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> > Are we extraordinary individualists?

FalsiflyNovember 5th, 2009, 11:32 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
Individualism is what makes fly fishing so personal.

I picked up this is quote from Wbranch, because it got me to thinking. I know this could be dangerous. Anyway, Iím just wondering how many of you, like me, prefer to fish alone. Now donít get me wrong, I have tutored, guided, fished with friends, and enjoyed immensely my sonís company on the water, and Iíve loved every minute of it. But, I feel that my most enjoyable time spent on the water has been when Iím absolutely alone. Do those of us who feel that fly fishing is in our blood, those of us who place our time spent fly fishing right up there at or near the top of the list, do we embrace fly fishing because we have an extraordinary sense of individualism, maybe even approaching introversion?
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
OldredbarnNovember 5th, 2009, 2:09 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

Maybe we fish alone because we are afraid that someone will see just how poorly we cast! Just kidding.

I use to have a real problem with others on the river. It was almost primative at times...Territorial...I have mellowed a great deal but I had to work on it. A friend of mine teased me until I saw the error of my ways...He was funny and he was right which made me finally cool it.

I would sit in a spot, waiting for the evening rise, and felt that no one should bother me at all x-amount of yards in either direction. If anyone invaded that space it upset me. I never really confronted them but I wasn't my normal everyday friendly self. We would need a shrink probably to explain this to us. Or an anthropologist.

When I was at first confronted with this weirdness by my friend I tried to defend myself with horror stories about bad etiquette on the part of others and how I had busted brush and ruined waders by hiking through the woods to give them their space and no one seemed to return the favor etc.

I actually used to justify it with fancy phrases like, "Pissing along the periphery" etc...I was just marking my territory...Protecting my space etc.

After my friend had tried to straighten me out it all came to a head one day on the Mainstream of the Au Sable in the so-called "Holy Water". It was in July I think and it was a beautifully overcast gray sky and the Little-Slated Winged Olives (E. or now D. lata) were just starting to show. Then they started to roll off and I had feeding fish everywhere...I mean everywhere...I say this because in a situation of plenty I should of been in a mood to share.

I wasn't!

It was one of those moments we dream of where we find ourselves in the right spot at the right time and I had the right flies. I waded downstream a few steps at a time and was hooking fish on either side of me. I happen to turn around and looked upstream and way up there I saw an angler. I mean way up there. Truely no where near me in the least.

I kept fishing and releasing fish after fish and every so often I would look back and it seemed like this angler was getting closer to me. This went on for sometime until I was looking around quite a bit and started to talk to myself about it. "What the hell! This guy is breathing down my neck, pushing me downstream! Isn't he catching any fish? He shouldn't be moving that fast, etc."

I actually started to catch fish and aim my back upstream and release the fish as quickly as I could and try to not let him see I was catching fish. I finally decide that there was a place coming up downstream where the river narrowed. I loved to fish that deep narrow run. I decided to get to the top of that run and keep my back upstream and force the guy to get out and hike around me and he would get back in downstream from where I wanted to fish and I would be happy again.

I planted myself and tried to ignore the feeding fish around me wishing that this guy would just go away. I turned around hoping to see him gone and he was practically right there on top of me sitting on a log having a smoke. Damn!

I decided to walk right up to the guy and maybe he will just get by me and this will all be over. I waded back upstream towards him and when I got to within speaking range I greeted him, "Hey! How's it going?" He said that it wasn't going so good and he wasn't catching any fish...Had borrowed a rod from a local fly shop...Just trying it out etc...

I couldn't help myself and said, "What ya using?" "I don't know" he said, "Something they sold me at the shop...I think it's a Deerfly or something..." He had this big honking fly on that looked nothing like anything on the water that day and I thought to myself, "Man! They saw you coming!" I was still a little uptight and feeling a tad bit aggressive and reached up and grabbed a fly from the air and held out my open palm and practically shouted at the poor guy, "This is what they are feeding on!"

He squinted in to my hand and pulled out a little container that had the shop flies in it and said, "Are there any of those in here? I don't seem to have anything that small."

It was just at this moment where I finally saw myself for the elistist pig that I had become. This guy seemed nice enough. He's just trying to enjoy himself here and flailing around like I had myself years ago...He's not hurting anyone Spence! Lighten up man!

We talked a bit and I opened my fly box and swore him to secrecy and told him to hold out his hand. I placed a few flies in to his hand and said, "Here. Try these. They should get you down to the bridge."

Off he went and I went back to the fish. The hatch finally petered out and I worked my way downstream. I thought for a moment about fishing back upstream to where I had left the car, but decided to continue on down to the bridge...There were a couple nice spots between where I was and there and hiking back up the road was easier than wading upstream.

I finally made it down to the bridge and was stepping out of the water when this guy came walking up to me with his girlfriend. She was to meet him at the bridge at a set time and they had decided to wait and see if I needed a ride back up to my car. They had waited there some time for me. I accepted the ride and have been a changed man ever since.

Now Allan, I'm not sure if that was your question or where you thought this thread might lead, but there it is...I fish alone because no one can stand fishing with such a Grizzley Bear...Just kidding.


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
StrmfshrNovember 5th, 2009, 5:11 pm
Posts: 12
so did your student catch fish?

i like going on a trip with a good friend. but when the line hits the water i don't want him anywhere around. i have fished with him many times. he always seems to be a half step ahead of me. i think he is just a little more ego driven than me. part of the experience to me is the solitude. but then again i will concede that i am a type b personality. to call me an introvert wouldn't be that much of a stretch. i feel more connected to the stream when i fish alone.

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