just bad conditions in the middle of the day. So we did the heathen thing and chucked nitecrawlers on barbless hooks. We caught and released some beautiful trout and kept one which was bleeding for dinner. On a couple of occasions during the day, older flyfishmen, in their 60's or 70's came up to me and we chatted amiably. When seeing how we were fishing none of them gave us any flack or rude comments. How refreshing....sometimes age does bring wisdom. When I was growing up all "real" flyfishermen were "dry fly purists".....fishing with wets was equated with using bait....funny how times change.
I just think the uppity fly guys, especially from out of state, seem to have the biggest mouths....but far and away the majority and not snobs....just other fisherman. Others feelings on the subject........