You ever have one of those experiences were a stranger sees you fly fishing and tries to relate to you, but its obvious they barely know what they are talking about?
I was fishing for bass and carp today at a local reservoir. Guy walking aroun it stopped when he got close and asked me what I was fishing for. "Bass and carp" I said. He replies with "dry flies or wet flies?" I told him "streamers actually." And then the golden gem from him: "you ever use flies?"
The urge to slap him came on strong, but I resisted, quickly ended the conversation, and walked away.
I've ha situations like this before, and they always make me cringe. Another time at the same reservoir a guy saw me fly fishing and said as he passed by: "Ahhhhh going for trout huh?"
I had a guy last night ask me what pound line was on my rod. he'd never seen a fly rod before, only heard of it. he was greatly confused by the bass II with bright red allen reel and 300gr. line on it. I don't think the Busch can he had in his hand was helping much either
Being a warm water only fly fisher, I run into this situation a lot. More than once, I have opened my fly boxes and shown the different types of flies I use. If they ask more, I answer as best I can. One of my chance encounters this year started a young man down the long road of fly fishing.
Some times people are just trying to make conversation, and for me, that's OK too.
Years...MANY Years ago...fly fishing in North Eastern BC was rare...and those that did, fished almost exclusively for rainbow trout, stocked brookies or grayling...though seeing a fly fisher anywhere was a cause for amazement.
My small group started to push 'normal' boundaries....fly fishing more and more for species 'not normal' for redneck fare.
A very popular lake, Charlie Lake was a mecca for walleye, pike and perch. I remember one evening...I was wading and casting for walleye off a very popular walleye point. A boat drifts by....and with the sound carrying across the water...i can hear...."is he fly fishing"..."looks like it"....long pause...."there's no trout in this lake". HAH
Side note...later that season, my fly crew won all categories of the local fishing derby (biggest walleye, pike and perch) for that lake.....yep, there ain't no trout in that lake.
I am always open to discussions on the stream or lakeside...even from the, as yet, unenlightened.
To preface this story: WHENEVER someone around here sees me fly fishing, asks what I'm doing, and I tell them, they always say "oh, like A River Runs Through It." Seriously....every time.
So, I was fishing a different pond this weekend. Parents and kids started gathering around, so I showed them my flies and let them touch the fish etc. one father asks what type my type of fishing is called, I say "fly fishing" and he doesn't look any less confused. So I say "you probably know it from A River Runs Through It." He's still confused, I explain its a well known movie and that everyone always says it to me. A few seconds later, one mother asks me the same question. Again, I answer "fly fishing." To which she replies "oohh, like that Robert Redford movie!" I look at the guy, he laughs.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Strangers trying to relate to us
Here on the Rogue (upper) we have a 'fly fishing only' season where you can use a casting rod/bubble and a fly under neath. Amazing how many folks are clueless and have asked for 'advice.'
Always had enough time to talk, help them rig up, give them flies. Until you've had a 12-14 year old wade into the river with you and give them spey casting lessons you have not experienced .. well, Joy.
Get them going and just go sit on the beach behind with Mom/Dad and chat. You will have to get up and 'Let me show you that again.' Arms around their shoulders, smooth movement, etc. (Usually=slow down!) and the line starts to just roll out.
Remember the first time back in 1994'ish on the Russian River in Nor. Cal. Last was an older Fellow on the Bitterroot River in Montana. Both just waded right in. First case: Father leaned over and asked "How much is one of those rods going to cost me?"
One of the last (a Meiz 3wt) the old fellow was banging out casts in 20 minutes. Dogs and I just sat on the beach, I had a smoke, and we 'snoozed in the shade' under the bridge. (If you know Hamilton, MT., you know the bridge on the north end of town.)
And a few People in between. But there are times you remember as being exceptional. Another comes to mind, but I won't embarrass him here. Exceptional fisherman with a 2hander; strongly suspect far better than me.
Happens all the time out her. People stop and chat, some of them never fished with anything. Some never flyfished.
I may be the only person that they had the desire to talk to about this great sport, or ask questions of. I may be the one person who represents the sport to them. Strangers, or seekers ? I don't know. But I feel like I have a responsibility.
I try to remember :
"You only get one chance to make a first impression "