Thursday, November 3, 2011

The connection of fly fishing and bow hunting

So I haven't posted in some time. Summer was busy with landscape construction. I haven't gotten out that much. I have however made a few trips here and there. I have been working on a yard in order to be able to bow hunt. This has been a bit over bearing seeing as this house has gotten away from the land owner so there was a lot to do there. The real fun part of this is I can't shoot does there and I can't shoot the mid size 8 point because we are hoping he makes it to next year. There is a lot of work  to help the deer out as well. So now the game is sit and wait and hope a big boy decides to come in and take over the area. Here in NJ you get a buck stub and you really want to use it on a nice buck but it's really hard to have a decent buck come in and not shoot it. This makes you appreciate the deer for what they are. Hunting isn't always about killing, sometimes it is about just being out there watching wildlife go by and not being detected .
This gets to my point in a connection between two sports. Fly fishing with a two handed rod really is my passion, swinging a fly through the water is my favorite thing to do. Here in the east it isn't the easiest thing to do due to the size of the rivers in most places here.
Bow hunting and fly fishing have always been a way for me to get away from work and dealing with people. I recently went away on a trip to the salmon river in upstate NY.
I got involved in what I will call combat fishing. This has to be the biggest joke I have ever witnessed and I honestly don't think I want to do it again. They have what you call "fly zones" on this river.  They are less then a mile long and hard areas to walk in let alone fish. Everyone and their brothers show up here and do some unethical fishing practices. Now you  can swing here and fish in an ethical way but on all sides of you are guys fishing with egg flys with lead sinkers on. They look for Salmon on redds or in groups and send the sinker in and snag a fish. I watched a "man" across from me snag about thirty to forty fish in a few hours. This is not fly fishing it is a snag fest against helpless fish. I understand the want to catch a fish. I like to catch fish. The fact that sinkers are not made illegal in these fly zones is beyond me. Fly fishing with a sinking line is fly fishing so long as it isn't too long or a poly leader. For that matter a indicator with a weighted fly can be fly fishing. I mean if you want to fish with split shot and lead why not just use a spinning rod or gear rod. It really is something to catch a fish on a fly. It is a challenge. If you are a cowboy super hero redneck fisherman who is into snagging then why don't you go to a snag hole somewhere. You're not a fisherman you are a scumbag plain and simple! To accept the challenge of fly fishing is to learn to open your mind and to think. It takes skill to figure it out. I will fish again but I seriously will be walking or floating to get away from the scumbag fisherman here on the east coast. I have seen this out west as well and I really have to check myself as to why I even would let myself stand among such " fisherman."
I guess maybe it is just the drifter in me that doesn't fit in with these type of people. A few of my fellow fisherman might take offense to what I've said and I have a few good friends who don't mind fishing in the combat zone and you guys know who you are. But please understand I fish to get away from the bullshit not get into the heart of it.
I have had some time to sit in a tree stand and think about why I do this outdoor thing. .It isn't to be a super hero or better then the next guy. I do it to find some peace and quiet. I have been accused of trying to show off when I posted a pic or two of myself with a fish. I post this blog to let people see and know there is another world out there under the trees.
I'm not alive to be a super hero or a show off. I fish and hunt because I Am. I think most people have forgotten what getting outdoors means. We have T.V. shows that glorify hunters and fisherman to sell products. We have to wade through tons of garbage to find products that work and pay tons of money to get out there. For the life of me I don't understand why you would pay your hard earned money to be a scumbag and cheat to get a fish or a deer. There is nothing better then to actually achieve a goal even if it takes time. It took me three years to finally hook a steelhead on a fly on the swing. I hiked many a mile to find that fish. I put many a sleepless morning in. I learned to cast with a two hand rod. On my own mind you! All to catch that fish. When it finally happened on that cold morning next to the river I was by myself and the fish slammed my fly and went down river doing flips out of the river. There was nothing like it and it felt like I finally won something so special. You just don't get that feeling of gratification snagging fish or cheating to get a deer. If you cheated deep down you know you are just that a cheater. Accept the challenge and fish and hunt like a real man or woman do it to live and not cheat!
Fly fishing and bow hunting are a challenge to do in many forms. Some long bow hunt, some single or two hand fish, some use compounds bows. This can be rewarding to the hunter or fisherman who really gets into it. You can really get into it learning to tie your own flies and learn more about what is happening in the underwater world of the river or try to silent hunt and sneak up on a deer or draw one into your tree stand. Like anything it takes time and work and if it really comes that easy you are probably cheating!