All you C.O.F.'s out there! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: All you C.O.F.'s out there!

05-07-2002, 09:30 AM
OC, FrenchCreek, et al,

My wife brought home the July issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine and I noted an article by A. K. Best in their forum section which might interest all you Cranky Old Farts like it did me. Seems even Mr. Best is having problems with where flyfishing is headed.

Boy that Best dude is a pure revolutionary. Looks like I need to send a thank you note to the magazine for their courage (and a subscription).


05-07-2002, 10:04 AM
Feel free to expand on that, in fact you have my curiosity - every time I have met Mr.Best I have been duly impressed and I consider him an icon of sorts for FF.

(just to be clear, our recent debate was about creating new boards, not about expressing oneself in the ones we already have - go for it!)

05-07-2002, 11:04 AM
Somebody call a C.O.F? Here I am.


05-07-2002, 11:50 AM
I read the article and I would not say he is disgruntled with the way fishing is going.

His point was getting bored with fishing when it becomes no longer challenging. That is why he chooses to use a bamboo rod and dry flies as this keeps things challenging for himself but I felt in no way was he pushing his views on others. I understand what he was saying and I think the need to constantly challenge oneself is very important in anything you do. He finds that challenge is met with a bamboo rod and dry fly only fishing and I respect that . It is not for me but that is not the point.

All this talk of young guys not adhering to the "old" ways of fishing and not understanding what flyfishing is all about is bogus. It is the same old "well I used to walk 6 miles through the snow" talk we have all heard from our elders. Cmon, you mean to tell me Lee Wulff would not have been the first in line to use a powell tiboron rod? He was already well known to push the limits of flyfishing and was not liked by some of his contemporaries. They thought he was not adhering to the true nature of flyfishing. Would we say that about Lee Wulff today? Of course not as he is looked at as a genius of his time as far as fishing is concerned.

It seems to me the only thing holding our flyfishing greats back was the technology available to them.If you think about it everyone (Kreh,Popovic,Clouser, Lafontaine) have made their names by looking past the old ways of the sport . Constantly pushing the boundries of our sport is what made these guys famous.

Whether anyone likes it flyfishing is going to continue to expand as new materials and thoughts on fish behavior come forward. This is no way means we do not respect the sport. Sure there are always outlying cases but I feel this is in no way the norm.

Look at some of the things us "new" anglers are doing. C'n'R is now a prevailing flyfishing ethic that has only really come to the forefront of flyfishing in the last 20 years. This was not an old way of doing things and in my view is a great addition to our sport.

So yeah I am a gear junkie that uses the latest and greatest gear I can get my hands on. Does that make me wrong? I think not and I like to think I respect my roots and elders in my sport. I just find all this lamenting over where are sport is going as being misplaced. Deal with it. I for one never got to enjoy the times when the Skagit,Stilly, and Sky were so full of steelhead and salmon you could catch them with your bare hands. Am I bitter that those who came before me had no insight into saving the resource? No. I just find others ways to challene myself in the flyfishing arena and am thankful that I am able to fish at all.

sorry for the rant,


05-07-2002, 01:09 PM
What is a C.O.F. ?

Must have brain freeze, better go back to work and argue with the lawyers some more. (This is better than going to law school which I almost did then decided against it for the MBA, etc..)

old man
05-07-2002, 01:41 PM
I know that I'm one????:eyecrazy:

05-07-2002, 02:08 PM
Well, Sean, you must have read a "regional issue" which differs slightly from mine. Although this post is not meant to summarize or speak to every point he made I would like to address several that you brought up.

First, Mr. Best never wrote in the article that he prefered dry flies only. What he did say was that he had a preference for using "natural materials only" for the flies he ties. He also pointed out that others using synthetics were of no concern to him.

Secondly, he stated a belief that there appears to be a systematic reduction of the drama within our sport. Towards the end of the article he expresses his hope that folks will tire of the 50-fish days and realize the damage they are doing to fish when fighting large fish with tackle that is too light. Disgruntled was your words not mine or his. I do, though, tend to make the leap in logic that he is not overly happy with the current scene.

Not that anyone on this forum particularly cares but, my family motto is "que sara, sara", whatever will be, will be. No sense being steamrolled by what you can't change. In a similar way this is very fitting for me as I have always believed that to each their own. Sure I have preferences and at times have sought a dialog with others who differ but, I have never believed nor pronounced publically or privately that my way was the only way or the correct way. And I, too, am a tech junkie, to a point.

Lastly, as far as the old timer talk about catching steelhead and salmon with their bare hands - that's a myth once you rule out the spawned-out and dying fish. Hell it's almost impossible to lift these slippery suckers out of your net without a good tail hold or grabbing the gill plate, and that's on a tired and confined fish.

The point of reference to Mr. Best's article was the evolved, evolving and will evolve further nature of flyfishing. Sometimes it's been good and sometimes not so. It's a preference thing and, in my humble opinion, worthy of discussion.


05-07-2002, 02:49 PM
Sorry for my rambling post earlier. Not enough coffee. Here is my view on this whole 50 fish a day thing that he expresses concern over.

I think with the influx of new fisherman into the fly fishing world there is a steep learning curve that comes with the fly rod. A large majority of the newcomers comes from a bait/hardware background where catching a lot of fish is the norm. To suddenly step into a world where getting skunked on any given day is a real possibility I think can get these guys looking for any advantage they can possibly get. These are the folks fly fishing companies are really targeting and quite successfully I might add.

I hate to see guys out fighting 5-8 pound fish on a 2wt with 7x tippett. They fight the fish for 45 minutes when it should only take at most 5 minutes. I also hate seeing them pass the fish around and have everyone take a picture of it as well. Just is not good for the fish.

However I think as most fly fishers mature in the sport the catching becomes less and less important. I think people naturally come to agree with Mr. Best and can understand what he means. I know when I started fishing it went like this:

-catch a fish
-catch as many fish as you can
-catch a large fish
-catch as many large fish as you can
-catching a fish is nice but I do not care either way as long as I am fishing

When I think about the last stage has been the most enjoyable to me. It has given me the freedom to try new techniques, materials,etc. and I do not have the constant pressure of thinking I need to catch fish. I now have time to sit and think about all the new stuff coming out and decide what I want to adapt to my fishing. Finding the most creative way to catch a fish is better than all those 30 fish days combined.

It is a natural progression I think the majority of flyfishers take so I am not worried about it like Mr. Best is. There are just more people taking this journey than there was even 10 years ago. Eventually I bet most will come to same conclusions as I have found in my own fishing journey.


ps. The bare hands thing is a metaphor. Truth is there were a lot more fish and a vast majority of fishing opportunites have been lost or nearly decimated in the last 30 years as you know. The good ole days are no longer here so we all have to make due with what we have. So when I hear old timers lamenting the fact all their secret spots are full of guys I lament the fact all the fish are gone.

05-07-2002, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by sean
These are the folks fly fishing companies are really targeting and quite successfully I might add.

BINGO, we have a winner here!

That is the heart of the article. ...and the point several members of this forum have been trying to make to deaf ears!


05-07-2002, 07:01 PM
I gracously accept the acronym...
better than " Curmudgeony Old Fool"
Other comments on the topic to follow, after reading the article

05-07-2002, 09:42 PM
I'd have to say, that none of us out there are truly "traditionalists" when it comes to fishing, whether it fly or conventional. Technology has been a staple ever since the dawn of time. I'm sure some of the then "original" rods made of plained greenheart were top notch compared to the sticks I assume they used for fishing. Them bamboo was imported and added a new strain. Then the short lived metal rods (still have my grandfathers downstairs). Next you had glass rods, graphite, then other mixes on the makeup of rods (boron, etc).

This same tech goes with sean's logic (which I agree with), that our "ancestors" in the fishing world were only held up by what materials they had at the time. I'm sure if they had Krystal Flash, and other man made materials they would've grabbed them up and started tying too. I know I'm off subject, but thought I'd add my .02 in. I know I inherited my first fly rod back in late 70's. Was an old run down glass rod with old pflueger on it. Was a decent rod when I got it, but hadn't seen (or not sure if they were even built yet) graphite rods around. Hell, my first driftrod was a Fenwick 85C. Compared to what you see now, it's a broomstick. Evolution is part of the game. I know the 9wt glass rod I have downstairs from my youth (my first rod I bought myself around 1980) wouldn't probably be touched by any new fly fishers nowadays. Most of their complete setups are the weight of my rod alone and handle is a good 1/2 inch diameter bigger. I spent many days casting that rod all day. Would probably kill alot of newcomers (young AND old) today. If the ease of these new gadgets adds new fishermen to the game, I'm all for it. You can only hold tradition so far, as long as ETHICS is the key tradition you teach, what else do you need. And when I say ethics, I don't mean what you think is right or wrong, but having them obey the laws that are enforced and respecting others.

05-09-2002, 04:23 PM
New web site which is advertizing nationally.

Water Works Wonders

Check out the other sections on fishing, conservation, boating, etc.. State maps and links on waters to fish to DNR sites etc

Fishing Ethics