03/19/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching
3. Quill Gordons - hatching
4. Hendricksons - could start within a couple more weeks
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Fly Rods
I was thinking about the different ways fly fishermen took pride in their fly rods. In
many ways it is similar to the way hunters take pride in their guns. In general, they
take good care of both their fly rods and guns. They keep them in cases and
cabinets.  They love to show them off to other anglers.

Fly anglers are different from most any other type of angler in the way they think
about and take care of their rods. Bass anglers just throw their rods in a locker,
usually with several piled together. Bass rods have weights, actions, etc. just like fly
rods. but they are not considered any more important than anything else they use -
reels, line, lures, etc.

Saltwater anglers store their rods in a rough fashion most of the time. Some of them
put them in rod holders that keep them from banging against everything else on
their boats but again, they are not considered any more important than their line,
reels, lures or baits.  Fly anglers consider their rods the most important weapon or
item they use. They pay more for them than anything else they use except maybe
waders in some cases.

Fly fisherman can talk all day long about a particular fly rod. They can discuss how
much they like one action over another or one length over another and continue
the discussion into great detail. They will describe how one rod will cast a lot longer
or better than another, or how one rod will present tiny flies better than another.
They will describe how one particular graphite modulus is better than another and
why they wouldn't or would have a certain action. The conversations can get very
technical. The weights of the fly rods become important down to the fraction of an
ounce. They may pay as much as several hundred dollars under the pretense they
are saving a half of an ounce of weight. They will discuss how one fly rod will throw
a tight loop when they only cast twenty feet and how another one won't. Gun
owners will carry on about the same type of conversation about their guns. How one
has a better trajectory than another or how one shoots a hollow point bullet better
than another.

What I don't get is how can the fly anglers get so technical about graphite fly rods
and then turn around and start the same discussion about a fly rod that is made of
bamboo. What happened to the modulus. What happened to the casting distance
factor. What happened to tight loops. What happened to practical use?

A graphite rod manufacturer will come out with a new series of fly rods just about
every year. The series of rods may include several weights of rods, length and
even numbers of sections. Why don't they just come out with a new fly rod? Why
don't they just come out with several new fly rods? Why do they always come out
with new
"series" of fly rods. What does a 4 weight, eight foot fly rod have to do
with a 7 weight, nine foot fly rod in the same series? Is it the color of the rod that
makes it a series of fly rods? Why can or do some of them "give" a life-time
guarantee and others can't or don't? Who eats the cost of the guarantee?
Why do they come out with "new" fly rods that are always better than the last years
models? Why are all the rod companies that have sold and pushed their expensive
fly rods recently come out with cheaper lines of fly rods. Have you noticed they
always say they are for those just getting started or something to indicated the
expensive rods are better?  Why do they always show "guides" using their rods. I
thought guides showed others how to fish. What is so important about what fly rods
they use? Do they fish or guide? Why are they fishing and not guiding? I think I will
write about fly rods for a few days.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh