Tuesday, May 5, 2009


What is it they say? Opinions are like ... what is it now?

Don't worry. Mama taught her son better than to curse in a public forum. We'll keep it "G" rated (here comes the trite, rhyming innuendo).

Bass-poles. Yup. That's it. Opinions are like bass-poles. Everybody's got one.

Flyfishermen (many of whom have bass-poles, some of whom are bass-poles) are full of opinions. Which rod, reel, wader, line, tippet, vest, boot, nipper is best? Ask and you'll get an answer. It will usually be a long, detailed diatribe in which the angler extols the virtues of his or her gear and derides the failings of your outfit. Freshwater or saltwater? Bass or trout? East coast or west coast? Everyone has an opinion, and sometimes we appreciate the thoughts of our fellow anglers.

What's the best substitute for florican bustard? Like Porsche, there is no substitute.

If you had only two days in Bozeman, where would you fish? Heck with fishin', the Walmart RV park is where it's at.

What's the best way to shimmy out of a pair of Simms G3s when Mother Nature comes calling? Given your height, weight and expected bladder volume, you won't make it in time. Drop the lip eight inches, quickly calculate arc and trajectory and fire your mortar over the top (I refuse to believe I'm the only one to have done this).

At other times, the opinions of our fellow anglers are simply noisome. What could be worse than casting to an exceptionally large, rising fish, while your friend (who just caught a large fish himself) shouts instruction from shore? You're rattled as it is. You saw the size of the snout poking out of the water, and now your hands shake as you prep your leader and tie on your fly. You get into a rhythm hoping to manage a decent drift, and at this most excellent moment Bozo begins to channel Curt Gowdy and vociferously quote Joan Wulff's casting video.

Great. Just great. Freakin’ bass-pole.

The scenario I've described is anecdotal. It happened only two days ago. I must admit, however, that contrary to what you're likely thinking I'm the backseat driver. I stung a gorgeous twenty-two inch brown, and after shooting a couple pictures, worked my way back to shore for the sake of warming up a bit. Ben, who lacks about 100 pounds of my natural insulation, remained in the water casting to another gulper, which would likely have matched my fish's size. Such a brown would no doubt have been one of his largest on a fly rod.

And the moment never came. Sure, Ben came close. A couple of looks. A couple of nudges. It just didn't happen though, and I feel responsible. I couldn't keep my mouth shut as Ben shivered away in the kind of water that makes one's testicles recede into one's chest cavity. I couldn't keep my mouth shut, and if Ben was rattled at all then it was my fault. I've likely earned 20 years in piscatorial purgatory.

So, today's blog entry is my apology. Ben, I'm sorry. I owe you a six-pack of that expensive and trendy, twenty-hour IPA you drink. I've a big mouth, and I'm sorry. There, I said what I had to say, and now I feel better.

I should mention that the picture of the brown trout, which accompanies this entry, portrays the fish I caught that day. It took a rusty spinner after only two or three casts, and came to net rather easily. Made for a nice day.


anglersflybox.com said...

Great post, my wife was laughing hystericaly. Nice trout and rod by the way.

Anonymous said...

Mike, Its all good- That's a 60 Minute IPA by Dogfishhead Brewers...