It's not judgment, just joking...no need to be thin-skinned about things. I've been picked on for my casting and wading etc., and now that I know how to hit the water with the fly 90% of the time I'm entitled to crack a joke every now and then. I would like to think that if I was the one without a clue (or noob), but clad in Simms Sage, and Hatch that I could take a joke about it. And NO, don't by the cheapest **** out there if you have money to burn, by the best...Winston, Simms, Abel, Hatch, just don't expect to escape a few jokes from us thick-skinned folks who know how to take it and dish it out.
I wasn't directing my comment so much at you as people in general, and sorry if you took at as such... It wasn't my intent.
I've been successful with my job, it's a humble job in my opinion but pays well... I'm not in the CEO or eminent surgeon income bracket, nor am I in the Cashier at Dicks tax bracket either... not that I have anything against either.. but I make enough to buy good stuff when I decide to buy it. I'm a quality over quantity type of guy so while some might go buy the 300 piece socket set from Harbor Freight, I might spend the same on 10 pieces from Snapon (for example).. and I usually go out of my way to get US or at least EU/Japan made stuff and avoid Chinese (when possible) for many reasons, not the least of which is political principals... so it sort of offends my senses when people place judgments on me for having nice stuff.... fishing aside, it's just human nature to be jealous and that's not one of our better qualities in my view is all.
I mean lets be honest, I'm sure there is the entire gamut of fishermen out there... "badly dressed" and with old or cheap gear, yet they're naturals and get the most and biggest fish.. on the other side, there are guys dressed to the hilt with 7500 bamboo rods that are probably a lost cause... with that said.. There are likely just as many well geared ones who are great, and poorly geared ones who suck... After all, the fish don't care how much you spend, and neither should anyone else!
I like being comfortable and the new, high tech stuff provides a higher level of comfort if you get the right gear. Some of it is simply a label.
In any case, I've got some new gear this year after wearing out my last set solid reason to upgrade in my book). My new waders zip up the front so I can pee without disrobing...priceless. My new boots make me feel like a wading dimigod...both increase my enjoyment of precious time on the river. My rod is 25years old and my reel is over 18...both perfect and deeply loved.
People ask my what I'm catching on and I hand out flies to anyone that asks...explain how I'm fishing it. People greet me by name on occasion when hiking along the river. I doubt they care that my waders and boots are new, they saw my old ones and probably got a kick out of them boot foot and 25 lbs of camo rubber. I'm happy I upgraded and that I can.
no matter what though, I've always got my 23 yo fishing hat....the whole damn thing is a sweat mark and its band is covered in flies that have caught memorable fish through the years. My hat says everything needing said to those that draw conclusions by such things.
There's a quote out there that reads "A poor man cannot afford to buy cheap gear" That being said, I don't own any so called high end gear by todays magazine standards but its all high end to me because it does what its supposed to do when I want it to do it!
Somehow I mised this one. So true . Great read Rip. And now I'll head to the lake shorts, sandals , favorite ball cap and the vest with less pockets then it started with! Oh and don't forget my $10 polaroids.
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
The Dress Code was & is still an important part of Fishing in parts of The UK,Scotland especially with The Older Guys as mainly they would Fish a Beat,The evening Rise then ajourn to The CLUB for The Evening.
For most of us it's about keeping Dry & Warm in our gear whether it's Simms,Redington etc,etc,so our dress regs are blown away..
A few years ago a mate was in England & he sneaked onto a Beat about the time of "The Afternoon Rise" to observe,all he found was an Old Guy on a Seat asleep with his Labrador also curled up asleep & his Gear beside him.
I guess it all depends, some people have high end gear to look good when they fish crappy or well. Some people buy high end gear because they fish a lot and/or are obsessed with fly fishing and sometime splurge on rods, reels, Simms, and Patagonia gear.
I have too much time on my hands sometimes at night going through these forums and then start to think I should upgrade my Scott Rod I bought used with a z-Axis or One. It does not help when I have just sold some older gear and I have PayPal money with fly fishing written all over it. In the end I will by something most likely something used it might take me 4-6 months to do it.
But like a lot of you I have mix of stuff expensive (mostly on sale/clearance or used) to cheap. When I started fly fishing 25 years ago I probably caught as many fish on my eagle claw fiberglass with a cheap reel as I do now on much more expensive equipment. It is all about what you like and are comfortable with. EBay is also a good way for me to test out equipment and resell it to buy something different.
I adhere pretty strictly to the dress code. I usually wear my blue Hawaiian-print waders and a fashionable white wading t-shirt with a fancy lanyard or vest. Oh, I can't forget my fashionably faded Sketchers.
Being relatively new to fly-fishing and not knowing any better I recently found out from fellow fisherman that I have been violating the dress code.
When I started , I went to the local, as local as there is at about an hour away, fly shop. I knew I needed waders, rod, reel and some other goodies. As they sold Simms waders I bought Simms waders and boots. The last time I wore waders they were all rubber. These new fangled ones are great, light and flexible, they move betterthan a pair of new jeans. I didn't know that you had to get boots on the waders but I found that out so I got some Simms boots also. I didn't buy the most expensive ones but in the middle of the pack price wise. When It came to rods, its seems they sold Sage rods, so I bought one. Again at the bottom to middle of the pack. Being a beginner I assumed that a fair rod will work as good as a great rod in my uncoordinated hands. So I didn't let them steer me to a Z-axis instead I got a Flight. Bought a decent reel. A little over a hundred dollars.
So far I was acceptable to my soon to be fishing buds.
Altho the Sage Flight rod I am told is too "soft". Funny, after catching over 50 Steelhead my first year out it seems to work OK to me.
I did make the mistake when getting some of the other "goodies" I needed. I was told I needed a good pair of Polarized sunglasses. I guess I could understand that, it made sense. Anyway not having ever owned a pair of sunglasses in my life I had no idea of what to expect so I let them guide me to the chosen pair. When I got home I almost died as I looked over the receipt. Over $140 for sunglasses? I almost crapped my new waders. My well informed wife said that was not ridiculous, Some of her lady friends spend well north of $200 for theirs and they don't even use them for fishing!! So that made me fell better.
At this point I was OK to my future fishing buds. Where I went off the track was some of the odds and ends. It seems I needed a hat to wear, like a baseball cap for the summer and something warmer for steelheading in the late fall and early spring. Well for the baseball cap I dug around in the kids closet, cause again I have never owned a baseball cap in my life before taking up fishing. Well I found one that had the logo of one of the local camps on it that fit me Ok. Apparently Later I found out light tan is not an approved of color for fishing, it needs to be dark colored for some reason I still don't understand. That was my first hat faux paus. The second was my choice of cold weather hats. I found in the kids closet a nice knit hat that hat a small patch on it that turns out its from the Detroit Red wings. As you can guess the hat is RED RED. Again I violated the color rule. Altho I did get lots of comments from other fisherman about hockey and the Redwings. All Positive. So I take it as a wash.
Question now is that I know better, will I conform to the code and ditch these old reliables that have help me stay warm and catch what I did last year? Would I have caught more if I was wearing a dark green Green Bay Packer baseball cap like my fishing Bud? I'm sure he got less if any positive comments on his Packer hat as that is expected around here. I don't think I'll change, I don't think it will make any difference to the Fish. So They stay. I will instead work on spending more time fishing and working on improving my techniques and skills so that some day I can tell the casting difference between a Sage Flight and a Sage Z-axis.