Delaware River Club

View Poll Results: What is flyfishing to you?

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  • An art

    12 9.16%
  • A craft

    7 5.34%
  • A sport

    17 12.98%
  • An art, a craft, and a sport!

    92 70.23%
  • It's not an art, it requires no skill, and people who fly fish are pompous, purist bastards.

    10 7.63%
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Thread: Fly Fishing!

  1. #1
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    Fly Fishing!

    Is fly fishing an Art or a Sport? Is there a science involved? Well, let's break it down to such sections starting with the Sport.

    Fly Fishing, The Sport

    Why is Fly fishing a sport? It's a sport because you are out to achieve a goal. The goal is to trick the other players, the fish, into taking your fly. You're outside performing an activety which requires interaction with other players, once again, the fish.

    The sport also requires skill. The skill starts with the player, you, and extends out from a line from a reel to a rod, a tippet, and a fly. You must guide your fly to the correct location to score your goal. Just like Golf, Tennis, or Football, you're out there to win. Winning by outsmarting your opponent.

    The Science

    Fly fishing is a science for a few reasons. Science is the study of all living and non living things. There is a science to all that is and all that will ever be. In fly fishing, the science extends to quite a few topics.

    1. Matching the Hatch.

    a. A brief summary of matching the hatch is figuring out what
    your goal is eating at the present time. It also includes
    trying to figure out what your trout may be eating at a future
    time while you plan your trip.
    b. Entomology is the study of insects. One can be a better fly
    fisherman if he is familiar with what is and what will be
    hatching at any given time. This will help the fly fisherman
    better determine what is on the fish's dinner plate.
    c. Knowing the general times (morning / evening / night) for
    a specific hatch is also part of Matching the Hatch.

    2. Rod types and sizes. Knowing that you're going to be fishing
    a smal stream with wild 10" brookies would constitute
    bringing with you nothing more than a lite 4wt rod. If you're
    going to be fishing a larger stream which holds larger fish or
    even smaller fish which require you to cast 60ft to get to, would
    consitute using a larger rod, maybe in the 5-6 wt
    range. Some may argue that the rod must be able to
    handle larger fly's. You certainly wouldn't use a 2wt rod to
    deliver your size 10 Quill Gordon 50 ft away whereas a 5wt rod
    would have no problem (from a person who is articulate and
    experienced enough to do such a thing).

    3. Once you have your Rod right, you will need a fly line.
    Different lines harbor different results. Some sink, some float,
    some claim to cast further than others. Scientific studies
    show that white lines are not that good because trout have
    the best chance at seeing them. Not only that, they are
    harder to see on the water.

    4. Your leaders. I use a braided leader, others use formulas to
    create their own leaders. Some roll over smoother than
    others, some absorb more water or absorb water quicker
    than others. Some are long, some are short. Some present
    your fly to your goal more delicately allowing your fly to float
    to the water like a leaf falling gracefully out of a tree while
    others have a tendency to slap your fly onto the water create-
    ing a small splash..

    5. Tippets. Depending on the fish you'll be catching and the fly
    you'll be using to catch them, they can be from a 1x - 12x. I
    personally use between 5x - 9x. This depends on the type
    of fish you're after. Maybe they're wild 10" browns or stocked
    holdovers in the 14" range. A 7x tippet is sufficient in most
    situations. I find that using 5x - 6x in the Spring and fall to
    be perfect. For smaller fly's (BWO) a 7x - 9x is good. Summer
    fishing on the Beaverkill while the water temps are below 70,
    normally require a 7x or smaller tippet.

    6. River conditions. Scientifically, trout start dying when the
    water temp reaches approximately 72-74 degrees. You
    shouldn't fish for trout under these conditions nor should you
    fish for trout when the water is 71. 70 is a good cut off point
    although even at 70, you should practice bringing the fish in
    and releasing it as soon as possible.

    7. Reading the river. Knowing how to read a river requires a
    a skill. YES, A SKILL. This is part of the Sport. Just like know-
    ing the wind direction when playing golf. You'll never get
    on the green for the simple fact that you can hit the ball and
    choose the right ball and club to do it with. Like golf, you'll
    never catch a trout if you don't know where they are. Sure
    many anglers get lucky, but that's all it is, luck.

    ...and those, ladies and gentlemen, are a few of the reason that flyfishing is a scientific sport. I may have left a few out, if you care
    to add to this, please be my guest and do so.

    Fly Fishing, The Art!

    Tying your Flies
    What is art. Art is creating a painting, art is creating music... Why can't tying fly's out of natural materials or even non natural materials be an art? Well, it can be. Just like a painter, it requires a skill. Not everyone can tie a fly. Some are big, some are small. Fly tying is just like creating a painting. You're sitting down in your room creating something out of materials. You're in another world. You're concentrating on something that makes you feel good about yourself, about your life, and about your passion. Some fly's are original while others are creations from your deapest thoughts. Like a rock star, What will the fans like, what will He like, He/She put's their emotions into their music? Like a painter, What will he/she like, what makes him/her happy, what makes him/her sad? All of that is painted onto a canvas. Tying flies makes us happy and it makes us think. It makes us wonder. Each fly has our own special signature on it. Ever trash a fly and start over? I do all the time. Don't you think a song writer does this with his lyrics / music? Doesn't an artist do this with a painting that's not satisfying to him/her? Is Fly tying a Craft? Well, Websters definition of "craft" is, "an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill"... Sure as hell is a craft if you ask me... There's nothing wrong with that. "REQUIRING MANUAL DEXTERITY OR ARTISTIC SKILL".

    Whipping that fly line around
    You're out on a large river; just you, the mountains, the trees, the water, the fish, your fly, the hatch. How relaxing. More relaxing to me that chucking bait with a bobber and waiting for a bite while sitting on a bank with a beer. But if that's how you enjoy yourself, and if that's what fishing is to you, than so be it. Flyfishing is something different for me and the 6 million other fly fishermen in the USA (That's right, we're 6 million strong). While on the river, you're not whipping that line around, you're casting a line in what ever way you think will present your fly to a fish on a silver platter. That's the only way he'll rise to it or even look at it. Reach Cast, Puddle cast, whatever cast you choose, there's an art to it. Some may be able to learn it easy, some may never be able to learn it. This is afterall, and art. When it comes to flyfishing, it looks great when a painter paints the scene about it, it looks good when someone writes a movie with a soundtrack to it, and it feels even better to be the one doing it! It's even great when reading about someone elses flyfishing experiences.

    Is Flyfishing an art to everyone? Apparently not. If not, then why bother? What are you flyfishing for? It doesn't make you feel good, it doesn't make you happy, it doesn't paint something in your memory, then why bother? Are you fishing because you're good at it for some unknown reason and you're trying to impress someone with your style? If this is why you flyfish, than that's ok... The people watching you think you're very artistic. Sorry! Who knows, but it is an Art no matter how you look at it.

    Similar Threads:

  2. #2
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    Yeah, good description Dennis......I guess all fishing can be described as an art, science and sport. Anyway....tight lines guys!!


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    Another view

    Thanks for the time and effort put forth to produce the post on the art and science of fly fishing.

    Hoping you will not think me a contrarian, I would like to put forth another view for consideration. I have spent the last 41 years fly fishing. During that time I have learned to match the hatch, keep the loop tight, throw every other type of cast described in America Angler, tie fine looking flies, build effective fly rods and acquired enough “equipment” to outfit a small sized club. When I was new to the sport,I “believed” I was participating in a “higher” form of angling. I looked with myopic disdain upon the “worm dunkers.” I viewed myself as an “artist” utilizing my “scientific” mind to outwit a few brookies. I liked that view.

    Time has tempered my attitude. I have come to realize that I fly fish because I like it. That time spent on the stream, in front of the tying bench and before the rod lathe brings me peace and a bit of serenity. The same peace and serenity I felt when I chucked bait and limited out on salmon eggs. Fly fishing and all its related activities are simply things I do. I can throw a tight loop and I can run 5 miles, I can tie a “perfect” Adams and I can build a deck, I can craft an exquisite 4 wt. Rod and I can create a garden that is beautiful in form and function - each of these are simply thing I learned because I spent time at them. Art? Science? Hardly !!! Simply the result of spending time doing these things at the expense of something else.

    Fly fishing is a simple pastime that offers great rewards. Some would make it complex, some would try to elevate what boils down to the application of a few physical and observational skills into a highly refined artistic endeavor steeped in philosophy and offering the answer to the elusive “meaning of life.” To that, I say hogwash!

    Chuck metal, dunk a worm, cast a fly - different forms of the same thing – a past time we call fishing that allows us to enjoy the moment while on the stream.
    .
    Thanks for taking the time to read this piece of opinionated prose.


  4. #4
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    I always carry a clicker with me to keep my tally accurate. After each catch, I click it. This way when someone approaches me and says, "How'd you do", I simply show them my clicker and ask in return, "how bout you."

    For me it's about showing off. I like to make sure I always catch two or three times as many fish as the guy next to me. While I have a fish on, I will turn to everyone in the area and snarl at them. I'll give them my evil smile, you know the one that says, "Look, I've got another one, you poor bastard." When they ask what I'm using, I'll tell them I'm using a size 22 bwo when in fact I'm really using a 16 PMD.


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    *LOL* I believe that's called "fishing to intimidate"!

    Shawn


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    Geez, Dennis I'm kinda dissapointed in you. As someone who's usually up to date with the latest technology I thought for sure you'ld have the Streamside Monitor from Streamside Companion Inc.
    It's a nifty little device with a 3 1/2 by 4 inch LCD full color touch screen that allows you to record not only numbers of fish but length, girth, weight and species as well. Totally indispensable piece of equipment for an arrogant egotistical angler such as myself. I hear they're working on an upgraded model that'll record time and date as well with a 5 year memory capacity.
    Remember, that's Streamside Companion Inc, the same company that offered the worlds first combination Guide/Escort service for the discriminating angler.


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    If they've got a model that comes with a built-in GPS to record long / lat then I've got to get me one o' them thangs!


    Shawn


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    Dennis, I'm surprised you don't yell out at the top of your lungs, something like "In your face, Orvis boys" when you land one.

    Bruce


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    Gentlemen:
    You are all quite articulate AND funny tonight. The shock may not wear off until tomorrow!!!!
    OMC

    "Not all those who wander are lost."

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    Talking Re: Fly Fishing!

    Dennis:

    How the hell are you, long time no hear. Any way, do you mean my wet flies are an art I always thought they were. Some of us tie for all sorts of reasons and me it's to fish with and also as a art. You know old throw backs like me need to keep those newer to intermediate tyers always reminded of the old times. To me I am always regressing back to old flies and old fishing ways. Like I have said before I have found my Niche in this sport, science, art and hobby like you have. Nice post and glad I finally had a time to post in awhile.

    Andy B


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    Re: Fly Fishing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy B View Post
    Dennis:

    How the hell are you, long time no hear. Any way, do you mean my wet flies are an art I always thought they were. Some of us tie for all sorts of reasons and me it's to fish with and also as a art. You know old throw backs like me need to keep those newer to intermediate tyers always reminded of the old times. To me I am always regressing back to old flies and old fishing ways. Like I have said before I have found my Niche in this sport, science, art and hobby like you have. Nice post and glad I finally had a time to post in awhile.

    Andy B
    Hmmmm... The Dentist skrewed up 4 of my teeth, to top it off, I bit into an olive pit yesterday and one of my other teeth fell apart. My car needs more work, and.... awe hell... I'm doing ok! How bout yourself!

    Yeah, I think that if you're not tying in bulk, and enjoying your tying and being creative, then it's an art. If you're tying to earn a buck on each dozen you sell, then I'd have to say that the art is more or less taken out of it and it's now a cookie cutter. There are guys like yourself who sit back and look at each fly they tie to make sure it's perfect or at least as close to perfect as it's going to get. Then like Picaso, you see something wrong, put it back in the vise, and fix it. I don't tie much, but when I do tie, I like my flies to be perfect (at least to my own specifications). If a fly looks ugly, I'll take the exacto knife to it and start over.

    Anyhow, there are some who say it's a craft. I suppose to some it can be, but for the creative non-cookie cutter bulk types, there is an artistic skill involved.

    System Admin and fly fishing extraordinaire: Dennis Cabarle

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    Re: Fly Fishing!

    I would say "Fly FIshing" is a sport. Now, fly tying, fly casting...thats a completely different poll!

    --FT
    Nothing grows faster than a fish between the time the fish takes your fly...and the time he gets away.

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