Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/25

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Subject: [Leica] Fishing without bait.
From: msmall at (Marc James Small)
Date: Sat Sep 25 19:12:58 2004
References: <> <> <> <> <>

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 

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  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!

Replies: Reply from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Fishing without bait.)
In reply to: Message from Jim at (Jim Hemenway) ([Leica] Fishing without bait.)
Message from phong at (Phong) ([Leica] A couple of Photos)
Message from Jim at (Jim Hemenway) ([Leica] Fishing without bait.)
Message from jbcollier at (John Collier) ([Leica] Fishing without bait.)
Message from jbcollier at (John Collier) ([Leica] Fishing without bait.)