Editor’s observe: As hunters and anglers, we don’t agree on the whole lot. We’ve even been recognized to argue every now and then. That’s why this week is all about determining who’s proper and who’s simply plain fallacious. Day-after-day we’ll be posting tales to declare a winner on looking and fishing’s most essential debates—like 870 vs. 500, fixed-blade vs. mechanical broadheads, and on this case, spin fishing vs. fly fishing, during which looking editor Will Brantley and govt editor Dave Hurteau go head-to-head.
The Case for Spin Fishing
Dave Hurteau has been my editor at F&S for greater than 12 years. In that point, we’ve argued about each conceivable matter: Bows. Broadheads. Rifles. Turkey calling. The qualities of a great western film. The retaining of cats and calling them “pets.” Cussing. Music. Who’s greatest, Nickens or Heavey or Petzal.
That we each like to antagonize and argue might in reality be the strongest glue of our friendship. However shut behind is our close to mirroring attitudes towards fishing. We each love fishing as a result of we each wish to eat fish. Hurteau has regaled me with tales of wading the well-known Higher Delaware River with a membership clipped to his belt, in order to smash within the skulls of trophy brown trout. They’re particularly good smoked, he says.
I’d fly a flag, if I had an applicable one, to point out Hurteau my assist for this habits. Me, I stay on the shore of Kentucky Lake, one of the well-liked match fisheries within the nation. I like consuming prize-winning largemouth bass, too, significantly once they’ve been flipped over the gunwale of my camouflage john boat inside eyesight of a glittering fiberglass bass boat. I would holler one thing like, “By no means surrender! That’s 4 keepers for the skillet! Simply want a kicker for the grill!”
As regards to fishing, if nothing else in any respect, Hurteau and I’ve lived for years in relative concord. So, I used to be dissatisfied when simply the opposite day, he mentioned he prefers fly fishing over spin fishing as a result of “fly fishing is extra enjoyable.”
“As proof, you by no means see anybody casting a spinning rod for the enjoyable of it in a yard,” he mentioned.
I’ve by no means seen anybody solid for enjoyable within the yard with a fly rod, both. Round right here, appearing like that will draw a crowd of involved neighbors, to gawk and level. “The lake is over a mile away,” they’d say.
Utilizing a fly rod proves that your motivation for casting isn’t essentially to catch a fish, and that’s dumb. But when that wasn’t true, there’d be no such factor as a “false solid.” Why would you make a bunch of faux casts earlier than firing your good one on the market? I’ve watched fly anglers false solid 5 – 6 occasions earlier than making the true one (a distance efficiency that may often be outdone with a Snoopy pole).
Shoot, my favourite fishing days are those once I catch six fish on six casts. I’ve much more enjoyable once I don’t must solid for them in any respect. As soon as the water will get good and heat, I’ll shoot them with a bow and arrow, or simply jump in and wrestle them by hand. Know what number of costly rods I’ve damaged out catfish noodling? Not a one.
Now if I do know Hurteau, he’ll stoop low sufficient to speak sh*t about my very own ability with an extended rod, so I’ll simply say proper now that I’m not a great fly caster. Additionally, I can not play the flute. He likes to say that he outfished me the one time I met him and different F&S employees up North on the Delaware, and whereas I don’t have proof that he didn’t, the one fish I noticed that weekend had been a pair of good browns I caught on a Panther Martin, and I wasn’t allowed to eat both one.
The opposite drawback with fly-fishing is that it’s egocentric, and that’s no enjoyable for anybody. Nobody else round you is allowed to fish since you want room to solid. Look, I wish to reel up an enormous ‘un whereas my spouse and child cheer me on, identical as anybody, however asking them to sit down quietly within the boat whereas I flail about like Zorro looks like a great way to listen to some complaining—and there’s no complaining fairly like that of a spouse and child savaging Outdated Dad within the confines of a ship.
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Talking of youngsters, my boy is happening 8 years outdated. Present him a pond with a bass in it and inform him the shoreline is simply too thick for casting. That child will crawl by way of briars, if he has to, and discover a gap simply large enough to launch a quarter-ounce Rat-L-Entice clear to the opposite financial institution together with his Zebco 33. He’ll solely take into account the inconvenience of the thicket when he emerges again out of it, and his mother is chewing at his ass to examine for ticks.
Attempt wielding a fly rod in that very same thicket, and inform me once more how a lot enjoyable you’re having. You’ll nonetheless have to examine for ticks if you’re finished.
The Case for Fly Fishing
The reality is that Brantley and I agree on loads. However that’s boring. So, we deal with the issues we disagree on. Every time I do discover myself agreeing an excessive amount of with him, I make it some extent to alter my thoughts, or a minimum of the topic.
For instance, I agree that everybody must whack a sure variety of fish on the top and put them within the smoker or fryer to recollect why we do that and to maintain from turning into unbearable. And, in the identical spirit as Brantley together with his fellow bass fishermen, I do suppose it’s enjoyable to slip a limp 20-inch brown right into a plastic bread bag after which give any fellow fly guys watching in horror a pleasant thumbs up.
However that’s already an excessive amount of agreeing. So, let me let you know why Brantley is fallacious, once more. This must be simple, however I’ll have to ask a few inquiries to these of you who’ve caught various fish each methods. (Which doesn’t embrace Brantley.) Now, suppose you’re going to catch a fish. Any fish. Would you quite catch it with fly gear or spinning gear? Proper. I like spin fishing, too, however catching fish with fly gear is simply extra enjoyable. Now, let’s suppose you’re not going to catch a fish. You’re simply going to solid and solid and go residence empty-handed, which occurs typically. Would you quite try this with fly gear or spinning gear? Proper, once more. Fly-casting, all by itself, is a fairly good time on a pleasant summer season’s night.
So, catching fish is extra enjoyable with fly gear and not catching fish is extra enjoyable with fly gear. That looks like a fairly good advice. Now, Brantley might argue that an individual will catch extra fish with spinning gear, which could even be true the place he fishes. However it isn’t true the place I fish. So, possibly he’s simply fishing within the fallacious locations.
I believe he would additionally say that fly fishing’s ranks are comprised of too many cigar-chomping, Walden-quoting, Plum-colored-fishing-shirt-wearing, sanctimonious Yankees. And there’s in all probability some fact to that. I imply, should you actually wished to search out the closest asshole, I’d in all probability level you to both a golf course or one of some sure trout streams. However, as with golf, it’s not fly fishing’s fault that it’s loved by jerks and non-jerks alike. Anyway, you may spot the previous a mile away, in order that they’re simple sufficient to keep away from.
Up to now, Brantley has argued that he can knock over beer bottles with a jig on a spinning rod and that I ought to simply strive that with a Partridge and Orange. I’ve to confess that this did look like a fairly good level at first, till I keep in mind that I can knock beer bottles over and again with none fishing gear in any respect.
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And whereas I’m admitting issues, I’ll say that it was a mistake for me to let slip to him that I typically fly solid within the yard. (Fly casting requires apply to get good at, not like casting a spinning rod, which anybody can do—even Brantley.) He had some good enjoyable with that data, so I’ll simply tip my hat. However he revealed one thing, too, when he got here North as soon as for an editorial assembly. I virtually hate to convey it up. I imply, nobody needs to be accused of hitting too fats a pitch. However, er, have you ever seen Brantley fly solid?
Let’s simply say that, in his footwear, I wouldn’t prefer it both. Nevermind getting outfished by a sanctimonious Yankee.