I am writing this post not because I want to, but because I feel that it is necessary. It is the air of pretentiousness among some fisherman – both spin and fly.
Before I go in depth about what I am talking about, I have to say that I actually got the title idea for this post from ICAST a few years ago. There was a lecture there titled, “spin and fly, why can’t we all just get along?”. If you want to read more about my experience there, then check out my post, “ICAST”.
Tom Brokaw once said, “if fishing is a religion, then fly fishing is high church”. I wholeheartedly agree. In my opinion fly fishing is the most challenging, most skillful and all together most satisfying form of angling in the world. No matter how many fish you’ve caught or places you’ve been, if you haven’t yet been humbled by fly fishing, keep at it… you will be.
Herein lies the crux of the issue. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments and skills, places you’ve fished and memories you’ve made, but some people have chosen to look down upon other anglers because of these.
I fly fish more than I spin fish. It’s probably 90-10 at this point. There are people that don’t fly fish at all, or fly fish 100% of the time. I’m not any better than these people. It doesn’t matter how many fish I’ve caught, it doesn’t give me a right to be condescending towards these other anglers. Conversely those who are more skilled or have caught more fish in more places and situations don’t have a right to act condescendingly towards me.
I feel that the uppity attitude of some anglers both spin and fly towards both groups hurts fisherman in general by making us look like petty fools. I feel that it makes the world worse place.
All told, my home waters of the greater Tampa Bay Area are some of the best in regards to having a fishing community that respects each other. I’ve never personally met anyone who acts in the manner I have described, but I know that there are people like this in the world so I find it necessary to bring up.
I’m not saying don’t be proud of what you’ve accomplished or be afraid to talk about fishing for fear of being judged. I’m saying have fun, be ethical and don’t act like self important shitbag because you’ve done more than someone else or done it differently. At the end of the day we all want the same thing, to feed the fish and have a great time with those we care for.
Until next time, Tight Lines.