mysteries…

that leave me baffled as well but these are well worth the read.
besides, there’s a few chuckles to be had.

Euro Nymphing...  pfffft.  I only fish dry flies.
Euro Nymphing… pfffft. I only fish dry flies.

for a really good rant about some fly fishing sillinesses (well, there are just five although we could easily add several 0’s to those five), head on over to Fly Fish Food to read Cheech’s page by clicking the image above. enjoy !

opening day

for trout waters in France was last saturday.

not including stocked fisheries, i know plenty of areas where trout go past the official ‘trout sections’ (downstream) and even if i target other species of fish, the maybe more than occasional wild brown or escaped rainbow will eventually take the fly so, opening day to me isn’t so much about trout themselves but more about being able to fish the lovely areas that are closed off from the end of September through early March where these lovely-slimy creatures live.
add to that the beginning of spring, a healthy increase of sun rays, birds coming back from warmer climes, happy bees, tree buds and not having to dress up like an inuit and it all adds up to a ‘oh yeah, this feels good’ type of feeling. usually.
from an outsider’s point of view (read non-fisher’s), last Saturday was what might be considered as a gift of the gods. after a normal chilliesh early morning, by 10 or so the temps where already at 18°, there was no wind (rare), the sun was doing it’s spring thing, i was wearing  just a long sleeve t-shirt instead of four sweaters and a jacket and then… the hoards started to come out of wherever hoards come from and it seemed like there must have been enormous flashing signs at malls, supermarkets and wherever it is that the hoards usually hang out telling them “Sorry, we’re closed for business, please go to the nearest trout water and disturb the peace until we replenish stocks“.

being rude is well known around the world as being typically french. they take great pride in it and probably consider it as a public service. it’s definitely considered a right. not being as french as i could be, i find this greatly annoying.
having fellow anglers thrash through the water and crowding me within less than a cast’s distance without even the slightest thought of River-Side Etiquette to a) announce their presence, b) the normal “hey mate, are you working upstream or down ?” c) “mind if i pass in? d) casting a spinning lure over my fly line (yes, that actually happened three times) and when the noises of kids throwing rocks in the water, their parents encouraging them to throw the rocks harder all the while shouting at the top of their miserable lungs in a poor attempt of be understood over blaring music to the point that the river’s sounds become a distant murmur even though i’m standing in the middle of it and even if there are a few rises here and there, this guy needs to escape. quickly.

now, you might be thinking: “geez Marc, why didn’t you go to more remote places to start with ?” and i’ll congratulate you on your logic but the thing is, i was in the more remote places. instead of the usual 100km round trip, Saturday, i drove 300+km trying to find some peace. throughout about a dozen stops i managed to catch three little trouties in some not-so-crowded areas and the only real peace was found in a fishing reserve (not allowed to fish)(and for some reason, completely overlooked by the hoards).
hopefully it will rain or snow next year for opening day.

opening day 2014 mf:tlc

The Swift Manifesto, or HOW TO FLY FISH AND NOT MAKE US ALL LOOK BAD

from Carl McNeil – Swift Performance Fly Fishing

rather harsh ? nope, spot on.

  • Stop holding that rod butt in your teeth – you look like an idiot.
  • Fly fishing is not an extreme sport – if you somehow think it is, you need to get a life or get out more (probably both)
  • Welded loops are for little kids – learn to tie a nail knot. (Ok, they can be handy in the salt)
  • Loose that ‘grin n grip’ – Holding your fish out at the camera is just a projection of your extremely small penis. The ‘grin n grip’ while holding the rod in your teeth clearly states “Idiot with Small Penis”
  • Pictures of fish in the water are extremely  cool.
  • Nothing will make you look like more of a doofus than being all gear and no cast. Work on your fly casting – it will do more for your fly fishing than anything else you could do.
  • Stop being a tight arse and buy some decent gear – start at the pointy end and work back.
  • A stiff rod will not make you a better caster.
  • An expensive rod will not make you a better caster.
  • My fly line will not make you a better caster.
  • A lesson will make you a better caster.
  • My fly casting DVD’s will make you a better caster.
  • Practice will make you a better caster.
  • A Gin and Tonic will make you feel like you are a better caster.
  • Fast and stiff describe two different things – learn ‘em.
  • Understand what a standard weight forward line is and that it is ABSOLUTELY USELESS for casting distance.
  • “Todays modern fast action rods” Do not need a line that is half a line weight heavier in order to load the rod.
  • The correct advertising blurb for “weight and a half lines” should be “Buy this line, it will make you seem like a better caster than you actually are”
    OR
    “Buy this line, it will make our ridiculously stiff fly rod actually bend”
  • The secret to fly casting is knowing how to bend the fly rod correctly. Honestly
  • Be aware that weight and a half lines are for little kids. You’re a big kid and are being fed marketing crap – you’re better than that.
  • “Designed in (insert country here)” – means made in China.
  • If we all put as much effort into actually looking after the places we fish that we put into talking about our sport,  the world would be in much better shape. Please, don’t just be a talker – Have some balls, be a doer.

post note-
i’m not quite sure how the ladies that do “The ‘grin n grip’ while holding the rod in your teeth” will deal with the small penis bit but i guess they’ll just have to work that out for themselves and find a proper equivalent…

does tenkara fishing affect a fish’s vision ?

in yet another blundering attempt in showing us how the tenkara style is so unique here’s a funny chart that makes one wonder if this method doesn’t affect the brain and how it works.
– once again, what does it teach us and what have we learned ? nothing.
– does a fish always come to the fly from the same angle and has it anything to do with tackle ? surely not.
– angler A has a much shorter rod than angler D. does this mean we would have to change rod, line and leader just to fish a little bit further back that angler A ?
that’s not a very enticing perspective for the angler wanting to try this method, is it ?

as a sort of conclusion and what’s nice, is the traditional angler (or ‘western style’ as they call it) that wants to give this simplistic method a go has nothing to worry about. they can keep on casting, approaching fish and catching them and it won’t affect our slimy friend’s vision at all.

fish vision & tenkara

just to set things straight, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this method of fishing, in fact i consider it really cool.
the born-again wheel-reinventing bozos on the other hand…

Lefty Kreh has Aids

adding to the ‘Fly Casting Instruction Analysis‘ series, here’s yet another example of what i consider poor casting instruction. it’s not that it doesn’t or cannot work because his method is used by many and i guess they’re happy, it’s the definitive ‘you must’ tone used to imply that his style is best. it isn’t and it can’t be because of it’s rigid structure and how it’s taught.

here’s why-

foot stance– beyond the obvious that very often we don’t even have a choice as to how our feet are positioned, (meaning that to be able to cast and fish efficiently without it being a chore or just to make it possible, we’ll need to learn to cast and fish in different positions.) Kreh would have us believe that there’s only one valid casting foot stance and his manner suggests that any other method is less efficient or a fault. he does point out the possibility of using a ‘squared’ or ‘closed’ stance but they’re referred to negatively when in fact each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages, furthering the notion that no one stance is better than another.
what he’s teaching is style and not substance but he’s treating it as substance.

thumb placement– i’ve already explained here why i believe the thumb-on-top grip is the least interesting grip to use but as also noted, there’s nothing wrong with it when we overcome it’s shortcomings, but once again, the person interested in developing their capabilities will include other grips to their repertoire.
wrist control– interestingly, twisting the wrist along the forearm’s axis is most prominent when side-casting, exactly what he’s teaching with the elbow-always-on-the-board method.
take away the board and we’re left with a much greater cause of improper wrist control: flexion.
take away the thumb-on-top grip and very often the excessive flexion disappears. interesting indeed.
as a side note and although not so easy to see, if we pay attention we’ll notice that he does indeed twist his wrist a little while casting. this doesn’t really fit in well with the explanations given. also, starting the cast with a high rod tip and it’s resultant slack in the loops doesn’t fit in with what i would describe as demonstrating a style very well either but i guess that’s not part of this style.
anyhow, again, what he’s teaching is style and not substance but he’s treating it as substance.

i’ll add a personal note here – reel weight and it’s effect on grip. (regardless of grip style)
if we believe that the reel should be in a fixed position relative to the arm’s movements we’ll need to apply more force on the rod grip to keep the reel in plane when we should be doing exactly the opposite: relaxing our grip as much as possible throughout the cast. as a reminder and generally speaking, the only time we should be tightening the grip is during the ‘stop’ sequence.

the shelf– wow, this is the big one that really demonstrates the narrow-minded rigidity of this method.
to achieve SLP (Straight Line Path of the rod tip), the elbow needs to be at first extended away from the body at the beginning of the stroke, then brought towards the body towards the middle of the stroke and then back out at the end. the board method indeed does this but why should the elbow remain on the same plane off to our side ?
how can we stay on the board while casting over the shoulder ?
what about roll casts and Speys ?
what happens if we don’t have a board ?
and more importantly, won’t i get splinters all over my arm by doing this ?!

in Jason Borger’s ‘Foundation Casting Stroke’ we have the exact same elbow out-in-out method but it’s free to move around on any plane. for vertical casting i often describe this elbow movement as ‘picking up the phone’, what Kreh teaches us is to ‘throw it away’… :mrgreen:
as for the “mental shelf”  i’ll just reverently bow to his creative imagination…
once again, what he’s teaching is style and not substance but he’s treating it as substance.

what this all points to is he has a method of teaching based solely on reinforcing the validity of his own method with the exclusion of others.
a good teacher observes the pupil and adapts to their needs and physical abilities and not the other way around.
a good teacher, while having his/her own preferred methods knows different methods and knows how to pick parts from one or another and combine them to suit the student’s needs. rigid teaching doesn’t leave this possibility.
a good teacher learns how to apply ‘band-aid quick fixes’ but doesn’t model their method around them.
a good teacher knows how to exclude his own ego from the lesson.

to sum things up, Kreh may have aids but i don’t find them very helpful.

caddis art…

yet another display of an ‘artiste’s’ deviation of what is more than beautiful in it’s natural form, here destroyed by mindlessly adding ‘precious’ items in a fit of irresponsible ‘cleverness’ all the while further continuing the worship created around objects that, once the glitter is washed away are based on slavery, death and keeping poor people poorer.

this is not clever, pretty or interesting. this is worthless, tacky, conceptual trash and nothing more.

nature in it’s very uncalculated  manner produces beauty very well on it’s own and it is not a toy for the selfish to play with.
i’ll take my caddis cases ‘au naturel’, thank you…

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the images in the slideshow are from The Biofresh Cabinet of Freshwater Curiosities. click the link to learn more about (natural) caddis larvae cases and how they are produced. enjoy !

one for the FFF fly casting definitions committee…

from Oxford Dictionaries ‘The world’s most trusted dictionaries’

fly-casting

Syllabification:

Definition of fly-casting

noun

a dream come true !

that’s right ! extreme stupidity, mining, phosphates an “open, transparent and scientifically based approach to protect the environment.”  has just come up with what’s going to be the new super-hot species to catch !

imagine watching the fish(es) fighting, pulling and tugging for which one will catch your fly first ! the double-strong head shakes ! the ultimate challege being fishing a two fly rig and having both mouths take at once !
just think how you’ll awe your friends on facebook and twitter with the ‘fishes in your face like it’s a shotgun, gonna blow your cap, rod slung over the shoulder’ photos ! they’ll have to buy even bigger super-wide angle lenses to get it all in. wow !

more on this exciting new two-headed gamefish here.