Flyfishing Exclusivity... HUH? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flyfishing Exclusivity... HUH?

04-28-2002, 01:24 PM
I hear this a lot, you know... how flyfishermen are so damn "exclusive". I gave this some thought, and came to the realization that it's a myth, rumor, even a touch insecure.

Mathematically, it's impossible:

For every fly guy there are 100, maybe 1000 non-fly guys. Exclusivity by the fly minority would mean nothing to fishing in general.

On the Water?

No, less than 1% of US waters are fly water. When I am flyfishing, I am never in a position to be "exclusive" as bait guys converge casting surf rods with lines drifting 100 yards across in front of me with rods planted in sand spikes on both sides of me. I am never in a position to be "exclusive" when conventional gear guys throw spoons into the pool I am working from the far bank or drift roe through the tailout I have been working toward dilligently. There is zero exclusivity on the water in my experience.


Fishing gear is pervasive in retail, but you can count the fly shops you visit on your fingers. When you look at the consumer focus aimed at fly gear, it might seem like a lot but in comparison to other fishing methods it's a drop in the bucket. The commercial viability of all the brands that have emerged in the last few years is in question, the market just ain't big enough compared to salted rubber worms and crank baits. No exclusivity there.


Not a chance, the number of true flyfishing sites on the web is miniscule compared to general fishing sites. In fact in some regions there are none despite many general fishing sites. There are lots of flyfishing magazines but anyone can buy one, nothing exclusive there. Television? Still down to a fraction of the airwaves. No, there is nothing exclusive there.

About the only exclusivity I can even dredge up would be in the small circles of dedicated fly fishing clubs, like this one. I could see someone wanting to get into such a club but not wanting to flyfish, declaring them exclusive. Er.... OK, let's all change the founding principles of the club to avoid exclusivity...?... that's like saying Hugh Hefner is "exclusive" toward heterosexuals! Hugh - don't change a thing :devil:

Then again, reading Playboy is confirmation that others are having more fun than the reader, and you can call them exclusive all day long and it makes no difference. In the end, all you need to do is go out and get some - flyfishing that is, no one will stop you.

I just don't get it. Based on my analysis "exclusivity" turns out to be nothing but a word used by the envious talking about a door that is wide open.



04-28-2002, 02:04 PM
Per a poll (no offense Ray) in Florida Sportsman a few years ago, something like 95% of the fisherman in Florida are spin/ bait rodders.

Who cares what others think?! I use a fly rod because it's fun.

04-28-2002, 02:21 PM
With flyfishers being in the minority among fishers in general, isn't it strange that we see so many flyfishers included in different car ads on TV lately? Subaru and Ford being the latest.

I don't remember seeing anglers of the "other types" in ads at all. Maybe it's the "mystique" that advertisers are trying to connect with.

04-28-2002, 02:25 PM
People that think that fly fishing is exclusive, exclude themselves. Gear is better and cheaper than it's ever been, and knowlege is easy to find as often free.
It is not the bait that causes us to turn up our noses, but the often seen disrespect to the resource.

04-28-2002, 10:57 PM
I must agree with Mr. Roop. Who cares what others think. I don't live my live according to other peoples opinion of me. I live my life according to my opinion of myself.

When I was a bait and plug fisherman, I fished because I enjoyed fishing. Today, I fly fish because I enjoy that even more. If a man wishes to think me exclusive because of my chosen method, that is his option. If that same person thinks of me as someone who is "below" him, that too is his option. If he thinks I am better than him... He is wrong. But, still it is his option.

My father, the wises man I ever knew, told me this when I was very young. "People are goin to think what they want to think. Don't let what they think of you, be what you think of yourself."

I try to remember those words in everything I do.

I hope this makes sence.

04-29-2002, 05:47 AM
I flyfish because I love the challange of catching a fish on my own fly. I don't care what others think . It all boils down to envy. People think because you flyfish you have money and are therefore exclusive and priviledged. The people on this boarde are most generous and some have more money than others but you would know it . Also, when I forgot my wader and was lent a pair by a fellow flyfisherman who did not know me that said it all.

John Desjardins
04-29-2002, 09:23 AM
Interesting thread. While, I don't think that fly fishing is exclusive I can see how the feeling arises.

To catch fish while fly fishing takes a larger expenditure of time than most other methods. With fly fishing you have find out where to buy your tackle, figure out how to cast, and what they are likely to bite on before catching a fish becomes likely.

With spin casting tackle you go to Walmart pick up your outfit, worms & license and with 20 minutes of practice you cast well enough to catch a fish.