Above, the usual suspects in a U.S. Government photo dated June 1973 hosted on wikicommons.
My trout buddies thought my "Libraries" post might have been a little "preachy."
Ain't seen nothing yet.
Can we have a little gear detente among the members of the Trout Industrial Complex, please?
First, line manufacturers: WTF?
I tried to find a double taper line in 6wt and nearly was blinded on the Airflow site. Rio ... you're right there too.
That's what I have to say.
Does every line have to "do something for me", really? I have yet to see one cast itself.
How many Bass Bug specialty lines can any one firm sell? If I'm throwing a HulaPopper, I'm not fly fishing!
Lastly, does no one mend? I'll end up with a very nice Airflow Elite DT because my local fly shop owner will sell it to me with a cup of coffee, spool it on my reel, and tell me the best grease to use all in one transaction.
There is nothing I can say here without sounding like I'm standing on the corner screaming that gas used to cost a quarter a gallon and I could buy a coke for a dime when I started college. [ I spent a long time in school.]
I'll pay a lot for gear because good gear lasts 20 years. I bought a Hardy rod last year my buddies will fight over the day they put me in the kiln.
$400+ for a mid-grade rod seems a bad thing for the sport, however. I'm known to have more money than brains yet somehow basing my business plan on such individuals appears unsound.
What do I know? They're not giving golf clubs away, either. Seems to be the new fly fishing model.
Felt works and the rest of it is just awful. No, I won't put bars on my boots and grind up all the rocks in my river.
I will however put on my Vibram soles which are great for the hike to the river, get in, and spend most of the day slipping on rocks like a pig on ice.
There's a special place in hell for the designers of wading boot soles. It's in the section where they only serve weak coffee.
I do wear felt bootfoot on my home river. Works fine. Home waters only for those soles.
No one at Megastore has ever offered me a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning or a beer on a Thursday evening as I bought tippet on the way to the stream.
I know how commerce works.
I also know something about building brands.
You get farther with a rod dealer and a cup of coffee than a rod dealer alone. If you work for Sage and read this: there's your takeaway.
Megastores are just rod dealers. Sure, nice guys do work there.
They won't however tell me there is nothing wrong with my existing 5 wt that can't be cured by learning to use a dynamic roll cast in splash-and-go mode.
They'll sell me a new broomstick. Latest thing. Sexy.
What Does It Mean?
Jockey matters as much as the horse.
It isn't the gear as much as it is the skill of the fellow using it.
There is a consistent effort on the part of the T.I.C. to obscure the roll of education, practice, and proficiency on the part of the angler as the primary contributor to enjoyment and success.
Sure, Sebastian Vettel drives for Fararri which is a pretty nice piece of gear. He'd also beat most of us to the airport though traffic in a Prius. He's a better wheelman.
Keep the existing 5 wt.
Learn something new.
I thought I was a fine fisherman when I came to Michigan because I could float a dry for a foot or so drift-free after the cast - well enough to take starved summer trout on the Big Thompson.
I didn't know Jack Shit.
I'm going to master tight-line nymphing before I go in the grave. Subsurface, Jack says. The fish eat things in the water more than things on the water.
I've got to go tie.