Ten Sacred Cows of Fly Fishing

Yeah, I hate 'em.

Not where chocolate milk comes from.  Duh, that's from chocolate goats.

Here's ten for you that revolve around fly fishing.  I have more, but a list of ten seems about enough.
Why now?  Because I feel like being opinionated for a change.

Starting with...

FASCINATION WITH PBR - Pssst...cool Montana fly fisher guy, you're drinking the same beer attention-seeking hipsters do.  The only acceptable PBR is this PBR.


BAMBOO RODS - Whatever...can I interest you in a rotary phone for $2,300?  Wax this ferrule.

"SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FLY SHOP" - Eh, not if they give crappy service...oh, and constantly whine about how "big boxes" & e-commerce are killing them.  Adapt.  Evolve.  Move on.

CATCH MAGAZINE - It's a great picture book.  Any reason why every blogger, tweeter, & facebooker has to announce its monthly release?

A small sampling...

GOLDEN BONES - I like carp, but enough with the glorification as the future of fly fishing crap already.  I get it.  They're big.  So is your mom and I don't write article after article about her.

BRISTOL BAY/PEBBLE MINE - Okay, we heard you for the 14,023rd time.  Enough.  You're past the point of being tuned out.

DEREK DEYOUNG - Ultra talented artist, but if I see his stuff on another t-shirt or fly box or toilet paper holder...

My art is mesmerizing...no?

FLY FISHING BLOGS - Yeah, flailing a 5-weight doesn't mean you automatically should write - and guess what, nobody reads your blog because it's pretty damn uninteresting, just like mine.  I blame the OBN.  OK, not really. (Speaking of which, when's the OBN going to stop giving away fishing gloves and lanterns and put together a meeting or conference or something, so you know, us outdoor bloggers can...ummm...network?)

KIRK DEETER - Total respect for the guy...and he's originally from Pennsylvania.  But writing for 107 publications/organizations/and trade rags may constitute as overexposure.  Where are the comic books Deeter?

GO PRO CAMERAS - See fly fishing blogs above.  You ain't Yukon Goes Fishing.

Hawgdog55...you're doing it wrong.

I'd toss tenkara in there (I love the tool, but not the "simple is superior" complex that often accompanies it) but it already gets made fun of plenty.  A graphite cane pole can't be a sacred cow.

You got any sacred cows you want to pick on?  I know you do.  Let's discuss.

C'mon, grow a set and add your own to the comments below...

Comments

  1. I have to disagree, hawtdog55 is doing it right. And if OBN were to do a conference it would be in Montana or somewhere else out west, making it moot for most east coasters. Should do something locally, there's enough SEPArrs to get something going. Maybe even let those from jersey in, if they promise to wash the jersey-crud off first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SEPA conference? I like that. That's probably manageable. You're in charge of nametags.

      Delete
    2. Only if I can determine what names I give to people. But in all seriousness, that would be something that I would be into.

      Delete
  2. I have to disagree about the writing of blogs. I have recently taken up fly fishing and after my extensive research decided to go with a 5 wt. And I flail boy oh boy to I flail.. But I wouldn't mind reading blogs from others beginners to find out how they working to become Fly Fisherman instead of flaiers. I do however have NO intention of starting a blog.. I do enjoy reading yours I must say..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have honorable intentions my man. I wish more were like you, including myself.

      Delete
  3. How about over priced gear? No particular company, since everyone seems to like/hate something different. But why do I have to pay $750 dollars for a fly rod and $500 for a fly reel to fish for a 12 inch trout? Also, outdoor blogger networking meeting would be fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. That said, better spent on a fly rod than golf clubs.

      Delete
    2. Being an ol' fart, I have wondered this very thing for many years!

      Delete
    3. dude...are you really spending $500 on your trout reel? i get why rods can be expensive, but for a 5 weight you can just go ahead and buy the cheapest reel you can find. it's just holding your line. unless you think you'll accidentally hook an elk on your back cast.

      Delete
    4. Check it-
      http://www.owljones.com/2012/02/15/initial-review-cabelas-29-wind-river-fly-reel/

      Delete
  4. I love this post on many levels. So much more than normal, I question if you are the person who wrote it.


    Wax this ferrule....an instant classic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately I did write it...I was upset Singlebarbed has left us.

      Delete
    2. Actually, that guy should be #11. Seriously, not an actual coherent sentence in the house.

      Delete
    3. Just to be clear, Windknot is not me.

      Delete
  5. Best T! post I've seen in awhile. I would have to agree with pretty much all of the above.
    I think "catch & release" is a huge sacred cow. Every time I've seen anything about someone keeping and mounting a trophy fish, the fish of a lifetime, he gets ridiculed by a bunch of holier than thou morons. C&R as a general rule is great, and I rarely ever keep any fish- once or twice a year while camping and the occasional limit of stocker trout. As long as everyone practices C&R most of the time, we'll be fine. That trophy fish is probably old anyway and looks better hanging on a wall, inspiring some young kid to get interested in fishing, than it ever would floating downstream dead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catch and release was on my original list, I think I took it off for Derek DeYoung. That picture was just too good.

      Delete
    2. That picture definitely warranted inclusion in the list.

      Delete
  6. It's T! Bomb. The whole thing is an instant classic. Fly fishing internet land, the T! has put us on notice. I have often wondered about the cult following of PBR among hipsters and fly fisherman. Are fly fisherman the hipsters of fishing? Hell, High Life is pretty hipster. So, is Hamms and Schmidts (what up Rainbow trout can? http://schmidtbeer.com/media/images/sideImages/ageVerification.png)

    Life reevaluation commence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need for a full re-evaluation. That Phillies hat you wear automatically absolves you of most sin...even though they painful to watch this year.

      Delete
    2. Easy accolades from one of the few who got (well deserved) props in this post. Ha- joking, of course.

      Delete
    3. Hamm's is the best. It's all over my instagram pictures. But then I'm no fly fishing guide (another sacred cow for consideration).

      Plus, being cheap and basically non-marketed, it's way more ironic than PBR, which is so ubiquitous in the FF world now that it's no longer ironic. Which is... ironic. Hmm.

      Delete
    4. Screw it. I'm finding me some cases of Rhinelander shorties. The old style, with the white and red graphics.

      Delete
    5. Aside from PBR, other notable labels I turn to when "Slummin' It" include: Icehouse (for some reason, doesn't hang me over), Stoneys (not bad when it gets warm, valuable for outdoor activities), Lionshead (not bad, and at $11 for a case of bottles...), and Straub (surprisingly mostly organic, w/ no preservatives...and local).

      If you want to *look* like a PBR drinker, but actually drink good beer, get Dale's Pale Ale, from Oskar Blues or American Bitter from 21st Amendment.

      Delete
  7. Only Cubs fans like PBR. No one likes Cubs fans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have to agree with your second sentence. "Oh, we're lovable losers..." No you're not. Your team just sucks.

      Delete
  8. Brilliant post. I would add this:

    the "trucker hat/beard/western shirt" combo jumped the shark a couple of years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like a piss warm pbr, and yes hipsters drink it but so did my grandfather. I hate the cubs. Most bloggers can't put together a coherent sentence, and the people that should be writing them are generally to busy fishing.

    Support your local fly shop, when was the last time you went in and asked for advice?

    awesome post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man. The old heads at my trout club drink Coors Extra Gold. A 30 pack for $17 they tell me. That's where my cheap beer fix is coming from.

      Delete
    2. i would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to busch light and hamms for getting me this far. Any beer with the word Extra and Gold in it, sounds like something I could get down with.

      Delete
    3. It's the original banquet beer. What's not to like?

      Delete
  10. Great post - enjoyed it! Thank you for verifying that I'm not alone in my disdain of the "golden bones". Simply not interested in them at all...there are too many other truly gorgeous fish out there to catch on a fly rod. I'll skip the carp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind if people catch them...I might try myself some ridiculously hot day this summer when no other creature on this planet would care to get up out of bed and feed on some goofy looking fly.

      Delete
    2. Now that there is funny!

      Delete
  11. Those are some classics. Golden bones. Ha ha. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like the total "list" of fishing and hunting blogs has kind of topped out into an ebb-and-flow.

    Don't know about Kirk Deeter - I think it's a little weird to call a writer "overexposed" especially when 99.999% of living humans, 90-95% of Americans, and probably 50-70% of anglers have ever even heard the man's name come up in conversation. I think he's a fine writer, and I aspire to that, but yes, like you, I do wonder how many writing and editing tasks a man can take on at one time, without visibly suffering in quality and/or quantity output.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: Deeter. I hear you. My point was if you pick up any magazine, read any website, or any of that stuff...there's either an article, commentary, foreward, or editorial job done by K.D. I don't know how the dude does it.

      Delete
    2. Rather than call it overexposure, I call it trying to make a living as a writer.

      Delete
  12. And I'm happy to have posted both on how the Bristol Bay hysteria misses the mark, and how, with a Bass Pro 30 minutes from home, 2 Gander Mtns' 2 hours from home, and the PA Cabelas just 2.5 hours north of home, local gear shops (open 10-4, M-F, y'all!) are generally a waste of my time and money - quite unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like DeYoung but all of his paintings look the damned same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meh...can't fault a guy for his style. Doesn't mean I want it on a toothbrush.

      Delete
  14. One’s sacred cow is another’s target. My sometimes target/sacred cow: snobby fly fishing purists of any persuasion. If I want to land fish, don’t criticize me if I use other tactics short of electro shocking. It really doesn’t bother me if your net remains dry while you just “enjoy time on the water.”

    Now, pardon me while I post on my blog that GoPro video shot while visiting a showing of DeYoung’s art at a local fly shop that offered to anyone donating to the campaign against the Pebble Mine a free PBR and raffle ticket for one’s choice of a bamboo or tenkara rod.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...just make sure you mention the new issue of Catch Magazine too.

      Delete
  15. Post is great idea and comment generator.

    Sacred Cow: Reels in pictures with fish.

    This old dinosaur even remembers fishing without a camera was just as much, if not more fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks John. You gotta show off the hardware when you catch that 6" bluegill.

      Delete
  16. Michael, you da man. Helps to let it all out once in a while. As for PBR, my dad drank two a day, every day for as long as I can remember. I, on the other hand, are a Coors Light kind of guy. Since all you guys are Phillie fans and hate the Cubs, I have to say Go Giants. After all, they have Buster Posey who manages to get the crap beat out of him every game, but keeps coming back.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Mark...no you da man. Skimmed my copy of your book. Good stuff. Just trying my best to keep my paws off of it until next week...headed down to Florida. Need something to read on the plane.

      Delete
  17. THANK YOU! Jeez are all of these were pissing me off. The PBR obsession doesn't make any sense to me, there are better tasting cheap beers out there. Add Czech nymphing to it, I was about to lose it this past winter hearing about it everywhere I looked. I get it, you like heavy nymphs dragging on the bottom of the stream, get over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. Who knew so many people had such feelings. I thought the dementia was personal.

      Delete
  18. Mike, got to hand it to you. When you jump in, you jump in with both feet. I have to agree with the others. "What a great post and a thought provoker". Synopsis = Enough Already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel, your opinions are always welcome around here. Even if you do live in Colorado now.

      Delete
  19. Your blog is way overrated.June 8, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Really? Just because you can't fish doesn't mean you have to be a douche to people who can. Get over yourself. Keep posting photos of you kids and tiny brook trout. Have fun paying your car payment and mortgage you ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh well...guess satire doesn't go over well with some. I was actually expecting more feedback like yours. Thanks for keeping us all honest.

      Delete
  20. Your blog is way overrated.June 8, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    The more I read the comments the more I see that you are the ego driven problem with fly fishing. Support your fly shop, fight pebble, and give these artists credit. But don't drink PBR. But really...? Never reading your stuff again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a shame. I thoroughly enjoy contrasting opinion, and my ego & I welcome yours anytime.

      Delete
  21. Additional comments from ^^ that guy ^^ to be featured soon on his awesome 10 day old fly fishing blog, I think the title is something like "The Toronto Trout Bum," or "Where's my 3X?" or "(Hook Size) 25 to Life!"

    Catch the stories now, before the post, titled "Moving On" publishes in another 7 weeks, saying stuff like, "I don't know what I wanted 'Tex Mex Trout on the Fly' to accomplish - but I know I achieved it - and so much more" and "this blog has taught me to fish harder. To be present. To be the fly line."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^^that guy^^ has a right to his opinion. I just like the fact that he thinks my blog is overrated...meaning it has some sort of rating in the first place. Heck, his blog would probably end up in my blogroll...pretty much all of them do.

      Delete
    2. Dude, I'm on your blogroll. Sweet. You were serious about that.

      Delete
  22. Boy, someone needs to unplug. I guess if you push hard enough, sooner or later someone steps off the cliff. This is the internet people. Does anyone here really take this stuff seriously? Funny post Michael.

    I don't know about sacred cows, but the grip and grin has got to go. It would be great if we could establish a new standard to photograph the beauty of the creature, rather than the self absorbed glory of proving you were close to one, or worse yet squeezing one to death. Keep the gills in the water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with the grip & grin. I'm guilty of the floating hand. There's got to be a better way...like photography on a dinner plate...oops...

      Delete
    2. I would love to do it a different way than the floating hand. But I usually fish alone and have only two arms.

      And a baby arm, not helpful for photography.

      Too much?

      Delete
    3. waterproof camera, a 5" micro tripod and time release setting goes a long what for Cheap.

      Delete
    4. Gary - Funny, I have both, yet lack the initiative, or better yet the cool with a landed fish in hand, to use them in tandem.

      Delete
  23. Carp? As a Hoosier, I know the only true way to get a carp is on a trot-line or gigging. Failing that you can hit them over the head with a tile spade and scoop them out of the water with it - as my father did with two 60 pounder buffalo one March day during a flood on our farm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gigging. That word always make me laugh. I enjoy your perspectives on this topic.

      Delete
  24. Been too busy fishing to think much about it, but, yeah, people can suck

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, T! bares some fangs. I agree with the sacred cow thing, though not with all your targets- how dare you disparage Mr. DeYoung in this manner, and right after I put up his "Trout Soup" border in my kitchen.
    I don't believe carp are the future of fly fishing, but I grow tired of them being hissed at by elitists who practice catch and release.
    Very entertaining once again which, by the way, is the difference between Troutrageous and most fly fishing blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way, it's pretty funny to see people who don't know you dishing out some hate. This was worth doing just to read the comments.

      Delete
    2. "Trout Soup" border...does that come in full wallpaper?

      Hate is good. Keeps me in line.

      Delete
  26. Awesome post.

    #11: Jason Jagger's photos of Rainbow Trout sipping bugs. They're great photos and he's a great guy but does every magazine have to run a half dozen?

    #12: Articles in fly fishing magazines about fishing for Golden Dorados in South America. Yeah they're pretty and I'm sure they put up a great fight, but who the f%&^ is flying to South America to fish?

    I'd dish some more but I just heard that the new Catch is out and I like to read it while waxing my ferrules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to fly to South America to fish, but I have a car payment & mortgage to pay.

      Enjoy the latest issue Catch. In all seriousness, it's really good.

      Delete
  27. Sorry...It took 24 hours to read all 59 comments! Lol. Where do I start? Oh, btw...I don't want to grow a set, first of all. Moving on... "Yeah, flailing a 5-weight doesn't mean you automatically should write..." Mmmm...you didn't have to remind me. But, my last Sunday Tippets was pretty funny...(Linked to some Sasquatch blog) "When's the OBN going to stop giving away fishing gloves and lanterns and put together a meeting or conference or something..." I decided not to wait and put together the RMNP Frenzy in Co...and we didn't even have to put out nametags. = ) Go for it. A great post... Now off to find that "Trout Soup" border...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definite mad props to you for the Frenzy. Sounds like a cool event...especially with so many of "us" in the same place. And yes, I totally enjoyed the references in that last Tippets, wonder if our friend the Squatch gets his wading boots...

      Delete
  28. Blog posts that take 10 minutes to write and and an hour to read... That crap chaps my tail. And, as a fan of golden bones, GoPro cameras and, um, cows, this one stung a little. I will run the Bristol Bay thing up the flagpole... In the meantime, tell the EPA to put a stop to that Pebble Mine nonsense, would ya?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take offense to such comments, it took no more than 6 minutes to write...
      I'll see what I can do about the EPA (as I think you know, I'm not down with the mine project at all) but I don't think they read this blog...believe they prefer Owl Jones or something.

      Delete
  29. Wish I'd come up with this post.

    Way back when (OK, maybe 15 years), I read a piece about PBR's rebranding, where they wanted to remake the brand, aiming it at a younger, working class audience by giving it a slightly rebellious image.

    So all the guys who drink it because it signifies their excessive coolness are actually just working for the man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PBR... it's rare that I drink that stuff on purpose... I'm starting my own campaign to rebrand Hamm's as the next cool, hipster swill. I tried Lone Star... too provincial. Do they still make Schlitz?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for popping in TC, I appreciate a nice ironic twist (re: PBR). I wish you had thought of this too, would have been curious about your ten.

      Delete
  30. Replies
    1. I've never used one so I can't comment on that. The do seem to be everywhere though...I just remember 10 years ago when they doubled as a tube top on Survivor.

      Delete
    2. I hate buffs....but now wear one after having a huge carcinoma carved out of my neck last summmer....right above where a collared shirt ends. Skin cancer sucks.

      Delete
    3. RM - a respectable point of view.

      Delete
    4. Way late chiming in. Laugh at my l/s shirts, omnifreeze "buff" and gloves, boonie hat...you get the picture. I've had two carcinomas cut from my nose then got hit with malignant melanoma. Wish I had known at 15 what I now know about the sun.

      PBR beer and purists who look down their noses at those of us who were raised by fathers as gear chuckers and didn't start fly fishing till a couple of years ago. Hey, at least we started!

      Delete
  31. Mike, you're my new hero and I'll have to admit this is a brilliant post. Not bad for a guy from PA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, us East Coast guys aren't all that bad.

      Delete
  32. That was just an avalanche of comments. WOW!

    I am with you on a few of those... PBR being way up there on the list. Others, I disagree with, but, that was likely the point.

    Overall, there is more stuff I love than stuff I hate, but that's kind of my personality too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Bjorn - thanks for commenting, and actually, I'm glad you did. Gives me an opportunity to throw some context out there for this post.

      While I do dislike "sacred cows" (in anything) I really don't hate all of the above. Hate is a strong word and I really don't run my life that way. Anyone who knows me knows that. What the list above really is a compilation of:

      1) personal opinion
      2) things I've read and absorbed in discussions with other anglers
      3) an attempt to start discussion & dialog

      Delete
    2. Oh, and to cap it off...I guess it worked...

      Delete
    3. You inspired my own post about sacred cows.

      http://bonefishonthebrain.com/2012/06/12/sacred-cows-that-really-should-be-sacred/

      Delete
  33. Glo bugs should have made your list. One of the few times I have hired a guide in my life was on the Mighty Mo near Wolf Creek. It was spring and the bows were heavy on the spawn. I started to tie on one of MY glo bug patterns that is particularly lethal on bows and was promptly shunned. He gave me that look, you know the one reserved for the guy that gets caught peeing in the pool. I was told proper trout fishermen do not use eggs and that he would tie on his bright bushy #14 pink "scud" with red bead head....hmmmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure if that would fit in sacred cow territory, but I understand the conflict you outlined. Heck, there's too many "divisions" in fly fishing if you ask me, tie on those glo bugs and pee in the pool...just warn me first before doing the latter.

      Delete
  34. Nice post. I'd add one more to the growing list: fly-fishing videos with the seemingly obligatory heavy metal/hard rock soundtrack. Fly-fishing is not an extreme sport, no matter how many guitars you lay over the top, how big the guy in the film's beard is, or how weird his clothes are. Time and a place, people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've noticed an increasing trend towards punk...not ready to persecute yet, but I see where you're coming from.

      Delete
    2. Completely agree with Anonymous, though, in a move that'll make me sounds like a hypocrite, I think I'd love some punk soundtrack...

      Delete
  35. You said "graphite cane pole." :) See? this is why I love you man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everybody knows I love tenkara. I also find some humor in the "controversy" that surrounds it. Moses Harrison would be proud.

      Delete
  36. hahahahahaha! This is great!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yeah, I get the Catch blowback. But how could you forget on-line flyfishing magazines in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My beef isn't with the magazines, it's more so the bloggers, tweeters, etc...that feel the need to announce their monthly arrival. I only think I read three regularly anyway. Catch is one of them.

      Delete
  38. Ok, I posted this comment on the Bonefish on the Brain blog first, but should probably put it here too since this site is the genesis of the discussion:

    Fly fishing is a declining sport. Like whitewater kayaking, monoskiing, and rollerblading, the sport reached a peak many years ago (1996 in fly fishing’s case) and has been declining consistently ever since. My sacred-cows-of-fly-fishing-that-should-be-butchered are those things that anglers revere but that in my opinion have contributed to the declining number of anglers taking part in the sport :

    1 – Fly Tying – Yes, it feels great to pry a fly you tied from the lip of a big fish and yes it can, theoretically, save you money (but, who really saves money tying their own), and yes it can be a relaxing and creative way to pass the dark days between fishing outings. But get over it. With the plethora of good, cheap, fly distributers out there in internet land these days, and the high cost of materials because of the hackle-hair craze, the opportunity cost of tying your own flies has never been greater. Put down the vise, sell the obscure and rare hackle, order 100 flies for 50 cents/per online, and spend the time and money you saved actually FISHING.

    2 – “Secret locations” or “Stream X” – I love scouring maps and google earth for those little blue lines that may or may not be my next new favorite secret fishing spot. I love being the only guy on the river and feeling like I’m the first person to discover and fish that lovely stretch chock full of big wild fish. But more than all that I love getting home and telling every single person I know about it, where it is, and where to find the fish.

    Anglers should be celebrating those places where we can still go out and catch fish. All of them. Period. Fishing is about the places, not about the fish. If it was about the fish, then we’d all be content dragging gill nets through swimming pools packed gill to gill with large fish). These places are our marketing department and the people that learn to love them often become defenders of those places (and those fish) when they are threatened.

    Some will say that advertising these “secret” places will bring the crowds and thus destroy the fishery. Hogwash. Sure, their may be an uptick in usage immediately after the “secret” spot is “discovered” and depending on how big a “secret” we’re talking about (for example a small cutthroat stream 20 miles down the trail vs a large northwest river where steelhead have been rediscovered) that uptick may be the new normal for that stretch of water. But so what? Those anglers have diverted themselves from some other stretch of water, and now that water has fewer anglers and less pressure and that secret spot now has that many more folks that can stand up at meetings, write letters, volunteer to build a better access trail, and support that sacred cow of a little fly shop in the town on the way to put-in.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 3 – Fishing the Salt – I know, I know. Wrong blog to denigrate the god that is tarbonemitcudasnook, but I’m going to do it anyway. Not denigrate the actual fun that is fishing the salt, but denigrate our sport’s (and our media’s) fascination with fishing the salt. Fishing the salt is for old, rich, white guys. There. It is the definition of expensive and inaccessible. Nobody (used loosely) learns to fly fish, and learns to love fly fishing, by chasing bones or permit in Belize or the Bahamas. Our focus on this small aspect of fly fishing is helping to kill our sport.

    I am a skier. I ski about as much as I fish (about 50-70 days a year). And skiing has a similar problem (or has had a similar problem) with helicopter skiing. Helicopter skiing and fishing the salt are much the same. You can do them on the (relatively) cheap, but for the most part they are the domain of the professional guide, the rich white guy, the sponsored athlete, or the endowed “film” maker or writer. Sure regular folks get in there too, but that is the exception, not the rule.

    Fly fishing would do itself a lot of good to get back to what made it popular in the first place. Fun fishing, close to home. Keep it simple, stupid. The arcane obscurities of fly tying, shit, of flies in general (do you really need 25 variants of a zebra midge? 101 different variants of a wooly bugger?), our current fascination with $1500/day excursions in the salt, the need to keep “secret” all the spots that still have a healthy abundance of fish–all these things are sacred cows that should be sent to the closest slaughterhouse. And maybe then will we begin to see young and new people begin to love fishing again…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the extended comment. In line with a lot with what you said. While I didn't include #1, I totally agree and it was on my original short list. Wanted to keep it to ten. I tie about 1/4 of the flies I use, mainly nymphs...and honestly don't feel any less of a fly fisher for doing such.

      Delete
    2. The rich "white guy" - ? Ooooooh K...

      Delete
    3. fly fishing the salt can definitely accessible to the boatless, money-impaired fly-fishing masses. that being said....

      i really agree with you on parts two and three. the way i see it, the glorification of distant fishing places (salt or fresh) and the reluctance to speak up about good fishing close to home are related.

      while people are slobbering over fly-porn about fishing for permit in belieze, peacocks in the amazon, or sea run browns in argentina, the creek that runs through their neighborhood used to hold bass or trout has been going downhill and is on its way to being a barren, currentless algal mat (if it isn't already). maybe there are some folks who still know of a stretch of water that holds decent fish, but they'll be damned if they'll tell anyone else about it.

      well, when that stretch no longer holds fish because of development, channelization or pollution, you've got no place to fish and nobody else gives a shit and never tried to keep it healthy because they never knew it existed. i guess the secret keepers win that one, huh?

      i understand that its good to dream of far off fishing locales, but the impression one gets from reading most fly-fishing magazines is that the only places to fish are in central/south america or some remote pacific island filled with bonefish and permit. there is plenty of fishing to be had around your hometown, and if more people knew that and started to care, we'd all have better water quality. but i guess if you can afford to drop 5 grand to jet off to a lodge in a as-yet untouched location a few times a year, then who cares?

      Delete
    4. you got it Anonymous. Agree completely.

      Delete
  40. Very interesting. I can easily relate to most of the cows mentioned, but as a very un-hip European I had to google long and hard to find what the acronym PBR means.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that. Glad you found it, but you weren't missing much. Is there a European PBR counterpart?

      Delete
  41. OK I admit I didn't read all the freaking posts here... however, I think I have something to add.. The reason that PBR is cool, and was ever cool, is because of Dennis Hopper and a film called Blue Velvet that most of you are probably to young to have heard about... Well there is a classic line in the film when Hopper's character - Frank Booth - a drugged out psycho wacko - is in a bar and th following ensues:

    Frank Booth: What kind of beer do you like?
    Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken.
    Frank Booth: [shouting] Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon! THen he hoists the blue and red can and says 'F***in PBR, baby!;'.. and everyone else looks at him like he's nuts but then sorta goes along with him... yeah, hey, great beer.. because they are too scared of offending him.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snhiofL2Rh4

    going anon just cuz it takes too long any other way..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries Anon. I actually watched that movie in college and recall that scene vividly. I had some bullshit art elective class that focused on the works of David Lynch...specifically Twin Peaks (we watched the whole season beginning to end), and also watched Blue Velvet. I honestly couldn't tell you what I learned other than Leland killed Laura Palmer.

      Delete
    2. You are a stronger man than I sitting through the entirety of Twin Peaks. There must have been some hot chicks in that class to make it worthwhile.

      Delete
    3. There were. I'll leave it at that.

      Delete
  42. You knocked this one out of the park, good sir. (And coming from a Pittsburgher, that's high praise, considering we see precious little of that at PNC Park from our Pirates)

    While I don't feel quite as strongly about DeYoung & Deeter, you made up for it in droves by including Bristol Bay (what about fracking?!) and "Support your local fly shop" that one REALLY burns me, especially when I hear people effectively say that they are allowed to treat you like crap because business if tough for them. What a load of bull.

    I'd have instantly added this tenkara nonsense to the list, right alongside the glorification of average-to-small warmwater fare (panfish & LMB), and the 'boutique gear' from 'independent manufacturers' that is of similar quality and price to the stuff from the big names.

    An odd point of oblique (dis)agreement is PBR. While I don't claim to be any sort of beer expert, I am definitely a "beer nerd" who knows the difference and significance of brettanomyces and isohumulones, and who gets paid to taste beer.

    That being said, while I'd never choose PBR over a good craft IPA, in some of the backwoods areas I fish, the bars serve ONLY Budmilloors and PBR, and compared to most other light american lagers, it's really fairly decent.

    Thanks.

    Oh! And despite what you said about us slacker bloggers, you may have just inspired me to get back into it. So you have only yourself to blame for that one. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, with that justification I respect your opinion on PBR. If I had faith that others had the same background, it might come off the list.

      Delete
    2. It is what it is, I guess. It's not fair to compare it to anything except other American lagers, and within that arena, it stands head and shoulders over Budmilloors of any variety.

      The cult following really is a bit silly, though, as there are far better brews readily available.

      Delete
  43. I too have gotten tired of the glorification of carp. Fun to fish for, can be challenging, ect, but whenever I hear "golden bones" I think you could just as easily have called them golden trash and enough with the hype.

    And fly shops... in my experience, most of them are staffed by arrogant jerks. I don't know how many times I have heard them trash their customers, mainly the poor noobs, as soon as the door shuts.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh, by the way, I think you need to set up an OBN-clave. Maybe call it the Pennsylvania Assembly of Bloggers by Sir Troutrageous!...ya know...PABST! for short...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason, I kinda like it.

      Delete
    2. Thats three. I'd imagine central PA would be perfect. Limestone for the tweed crowd, the river for smallies...

      Delete
    3. If something of the sort actually does happen, it doesn't even have to be a big deal. Pick a spot on a stream that can handle the pressure of a few extra anglers, and just let everyone know a time and place to meet.

      Handle your own food, lodging, etc.

      A message board on which I'm a regular poster has 2-4 events per year like this, and it really adds a completely new and far more personal dimension to the friendships forged through fiber optic cables.

      Delete
  45. Agreed. Everyone should stop doing GoPro that looks like GoPro. That stuff sucks... except my stuff, which is pretty awesome. (and no, I'm not being ironic).

    As for beer,the coolest kind of beer is free, don't care who else drinks it. Used to drink Icehouse when I was in JAX. Icehouse slogan: "For the real beer taste." Yeeeaaah...

    Personally, I prefer rum, but haven't been able to get Appleton Estate to sponsor me yet. Cheap bastards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A rum sponsorship would be great. That's worth looking into by many in the "industry."

      Delete
  46. People who say, when they hook a fish, "That's what I'm talking' about!!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  47. Kelly Galloup's streamers. I'd like to see his arrogant ass locked up with Bubba in a sex dungeon. He'd make a good butt monkey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While he might be a really nice guy, I gotta agree on this one. Fly fishing as a whole needs to get away from the kind of "I can be cool too!" faux-edginess that the Galloup pattern nomenclature exemplifies.

      Delete
    2. But ummm...I can..be..cool too...?

      Delete
  48. Glorious rant. Let's add overuse of Instagram. Cool filters can't make up for lousy shot composition. JGR

    ReplyDelete
  49. That Owl Jones guy. Enough already. I mean, it's like the freaking Seinfeld of blogs over there. I wish he'd just get lost in the mountains already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally can't stand that Owl Jones guy. He should just concentrate on selling poppers and leave us all alone.

      Delete
  50. Yes well Fred, take a number and get in line buddy.

    PS - I added to your list. http://www.troutrageous.com/2012/06/ten-sacred-cows-of-fly-fishing.html

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh crap. That's not the right URL. Hang on...screw it - just go to the blog. I added 10 more. Sort of. you know. whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I actually like the only fly shop I frequent. The guys are super nice and even carry spinning gear (very expensive, top-of-the-line, but still). Down to earth folk. Of course, there's no actual fly shop where I live, so folks that bitch about being able to walk into a store and sort through a couple dozen options for fly-fishing hooks (without having to click through hundreds of lo-rez-blurry pics online, place an order, try to figure out how to enter an address that simply doesn't have a ZIP code, and then wrangle with customs officials to release said property) are really just little bitches. Sorry. There are folks in this world for whom a simple fly shop is pretty near heaven, whoever's behind the counter.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ooops... I may have said too much.

    ReplyDelete
  54. In the overused word of another famous fishing blogger "Classic!" Having only been fly fishing for 6 years, I am getting feed up with many of the scared cows.

    I made a "tongue in check" comment about the fly fishing fascination with PBR on another blog and was politely dismissed for not being with the program.

    Yes, I'm one of those bloggers that is posting less frequently but truly enjoy the online fishing community. Generally speaking, the interaction and dialog is supportive and positive. T! is one of those places that always puts a smile on your face.

    I do enjoy tying flies, sharing them with friends and do want to catch a carp on the fly. My local fly shop is fantastic and I will continue to support it whenever possible.

    Give it another 6 years and I'm sure the attitude will change. BTW, if you truly live on the East Coast, fishing the salt is just as easy/inexpensive as fishing the local ponds and streams.

    Signed,
    One broke old white guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good perspective GC, glad we're in agreement on most things. Where we're not, you're clearly wrong. :)

      Delete
  55. wow. don't think there is much to add... I guess maybe Erin from Mysteries Internal. She pretty much misses the mark with each of her posts. I still haven't figured out why she is popular :) Great post and fun to read the diverse commentary. Excellent work, good sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mysteries Internal was number 11. I mean where does she get off writing like real stuff that I actually have to think about when I read?

      Delete
    2. That lady has a lot of words. A lot. Of course, so did Singlebarbed, but he mixed his up so's you weren't sucked into anything so mundane as a narrative... or a sentence.

      Delete
  56. This is awesome. Smart, funny, ballsy post. Thx to Tom at T.U. for the link. (Tom, we've had our differences, but you find and link to some great shit--like this. Plus your last piece in California Fly Fisher was killer.)

    Troutrageous--it's not necessarily your "list" that I enjoyed so much, it's your comments. "Can I interest you in a rotary phone for $2,300?" That's funny shit.

    My three favorite comments:

    1) That a guy calling himself "Gin Clear" would call ANOTHER phrase "overused"

    2) Anonymous using the phrase "in the film's beard"

    3) That 3d3vart calls the entire ocean "inaccessible." Maybe saltwater seems inaccessible to him because he thinks it costs "$1500/day". Are you solo-chartering marlin boats off the coast of Africa?

    My three additions to the Sacred Cow list:

    1) April Vokey. I got nothing against the girl herself, but I can't imagine any industry's media stumbling over each other more unless Outside magazine and Men's Journal were to simultaneously discover that Lance Armstrong and Laird Hamilton were dating.

    2) The sanctity of "native" fish. The upper middle west branch of the Luckisuckimuckimute River has a threatened population of semi-spotted brookies. Fine. But Humpback Chub and Razerback Sucker? Sorry, can't say that I care. Let's remember: WE aren't native either, so lets not get too wrapped up in it. West coast steelhead are worth fighting for, but logical extensions of some native fish arguments would have us removing every bass and brown trout in the country. As David James Duncan so famously said "Judging by the history of most natives I've known, the biggest difference between the born here's and the newcomers is that the born here's have had more time to turn the native landscape into an unnatural, non-native place."

    3) Felt Soul Media. Seriously, can't ANYone say something bad about these guys? I mean, they're not THAT great. Do you know that they are currently making a movie about dam removal? You know what that means—goodbye tailwaters! Thanks a lot, Felt Soul!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Apparently Tom Bie has been getting "quid pro quo" trips for the Drake for so long that he's become blind to how expensive a trip to Andros, Acscension, Los Roques, or any other of those awesome locations really is. "inaccesible"...no. "much less accessible than most anything else out there"...yes. Keep up the good work Bie and come fish with the common man again someday soon.

      Delete
    2. "....You know what that means—goodbye tailwaters! Thanks a lot, Felt Soul!"

      Shit, I've missed such an obvious flaw in the dam removal logic. I've gotta go update my manifesto.

      Delete
    3. Tom, if you're dishing out compliments..."smart, funny, ballsy"...thanks. I've used all my wit and sarcasm on this post, so I'll leave things there.

      Delete
    4. I am both humbled and honored to be called out by Mr. Bie. I have great respect for your creativity and originality with the Drake. Gin Clear is just a moniker I picked when the blog was created a little over a year ago about my new interest in the sport and the generally supportive online community around it. The name was chosen because it represented a state of clarity and pureness in addition to its overuse in the fly fishing community. Thank you sir for your recognition!

      Oh yeah, when is my latest edition of The Drake arriving in the mail?

      Delete
    5. There's only three points here that I have a strong reaction to either way:

      1) Saltwater fishing becomes increasingly expensive the farther you live from it, and the less flexible your 'real life' away from the stream. For a guy that can throw a 9wt in his vehicle and be knee deep in saltwater within a few hours, it's dirt cheap. For our father/mother of 4 in Iowa, in all likelihood it's nothing more than a dream, as you're looking at airfare, lodging, food, guide, and probably at least a week away from the job and family.

      Just because salt isn't especially exotic to someone working "in the industry" doesn't mean it is so for everyone.

      This goes for any remote destination: within 6 months, I will have a friend living in Nelson, New Zealand, who has already told me to come visit once they're settled in. For the trout fishing there, I'd be confident going sans guide, so my only expenses would be travel and food. Yikes...minimum of $2,200 in airface, just to get me there and back...

      2) April Vokey: you got this one perfectly. I think she's doing a great thing and have nothing at all against her, it's just the "fanboys" that tend to either amuse me or creep me out.

      3) Native fish: here, I've got to disagree. Just because a native fish isn't a favorite fish, or the most glamorous/hard-fighting/good-eating/pretty/etc. doesn't mean that it isn't important.

      To contrast it with the "eradicate all brown trout" argument, if you take Mr. Bie's position to it's logical extension, why not just stock snakehead everywhere and get it over with?

      I feel that, as someone who truly loves my local natural environment, that it's my responsibility to minimize human impact on natural areas. For some, this is simply a matter of practicing leave-no-trace, for others, it involves stream cleanups, and for others it involves large-scale activism, campaigning for dam removal, bounties on invasives, etc.

      This all being said, I'd like to thank Mike for starting such a widespread, long lasting, CIVIL discussion!

      Delete
  57. Sacred Cow #69: When you get a photo in a fly fishing rag, you have to hold a trout like its Dirk Diggler's San Juan worm near your center of gravity, with back arched, and trout lips gaping. This seems to be the standard these days. The true way to hold a large trout for a photo is to hold it like a machine gun, think Steve Harris the bass player from Iron Maiden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as your not stretching your arm out to get the fish as close to the camera lens as friggin' possible to make it (& and your hand look giganto), carry on how you'd like. Good use of Iron Maiden BTW.

      Delete
  58. Interesting post, I agree with what was said, and a lot more. A few days ago I did a similar post, but a bit more all-encompassing. Been fishing since Eisenhower's administration, and get weary of the attitude that's existed for the past decade or so. Oh well, us geezers will be gone in a few years...
    Cheers,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, checked out your blog and post today. Good read. Here's the link should anyone be interested...

      http://memoirsofacardiopulmonaryguy.blogspot.com/2012/05/fishing-as-fun-or-dont-expect-miracle.html

      Delete
  59. ...more sacred cows....

    BRIAN O"KEEFE

    The fake "Trout Bum" attitude - the Drake, fly fishing equipment ads, etc.

    HDR process photos - super saturated, other-worldly, over-processed picts.

    Grip-N-Grin fish porn photos...especially with Brian O'Keefe.

    Fly fishing films - see Trout Bum, HDR photos, grip-n-grin, Brian O'Keefe.

    Equipment reviews that never have anything negative to say about a product.

    All the online fly fishing magazine/journals that look the same, write about the same stuff, write about the same places, etc. There aren't that many people who can produce a good fly fishing magazine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

      Though I wound'nt call out O'Keefe specifically, in general, I couldn't agree more.

      The ridiculous HDR is particularly vexxing, as it amounts to a post-processing mistake. When HDR is done right, you shouldn't be able to tell.

      Delete
  60. As an OBN admin, I'll remain neutral to the fly fishing commentary (but may comment under a more personal/fly fishing related account at a later time)but figured I should defend the OBN/networking/get together or lack of..

    Every week I invest exactly 2 dollars into the local powerball lottery. Just as soon as my numbers come up and I hit the big one, I hereby promise to fund a national get together!

    And maybe I'll buy everyone a rotary phone as a bonus.

    In the meantime, I need my pocket change for fly fishing excursions. I'm sorta selfish that way =)
    Rebecca

    Some day...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel the need to defend. Pretty much all of us are indefensible. We're all sheep. Just name a time & place and we'll appear, no lottery dough necessary.

      Delete
  61. I'm late to the party. I blame night shifts. Good post, good comments...except that total hater. That guy needs to chill with a PBR or five.

    Mine: the "Oh, it's just being out is what matters" type of people (and style of writing).

    If you seriously don't give a rat's ass whether you catch a fish or not, go feed pigeons & get out of the run/pool/flat/etc. I enjoy being out there, too. But if I'm waving a rod back & forth, you better f**king believe it's to catch fish

    ReplyDelete
  62. Tom McGuane, a major "moo". I slogged through "92 in the Shade", a Hunter Thompson wannabe mountain of gibberish, and tried to enjoy "The Longest Silence". Talk about pretentious. Give me Gierach anytime. "Never use a big word when a little one will do".
    Cliff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, big words scare you... no check that, make you angry. I'd say that's much less McGuane's problem than yours. As for The Longest Silence, it stays sacred, mate.

      Delete
    2. Exactly the pretentious nonsense I was talking about. "I use big words, therefor I am smarter than you". Get over yourself dude. And since we're talkin' about "havein' a set" how about signing the post.
      Cliff

      Delete
    3. Just because a word is big does not mean that it is unnecessary or overkill. Rather than criticizing an author for using big words, why not step-up your vocabulary and learn what the words mean?

      PS. The dude links his SITE with every comment. If that doesn't count for more than posting as "Anonymous, Signed, Cliff" I don't know what does.

      Delete
  63. I've got to add trucker hats, buffs and holding your fly rod on your mouth for grip and grins! Leave the PBR's out if this;) That shit's more like the holy water than the sacred cow.

    ReplyDelete
  64. How about $400 Yeti coolers... why in the world is a $25 Igloo or Rubbermaid cooler not good enough? sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Bummed I missed this post T! As one of the guys pimping the carp revolution I have to actually agree that it does really suck. My water is getting crowded, my fish are getting educated. On the bright side I finally have people to talk carp with besides the voices in my head. They asked me to tell you great post by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I've read every comment (yes my eyes are tired). This has been a great post and even greater discussion. I also regret that I arrived at this party so late.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'm also bummed that I arrived at this party so late. Great post, great comments. The majority of them I agree with though not all. Ain't America grand?

    As for me:
    PBR and purists that snub those of us that were raised by fathers as gear-chuckers. Yes I now prefer the fly but there are times when a spinning rod can prove more efficient.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Fortunately I flail a 4wt, so my blog is good to go.


    Right?

    Glorious stuff man, loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Oh god, this was hilarious to read. I think all of us in the fly fishing world tend to take ourselves too seriously at times and it is good to be able to sit back and laugh at what we know we do but fail to admit. Thanks for the laugh sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks...the comments are probably as good if not better than the post!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Tenkara Angler: Spring 2017

Cool Stuff: New Blogger Themes!

The 5 Best Tenkara Rods?

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak

The #KICKPLASTIC Fly Box