Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/25[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
The only civilized manner of fishing is, of course, fly-fishing. It is an art and almost a religion rather than a pastime. It is more difficult in many freshwater streams to entice a fish to bite at a fly than a lure and, of course, the real problem is that the use of flies mandates a much-lower test line on the final leader than is true of bait or lure fishing. Thus, if a hefty fish takes a fly, you have to tease him into tiring out before you can land him. I am frankly not interested in this bizarre custom of "catch and release": if I am going to inconvenience the fish by hauling him out of the water, I will go the rest of the way to turn him into my dinner. But then, I rarely catch more than two or three fish at a sitting. I have an extremely fine memory of my Scout troop on "Outpost" at Summer Camp in 1964 -- the weekend between the first and second weeks. We paddled canoes up to the far end of Lake Tionesta and then hiked about five miles to a camping spot by a stream. The forest was the North-Central Pennsylvania standard of tall confirs with a clean floor coated with orange pine needles. I recall that I was wearing moccasins (no soles) and that the carpet of these needles felt magnificent to my feet. I kept finding Red Efts (the land stage of larval newts, a basal salamander) crawling over the floor, almost indistinguishable from the orange of the dead pine needles. We arrived at our spot, the late-summer sun running down rapidly, and I assembled the fly rod and reel that I had borrowed from my father and hit the creek in short order, and soon pulled up two brownies and a brookie -- a Brown Trout is not a true trout but it tastes great, nonetheless. I was a Patrol Leader at the time, and I showed my guys how to gut the trout then gave two of them to the other four guys and kept the third for myself. Bacon and eggs and pan-friend trout in an August evening beside a gushing mountain stream is a wonderful thing. I do not believe that I have eaten better, before or since. (Though, to be honest, last evening I dined on a single glass of white wine, two dozen snails cooked with snail butter in their shells, and a dozen Bay oysters which I cracked open over my sink and ate fresh with my own sauce. It really doesn't get much better than that, does it?) I no longer fish, though I do occasionally watch A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT or reread the novella, as I do understand the intense connection of fly fisherman and nature which bonds us in the delicate art of playing that fish to land. (I have a good friend who used to fish the very waters photographed in that movie when she was living in Missoula -- she claims that the trout there are the best she has ever tasted but, hey, what could a woman know about fishing?) And there are folks who fish salt-water with flies though I find this absolutely incomprehensible: they must have flies the size of pigeons and a leader of 75-pound line! Marc firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: +540/343-7315 Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!