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Old 06-01-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Had a free morning today (woo-hoo!!), so I got up before the birds and went to one of the two nearby lakes. I wanted to practice on the water because I need it...worse than I thought, I guess.

I was happy because it started to sprinkle and I figured I would be the only one there. I went to a spot where there is nothing around me except for a very slight hill at my back. Not trees or bushes. Very open to the left and right for at least 75-80 yards. In other words: no obstacles; thus, no excuses.

After reading a thread recently, I decided to try dry flies (finally). I had a couple F flies and a couple foam "bugs" that I wrapped up (I guess they look like little white moths or something).

I get to the side of the lake and there is nothing there but a heron amongst the dwindling raindrops. Perfect...for a while.

I was able to get a few casts in before the first guy showed up. He campes out way to my left as far as you can go. That's okay.

I was really trying but things were not going well. Maybe it is something I am doing wrong but the F fly did not stay "dry" after the first retrieve. It sort of turned into a streamer of sorts--but a very effective one as I was getting hits all over the place. Setting a barbless hook is harder than I thought because I would catch something and it would spit it out fairly quickly.

But that is not the point.

In a little while, another guy shows up. He sets up shop between me and the guy to the left of me. Ugh. But, still okay. Then three more guys show up and go to the right of me. Man! They was boisterous!! Forget about a nice quiet morning. Then a SIXTH guys comes walking over the crest of the hill. Fortunately (?) he must have been a friend of the first guy and he went with him.

So, now we have 75-80 yards with seven people--two of them extremely noisy and another that was anything but quiet. There was no room to really move and still have the same "openness," so I mumbled to myself and kept on keeping on.

The wind picked up and it started to get hard (for me) to cast. I looked like an idiot casting and the fly would get blown way to my left every time. I tried roll casting--really stunk at first but kept getting continually better until it was almost serviceable. I tried my hand at false casting trying to dry the fly out--it works!--but I need a lot of help because I don't have a smooth overhead motion. Good thing is that I know what is wrong--I go too far back AND too far forward--but I can't get myself to not do that on a regular basis. I was drying the fly on my shirt and recasting and recasting.

I had no intention of catching a fish because I wanted to practice getting better. I was probably even mumbling to myself. My line hit the rod on the forward cast on several occasions and I really looked like the bumbling fool I really am.

I must have been bad because two of the three loudmouths started heckling me a bit. At first, I laughed, but it was getting a little too personal. They were, to use a good Pittsburgh word, jagoffs. It went from an occasional quip to almost constant. The more these goofs yapped, the worse I got because I let them get on my nerves.

I didn't want to start anything because there were three of them, after all, and I am 52. Of course, the two mouths were also probably 50ish while the other one was probably around 30 or 35. They were rednecks in the true sense of the word and probably pounded a few down before showing up on the lake.

The worst thing that happened? I caught a trout. Nothing special. A normal smallish stocked trout. It hit on an F fly streamer,

Me being me, I unhooked the fish and tossed it back into the lake. Holy comoly! You would have thought I committed a hideous crime. The three of them were yelping at me with the oldest on being so pissed off, I thought he was going to have a stroke. "What the **** are you doing?!? That was a ******* trout! You imbecile! What are you doing throwing a ****** trout back into the ******* water?? ****, give it to me!!"

I just looked at them and said I always release what I catch unless I hurt them fatally. Then they started to get on my case about being a snooty fly fisherman who thinks his **** doesn't stink. They proceeded to call me other body parts, so I calmly reeled my line in and walked away leaving them screaming behind me. The other three guys just pretended I did not exist. Thanks, guys.

I went to the overflow below the dam and spent a little time there...alone.

Then I decided those guys had me so ticked off that I had to leave, so I went to the other lake. Things turned around there! I caught 14 bluegill--some itsy bitsy guys but I did catch three or four really large bulls. I continued with the dries for the most part but did use a little streamer Dan posted recently. I caught fish on all of them.

All in all, it turned out to be an okay day. Met some other fishermen and yakked a little. Talked to a couple who want to bring their young son fishing sometime and the father wondered about "what kind of rod" I was using because he never saw one like it before.

I left with a smile on my face in spite of the three knuckleheads I encountered a couple hours before.

Has anybody else had the, um, "experience" of strangers harping on them because (a) they were fly fishers, (b) they were not fly fishing very well, and (c) they actually threw the fish they caught back into the water?? It should not bother me but, now that I am sitting back home, it has started to irritate me again. I felt like I should have said something but it would have probably been the biggest mistake of my life to this point.


ray
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

People don't HAVE to be knuckleheads...they just are.

Sounds like you did all the right things and ended up smiling. Not too bad on balance. Glad you caught some fish.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Ray, I feel for you man! Unfortunately, no matter where you are or where you go, there will always be that type of knuckleheads!

Don't let it bother you! You're the better man for dealing with it as you did, even though it's still bothering you.

I've been fortunate enough to have grown up to be a fairly large fellow, so have not had that type of encounter. I have over heard others make smart azz remarks while I was fly fishing, but I always ignored them.

I get bothered by that type out on the roadways with my job sometimes, I drive a tractor trailer, so can understand your mindset. Stupid is as stupid does I believe is the quote!

However, as I said, they're every where, so try not to let it bother you!

I've had some very good interaction & conversations with folks over the years who were more interested in the fact that I was fly fishing, since they knew nothing or very little about it. Folks like that usually far out number the idiots, so IMO it's best to ignore the idiots & forget about it!
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

I hate that. I've had a few people comment when I've released fish but usually don't get much hassle. Perhaps living in Colorado helps, seems like a high % of fly fishers on the streams I frequent.

It can be hard to let it go but remember they probably aren't giving it a second thought so you're just hurting yourself. Also remember, people that abrasive have to live with themselves which has to be a punishment of some kind. They can actually pretty sad people if they weren't so annoying. So don't let them keep bugging you, let it go and move on. Easier said than done I know.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

You did the right thing by walking away, fishing should be a no stress sport and it is to most except the few that trash it, your in the majority, enjoy in the fact you probably out fished them.

Rick
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:57 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

A totally different perspective here?

You now have a 'Day upon which you can gauge all others.' (That was not posited as a question, but a straight statement.)

'Well, this is not turning out so well,' as compared to what? Now you have a "what."

Fred
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Hey ...they're not knuckleheads...they're a-holes. lets be honest.

I'll put it on the line....my whole life as a kid was spin fishing cause thats all i knew. The frist time I ever saw someone cast a flyrod...circa...1974 ?? I was 10....lived on a lake and never knew anyone that even knew what a flyrod was for....but I still talked my mom into buying me a "caldor dept store" flyrod that I could never cast etc ect etc so i reverted to spin fishing.....fast foward 25 years and I decide to revisit the "ghost"....this time totally different I have a car we have the internet etc etc....

I fear I have become a dryfly snob and i make no apologies. I Fish the Farmington River in Ct. alot .... I'm in unbelievable disappointed AWE of the number of spin guys that stand in the prime dry fly pools .....watching rising trout rise to elegant mayflies...and watching guys like me sometimes semi gracefully cast to them (I hope) .........and I see no indication of any interest for them to take their sport to the next level above their "meal worms". I give everyone respect but i do feel spin guys have much less courtesy etc.......i also can easily respond to any spin guy questioning my methods of fishing.....Hey...dynamite works just as good as your live bait and its equally just as sporting. Sorry for my rant.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Ugh. I love driving on the highway and I think I would like being a truck driver except knuckleheads on the road could be worse than what I encountered.

This us the first time I have ever been razzed about releasing what I caught. I have been doing that forever with my spin rod. People have never once uttered a word (that I could hear). I think it had more to do because I was using a fly rod. I think some people think fly fishers think they are above others.

I can say that in the little time I have been trying, I have met some wonderful people. And every single fly fusher I have talked to has helped me a little. They give me flies, tell me where to go, explain what to do in this or that part of a stream, all sorts of stuff.

Truthfully, almost everybody I talked to while spin fishing were "wary" meaning they did not like to divulge information and were competitive as heck. Their mindset seemed to be "He who catches the mist fish is the winner. Everybody else us a loser."

I guess that is what these guys were: meat eaters and not fishermen.

Oh, and I am a short guy who has always been ripped becsuse if my height. The years have not been kind and I am an inch shorter than what I was. My middle is rounder, too. In fact, I look very much like a Weeble. I should have brought my 6' 4", 215 pound 21-year-old son with me! But no way does he get up at 5:45 on a Saturday morning!!
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Ray, I see you're in the Pittsburgh area. I worked up there for about 2 years with my job. There's a lot of great folks up that way, but there's enough like you've described as well. However, as I said previous, they're any place you go. That type are the real losers as they'll never understand fishing for sport, or why we fly fish. Frankly, they're not worth getting upset over.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Why do people have to be knuckleheads?

Hey you handled it well! There are morons every where you go but thankfully there are many good people to balance out the load! People generally don't mess with me like Jim I'm a big guy and a bit imposing but I've heard the fly snob **** and the don't release thing to many times .
The solution is easy keep on hammering fish and keep on letting them go , this just irks the **** out of the hillbillies. And you don't have to say a word!
When I was 12 years old my best friend and I used to ride our bikes down to the harbor and fly fish for small bluefish and schoolie Stripers . We would keep one bass each for our moms and release all the other fish. Let me tell you we made a lot of old men very pissed off! To the point that we had a guy wade out to where we were and demand we give him fish. We just waded out farther and kept on releasing. Can you imagine men harrasing kids for fish !
But since that day that's always been my answer to the taunts and it works well. You need an army to make me leave my fishing spot!!Haha!
Glad your day ended well!!
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