The Art Of Trout Fishing
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Trout fishing has long been considered some sort of "art form" mostly because of the individuals that enjoy waving a long bamboo stick back and forth with some manifestation of a flea attached to it. Well, that, and a movie that was made back in the early nineties titled A River Runs Through It. The movie probably had more to due with this phenomenon than anything. Before the movie (which is a very good movie by the way) flea flicking wasn't truly considered any more of an "art" form than any other type of fishing, I would imagine.
My point to this little diatribe is that "fly fishing" shouldn't be considered the art form as much as trout fishing should. I have been in love with the "trout" for many years, and have enjoyed fishing for them for most of my fishing career. I'm primarily an ultra light fisherman, and love fishing for trout in the flowing waters of both rivers and streams while using ultra light gear, four pound test monofilament, and live worms as bait. That's right. Live worms as bait. I know this makes snobby flea flickers turn up their collective noses, but that's what I've always loved. I enjoy the art of trout fishing.
As a matter of fact 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of knowing the best trout angler that I've ever come across, and he taught me to fish for trout in this manner. He was adamantly against flea flicking, simply because the flea flickers acted so holier than though, that it drove him nuts. So he developed techniques for fishing with live worms that were truly revolutionary, and amazingly effective. I've been using the tips and techniques that this "trout master" taught me with incredible success for more than 20 years.
He taught me that the trout (as well as all fish) should be respected, and that worm anglers were every bit the "artist" that any flea flicker had ever been proclaimed to be, as long as they "worm fished" in the proper manner. This meant not trying to "thread" a worm onto a hook like a six year old. It meant presenting your worm as bait in a respectable manner, naturally, the way God intended. It also meant being as efficient as possible, so employing equipment like retractors to carry your lightweight, heavily used fishing gear and a bait bag for carrying your live worms.
The bottom line is that trout fishing itself can be considered an art, whether you're using bait or waving a fly back and forth. The "art" comes through techniques and practice, rather than through the manner in which a person fishes. The trout is a beautiful and wonderful fish that I feel privileged to have the opportunity to try to catch. Is what any of us does to catch a trout truly an "art form"? Who knows, and at the end of the day, who cares? What's important, in my mind, is that I get the opportunity to stand in the flowing water of my favorite river or stream, and attempt to catch a trout or two. Other than that, it's all just details.
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