Help! Here comes another would-be fly fisherman. Of the forms of sport angling, “Angling with the Fly”, is the oldest. Dear old Dame Julianne started this ruckus about 700 years age; thanks, Julie. There were even Yuppies back in the ancient times that didn’t want to get their hands dirty with nasty, stinky, worms, maggots, crickets, chicken livers, old kielbasa, and rancid bacon; I don’t blame ‘em. Besides, food stuffs were hard enough to come by, so waste not, want not; right? You could probably trade a slab of bacon for the best-looking peasant girl in the village and use her for bait after a couple of years—a win-win proposition.
Anyway, fly guys are still up to their old “wannabe ways”. Sports come flying down here with high hopes and dreams of the TV "styling catches". “How’s the tarpon fishing this time a-year?” Now I don’t wanta rain on anybody’s parade, but you best go to boot camp then pick up a special weapon qualification and, after your first tour incountry, head down to fly fish Southwest Florida, or any place else where you have to “know how to cast”!
Dudes spend a three-day weekend at a high-tone fly fishing school—“No-Name Graphite, Big Guy Fishing Camp“ or such—and get all fired up as the coaches pamper and encourage them with their fantastic progress: “Why you’re fit and ready for combat”. Or, “One of the best students I ever had”. That’ll be $3500 dollars cash, check, or credit card. For $3500 bucks, what else are they gonna say?
In a nutshell, fly casting is a skill that needs to be honed over years of practice and constant analysis to attain skills and to maintain those skills. You need to learn to work with the myriad of different styles of gear and many facets of just plain old casting under different conditions. Sorry, sport; no excuses!
Generally the very average fly guy on vacation is a busy bee back home, multitasking some business that is always in trouble or growing too fast or taking his kids to baton twirling practice or whatever; that old dusty $400 fly rod tends to just sit there.
As I’ve written before you’ve gotta “Learn to Love It”. Some fly guys demean pond fishing for bluegill and such; they just don’t get it or LOVE IT!
A “gill” on a rubber sponge spider fly is about as big a thrill to most-dyed-in the-dubbing fly addict as a tarpon on those rare getaway occasions. Fly fishing is an avocation distinct from other angling, in that the artful cast can be as rewarding as the artful catch. Now that’s a stretch, but in the case of fly fishers, we "ham and egger" spin fishers will let it slide.
True lovers of the fly will go to local urban park ponds and stretch their weight forward 9 lines and put a bend in their $400 snook buster rods. There is a romantic, almost orgasmic-ness in the satisfaction of a well-executed double haul, 60 ft. cast, between the lily pads.
Don’t tell mom you’d rather fish the pond than go to the mall, she’ll get jealous and run your rod over on her way out! OK! So now you need to choose between your lousy golf games, shopping with mom or taking your daughter to baton twirling lessons; be a man, go fly fishing, they’ll respect you more for it! Besides if you get divorced you’ll have more time to practice casting and find a girl who likes to fly fish too. Scout the local ponds for bluegills and fisher babes!
Hold it now, let’s not get carried away. Please, just practice casting before you call me or one of the other hotshots here in Southwest Florida. We’ve got the gear and it ain’t brain surgery! Most hunters go to the range and sight-in their rifle before a hunt, golfers go to the driving range, fly guys need to go to the local pond, creek or lake and take the wrinkles outta in their casting.
Don’t expect to rule the world of angling right awa; remember you "fighten city hall" guys. Bring worms, shrimp or minnows and a bobber for backup.
See you on the water, if you’re still talkin’ to me
Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312
PS: We've got plenty of easy-boy fly water for your enjoyment, come on down get your stick bent! "Never worry it's a sign a weakness"!