Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All the Rage

Although fly fishing in general has changed very little from its origins, the techniques seem to be in a phase of progression. This is probably due in large part to the fact that fly fishing is becoming more popular as a competition sport.  The competition anglers are using techniques that irritate some of the purists and traditional fly fishing enthusiasts.  In fact, many would argue that the whole idea of competition fly fishing is counter to the ethos of fly fishing.  The image of fly fishing anglers running around like bass fishermen is enough to give many a feeling of utter disgust and consternation.  Putting that aside, the techniques being employed by competition anglers are compelling.
Although not new, the style of czech nymphing is becoming more popular, and I can't help but think that competition angling has resulted in the increased use of this technique.  I have come across anglers who are using 20-30 foot leaders, and rods 12 feet in length.  Indicators are very common these days, but in competition, apparently such approaches are not always permitted, and thus, "curly" leaders and bright colored "patches" of line in the leader and tippet are used to serve as de facto indicators.  Regardless of whether you view fly fishing in a more traditional or "purist" sense, a very important aspect of fly fishing is the process learning.  The competition anglers and the techniques they are using add an element of excitement, challenge, and progression that add a nice dimension to the sport.  The day I think I have "it all figured out" and stop trying to learn, is the day I'll probably stop fly fishing. As a result, I hope to learn from the competition anglers and employ some of their techniques over the course of my next few fishing trips.  The Gubna will be hunting brown trout on the Little Red River this weekend, and hopefully, a favorable report will be on the board very shortly.