Home » Rusty Flybox: Fly Fishing Isn’t Funny

Rusty Flybox: Fly Fishing Isn’t Funny

Fly fishing is serious business.

You have to be buttoned-up, orderly, and kinda/sorta stuffy. If not, any fish you catch isn’t legitimate. Trout, as you are quite aware, are dignified creatures that wouldn’t condescend to consume the fly of some ragamuffin angler.

Every once in a while, some johnny  come lately writer thinks he can demean and debase the noble craft of Dame Juliana and Izaak Walton. Fly fishing is a sport meant for prose, for eloquence, for the height of human expression.

Honestly, what arrogance befalls a man such that he compose an article on nymphing in the form of satire? How crass must you be to tarnish the reputation of the fly shop patron? Is not the sanctity of  marketing genius above reproach?

For shame.

Consequently the following articles are not for serious fly fishers. Click on the title or the photo for the full articles.

Fly Fishing in the Winter: Enduring Deep Nymphing

It’s wintertime, which means that your trout tactics have to change. Across the country, most fisheries will see a significant decline in hatches as the air and water temperatures decrease. So out with the boxes of dry flies, and in with the nymphs.

Let me be the first one to express my condolences.

But the real wrinkle that gets thrown into your angling plans has to do with where the fish will be. Nymphing in the summertime might include an obligatory dropper under a big, puffy hopper. In the fall, you can send chunky stoneflies tumbling over shallow boulders. Not so in the winter. Come December, you’ve got to get deep.

Real deep…


The Five People You Meet in Fly Shops

We’ve all been there before. Standing in front of the rod rack at our local fly shop, trying to justify another 5-weight, and you hear the voice. “Kids these days! With their sling packs and their Twitters… no wonder I can’t catch any fish!” The shop employee is nodding along, but at a rhythm that clearly demonstrates his well-honed skill to hear without listening. His thousand-yard stare is evident to everyone but the ranting grump.

After nearly two decades of formal, empirical anthropological research, I’ve developed an efficient classification system and taxonomy for the types of individuals one encounters in fly shops. As a former fly shop employee, an occasional customer, and a curious observer of awkward situations, I believe that I am uniquely qualified for such a study. I’d like to present my completely objective findings…


We’ll Be Backcasting After These Messages

Ah, fall. That time of year when I should be fishing but I’m firmly planted on the couch, wading from football to baseball playoffs and back again. I don’t watch a whole lot of television. Sports are really the only thing that will get me to stop and zone out for a prolonged period of time. Even fishing shows hardly keep my attention. So consequently, every September/October I get exposed to all of these “commercials” everyone keeps talking about.

And, boy, have I learned that I don’t have what I need in life! I’ve been living this whole time – content with my family, functional cars, and little fly fishing hobby – completely unaware that my cell phone carrier, financial institution, and fast food taco/cheese ratio are all woefully inadequate! Good thing I’ve got a credit card handy… but is it the right one?!?

Another thing I’ve (re)learned is that fly fishing is for people in the twilight of life. “The olds,” as some might call them. Why? Because every third life insurance, mutual fund, and *ahem* male pharmaceutical advertisement features a quasi-masculine gent of about 55-65 whipping some poor fly line about a river out west…


Well, there you go. Your IQ is now a little lower, your angling skill has diminished, and even sculpins will mock you.

But you might be a little happier.



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