Have you ever gotten "the look"? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Have you ever gotten "the look"?

Dble Haul
05-19-2004, 01:02 PM
You know what I mean....when you're flyfishing, and someone with conventional gear looks at you like you're from Mars. I've actually had people shake their heads at me while they caught fish with other methods and I continued to catch nothing on the fly. It's as if they see the flyrod as a handicap.

But then there are the times when the fly is the most productive method, and I'm catching fish while others don't.

As often as possible, I try to take these opportunities to answer any questions folks may have about what I'm doing. Heck, there are sooooo many anglers out there who are baffled by the fact that you can catch more than just trout on a flyrod. Most of the time if I'm catching and others aren't, that's when the questions start. And the usual comments about it looking like it's too hard, or not having the money to invest in more gear, etc. only provide more opportunities to quel some myths.

But overall, when you're fishing next to folks with conventional gear, do you sometimes feel the eyes on you? Sometimes I'm so entrenched in the fishing that I really don't notice anyone else is there.

05-19-2004, 01:20 PM
I can recall maybe once or twice, but there is the great equalizer - the words "fish on". :smokin:

Seriously, I always try to spark up conversation to enjoy the similarities. We are both outdoorsmen out there seeking gratification, escape, a wild experience in this concrete-lined transistorized cultural eccentrocity we call a society.

On the river I have walked the spawning channels without a rod to see how bright males interact with ripe hens and kyped fighting makes, and how the trout take advantage of opaque egs in the current. I key on their aggression, he keys on their focus on roe.

On the beach and flats I think about herring runs, study sand eel habits, and play the bunker bloom in fall; so does he. But I imitate them, he utilizes them. We choose two ways of seeing the same water, IMHO for personal satisfaction.

I don't enjoy bait fishing any more than a dyed-in-the-wool live-liner or roe-slinger would have any interest in using my buggy whip for the day. But we are both hardcore in our own way and share the water, some laughs and a fish here and there.

It's all good as long as we each enjoy the day.


Sharp Steelie
05-19-2004, 02:08 PM
Sure - gotten lots of "looks". The funny thing is
have had a lot more success with a fly rod than
ever did gear fishing in the past. Since the first
day I tried a fly rod for Steelhead have never
looked back. Managed to convert some gear guys
to fly fishing - quite a few in the last few years.
That was really cool! Hope to convert some more
this year. Fly fishing is such a wonderful sport!


05-19-2004, 02:16 PM
The very first time I used a fly rod for saltwater, I was fishing (or should I say, trying to fish) the basin at the north end of Plum Island near Newburyport. My casting was way off, as I was trying to get the feel of my new Sage 9wt and how to use a stripping basket. This guy comes over and proceeds to stare at me from the adjoining beech; after awhile I decided to vent my frustration at him a little and asked the proverbial "what are you staring at?". He explained that he was a long-time saltwater flyrodder and author, and simply enjoined watching people engage in the sport, regardless of their skill level. Well if that didn't make me feel like an ass! To make matters worse, the guy was then kind enough to give me a few pointers and a couple of flies as well, one of which I finally caught my first flyrod striper with later that week. Like Juro said, it pays to be civil and consider such curiosity as a chance to educate (or be educated as was the case with me).

05-19-2004, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by juro
...but there is the great equalizer - the words "fish on". :smokin:

Exactly. The first time this happened to me, I was out on Great Bay with my ex-wife's father and uncle. They were both using spinning gear and I was using the long rod. All the way out to the fishing spot, the uncle kept snickering and making remarks about my rod being from K-Mart or something (the guy was a real moron, doesn't he know that K-Mart doesn't sell Redington?:hehe: ), that is until I hooked and landed the first fish... and the next... and the next...

By the end of the day he was singing a different tune. In fact, the picture of me to the left was taken by him, with me hooked into another bluefish. He didn't catch anything that day, besides a sun burn :D. In all, I had four fish landed and one LDR mack-daddy weakfish, to his bagel. It made me feel quite good... :smokin:

05-19-2004, 03:38 PM
When I started fishing with my Dad many moons ago, it was with a fly rod. I remember being with other fishers who were using spin casting gear and wondering what they were doing, we would always catch more fish than they did so I was the one staring! I had a horrible time learning to use a bait caster and it took many many birds nests to learn, similar experience with spinning tackle. For over 50 years I've spent fishing, probably 90% with a fly rod, I've had the stare directed at me and each time I recall my own early stares.

05-19-2004, 03:48 PM
I was flyfishing a couple days back, we took a route under a bridge to reveal a group of high schoolers laughing hysterically at my "long buggy whip of a rod" but with the wind to my favor I ended up catching 15 to 1 compared to them. Needless to say they left wounded and discombobulated. HOW DIFFERENT IT IS MAKES THE SPORT GREAT!!!

05-19-2004, 04:36 PM

I like to observe and look for the look in certain fishing areas.

Nothing more entertaining than seeing a guy new to fly fishing or just foolish enough to walk out on a crowded jetty or just below a hatchery with a fly rod. Not only do they get the look from the many gear guys they sometimes get bonked by the gear guys. Nothing sets a fly fisher strait as quickly as some big old boys doing the old looking and bonking song and dance.

:eyecrazy: :eyecrazy: :eyecrazy: :whoa: :whoa:

05-21-2004, 05:46 AM
Wes. Was fishing in RI at night on a dock catching what turned out to be Shad. Two spinfishermen arrived saw me catching fish and pitched their lures right me. I said nothing and continued to catch the Shad while they got skunked. It was sweet to see their frustration.

05-21-2004, 06:06 AM
People who don't fly fish, don't understand fly fishing, but I would respectfully suggest that if you are close enough to read the expression on someone else's face, then you are probably fishing too close to them.

It's a big ocean out there.

05-22-2004, 01:54 PM
my deal that gets me is; any fishing tourists that want info,,they love me,,,if you fly fish,and find out i'm a `local',,they sort of step back a foot,,give me the snake eye rake with their eyes,,very weird,,as for the bait only guys,some act like i'm a turncoat or something,but these guys are the ones who have one years experience twenty times,,the ones that just stand in one spot with a worm on the bottem,and occaissonally get lucky,i'm the luckiest though because i can fish any way but choose methods that require thought,,,i've plenty to do in life!,this is why i love flyfishing,,it's `proactive':hehe:

05-25-2004, 07:39 AM
I enjoy all forms of fishing. Debating which form is superior is ridiculous, in my opinion. I never measure my fishing success by how many more or less fish I caught than the other guy. I measure mine by how enjoyable and exciting the experience was.

05-25-2004, 09:09 AM
Mark....I don't mind the look as long as I am sporting my new Ex Officio shirts (Two new ones this year- that makes 26-in all colors). Have the shorts too and I will be sporting my all white outfit this summer- tarpon wear though! My abel camo pliers set off the all white outfit quite nicely I must admit. I also have every color of neckerchief....depending on my mood. Some days when I am grumby I opt for the brighter colors. I am working on the Columbia shirts now- both long and short sleeve. Remember Mark, "It's not how you play the game or if you win or lose----it's how you look".:devil: :hehe: ;)

Dble Haul
05-25-2004, 09:44 AM
Well John, looking like that I can only surmise that all of the looks you get are the good kind. Just don't stand next to me this year and make me look bad in my duds.

;) :)

05-26-2004, 11:35 AM
Now it all makes sense. That's how the Ironman got his job at Orvis School he has the look!!!:hehe: :D :devil:

06-07-2004, 07:00 PM
guess i've gone full circle:
1. spin fisher-kid
2. full-on flyfishing elitist (aka: hypocrite...)
3. love of being out and fishing (ok mostly fly)

a minimalist in my flyfishing approach (except for fly assortment), i wear and bring as little as possible. contrast that with the typical guided ceo on the deschuttes who looks like he's posing for "TEAM ORVIS." those are the stern jawed looks i cherish, the "i payed several thousand dollars for this guide, outfit, acrutaments, hat, waders, vest, etc.... how can that hoodlum be catching 10x more fish???"

we (especially us men) have too much ego attached to our fishing. i think that is primal in us. some rivers seem to be the pinnacle of this culture - to the point of everyone being too cool to yahoo for a hot fish. i'm over that, i'm the fool yelling and laughing his head off over the jumping silver torpedo.

Sharp Steelie
06-08-2004, 11:18 AM
Q-surf - very well spoken

Thank you!

06-08-2004, 06:40 PM
on a related story...

once while fishing in the mid-run shoulder to shoulder zoo on the banks of three rivers, OR - i hooked a nice sized chrome king.

a bait tossing guy just downstream managed to just get his line out of my way while saying to his buddy "great, now he'll be fighting the damned thing for the next 20 minutes."

well right then the fish made a fast arcing run and with some heavy side torque i managed to swing her right onto the gravel bar and pounce on her. this was maybe 10 - 15 seconds after the hookup!

i made a small grin at the astonished baiter.

Sharp Steelie
06-08-2004, 07:07 PM
Q-surf - you would have laughed your butt off last
week if you had witnessed yours truly chasing a
41 inch monster native buck. I had a 7 wt Martin
Rolling fork fly rod (42 bucks on sale). A pair of
25 dollar wading boots. And shorts (no waders).
Ended up doing some swimming after that one
and it was an absolute blast. Good thing I didn't
have on a pair of extremely expensive waders.
They most likely would have filled up with water
while trying to chase the fish. My fishing buddy
must have thought I was nuts! He was going
to try and cross the river with a camera and
wisely changed his mind! I believe in keeping
it simple for a reason - Not into status, just
love to fly fish and catch fish! Oh yea, it's a lot
of fun to teach newbies how to really catch


06-08-2004, 11:17 PM
Sharp Steelie,

How much someone either paid or didn't pay for his fly rod, reel, and wading gear in immaterial. Unless, of course one is trying to one-up anyone who has paid more for his rod, reel, and waders. And for someone who constantly claims "I'm not into status", you appear to take pains to let others know about your fishing prowess.

Sir, I have fished with and shared runs with several of the acknowledged Pacific Northwest steelhead fly fishing masters, and none of them go about talking about the fish they have caught every chance they get. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about you, and you are not in the same league as Trey Combs, George McCleod, Bob Arnold Harry Lemier, Ed Ward, Mike Kinney, John Farrar, and Alec Jackson. They are gentlemen who have no need to brag or constantly talk about what they have done, their accomplishments speak for themselves. You are neither a steelhead fly fishing master, nor a gentleman. Instead, you sir are a braggart.

Sharp Steelie
06-09-2004, 12:13 AM
Sorry you feel that way. I am a simple child of God who
has learned how to let go and have fun. Bottom line -
you don't have to be perfect to have success. I for one
am far from perfect but one thing is for sure - have
learned the secrets to really catching Steelhead and
Salmon on the fly - oh yea, I'm willing to tell the truth
for the benefit of others. Simple is better! I do not
tie flies to catch fishermen, I tie flies to catch fish -
guess what, they work! So, if your going to call someone
a braggart who is honestly trying to help people
have more fun - then so be it. At least I am willing
to share something that really works! Have a nice


Dble Haul
06-09-2004, 08:07 AM
Russ, thanks for once again putting into words what many of us are feeling. This passive/aggressive BS is getting old.

If it walks like a dog and barks like a dog.....:tsk_tsk:

Sharp Steelie
06-09-2004, 09:49 AM
True ladies and gentleman are not name callers. They
are thankful and accepting of new and inovative ideas.
They celebrate honesty, loyalty, compassion, sharing,
fairness, charitable acts etc. They are not envious,
jealous, prideful, or egotistical. They do not attempt to
undermine others for personal self gratification or
empowerment. Call me what you want, I will continue
to catch a lot of fish on a fly rod, and will continue to
share for the benefit of others. Oh yea - will continue
to have fun. Have a wonderful day. Bye


Dble Haul
06-09-2004, 09:58 AM
Buy your own definition, you are not a gentleman.

1. New and innovative ideas? Please, we've been down that road already.

2. Honesty? :rolleyes:

3. Prideful and egotistical? I believe we could find your mug next to these words in a dictionary.

4. "I will continue to catch a lot of fish on a fly rod...."....see number 3 above.

This thread is over. I'm closing it before the charades continue. Sharp Steelie, if you have any problems with flytyer or myself, continue your soliloquies offline.