Book Review: Magical Fly Fishing for Majestic Steelhead!

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Zen Piscator, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,377
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +485 / 0
    It was ranked at 472,000 something through Barnes and Noble on the selling list...but I don't know out of how many......and that changes daily. And with all the Pub he's getting from us it will not help that number.... but it sure will put a lot of fingerprints on that one copy in the store. :clown:
  2. Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Posts: 3,076
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Guys, I told you it makes a great fire starter. That alone is worth 34.95, to me anyways.
  3. bondra New Member

    Posts: 17
    Fall City, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    This is hilarious. I'm a newbie here, so I went back to look at some of this guy's old posts on the site, and they're a hoot. He tends to stop counting once he's hit ten steelhead in a day? Okay, fella -- but as for me, I generally stop counting at zero, because I find it both easier and more accurate that way.

    I'm sorry, but Rule Numero Uno about BS'ing, which he breaches in spades, is that you have to keep your BS within spitting distance of the even-slightly-plausible. I'm wondering -- is he even a real guy, and has anyone ever really seen him fish?
  4. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,377
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +485 / 0
    Usually the No. 1 Steelheaders in this state and adjacent states prefer to fish alone. I had seriuosly forgotten about his authoritative posts....I catch Steelhead. It's not that hard. I can tell you all of this.....I will never write a book on how to catch any type of fish.....but I might be able to come up with a good campsite recipe book. Because I can cook. I have now discovered the expertise on how to cook. It is really simple. Use my ingrediants and it will taste great..... :clown: Oh gawd! :p :p :p

    This might be my last post I make here but it is fact .... I'm gonna give you a recipe to die for..... :clown: See TomB's fruit cake recipe
  5. Paul_ Active Member

    Posts: 211
    La Center
    Ratings: +93 / 0
    I think we get the point, don't buy the book. Why keep piling on him? oh, I forgot this is WFF.
  6. mgamby Active Member

    Posts: 160
    vancouver, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    yeah no kidding, jeeesus.

    WFF in the house.
  7. dbk Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +54 / 0
    Code:
    I think we get the point, don't buy the book. Why keep piling on him? oh, I forgot this is WFF
    Amen. One would think we all have better things to do than bag on this guy. Who cares if he catches a lot of steelhead (or not) and has written a book about it? If the book is not good, offer an opinion about that, but ripping the guy who wrote it is just classless, even if the claims he makes are exaggerated and untrue.
  8. SilverFly Ancient Steelhead Sensei

    Posts: 372
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +49 / 0
    I have it on good authority that he is "the real deal" and is a fish catching "machine". Whether that is due to his "majic flies" or him being some sort of hyper-focused steelhead "savant", - I don't know. I'm just going on what I've been told.

    BFD if the guy is far better at catching steelhead than selling his ideas with some degree of finesse. Since when did "excessive enthusiam" become an offense worthy of internet lynching?

    Personally I have far greater respect for someone who's people skills might need polishing, but treats other's with respect, than a bunch of [insert plural explicative of choice] that take great joy in picking that same person apart in a feeding frenzy of sadistic glee. :rolleyes:
  9. Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Posts: 3,076
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    This dude does catch alot of fish, so i respect that. However, the way his instruction is put forth is comedic and hard to believe mannor in my eyes. I think some of the stuff in the book is in some way dishonest and i dont like seeing books that give false info. So ya, take it for what you will.
  10. SilverFly Ancient Steelhead Sensei

    Posts: 372
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +49 / 0
    Then don't buy the damn book and say something to the effect "I don't recommend it", "I found it to be lacking in substance", etc...

    You know it would have been one thing if Clay came on this site and said "You guys are all dumbasses and I can outfish any one of you MF'ers!", or something truly offensive to that effect. That's not what he did.

    If you guys thought he was full of crap then you should have ignored him or slung a few barbs in jest and let it be. What happened was something straight out of Jane Goodall's notebook. A full-fledged, High School, "YOU can't sit at the cool table, - heres your wedgy nerd!" group lynching.

    Thing is I keep hearing about how fly fishermen are "superior", have "class", etc... I'm sure as hell not seeing that in this thread (myself included).
  11. inland Active Member

    Posts: 592
    .
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    SF,

    He basically did that. Sorry, Sharpie rubbed plenty o folks in a bad way. Some of which are highly respected professionals in the sport.

    Good for him for publishing a book. Takes nad to do so. Good for those of us which have the option of not purchasing the book and being outspokenly critical of it. Or the author. I'm sorry if his feeble and overzealous self promotion/marketing attempts are hurting his image. HE DID IT to himself. The dude never let up or missed an opportunity.

    I don't care if he is the best of the best of the best at being the 'real deal'. From numerous attempts to probe his knowledge it became pretty clear: He doesn't know jack shat beyond his version of nymphing. Of which I don't give a ratz arse about or how many fish caught. If I am in this game for maximum fish on rod and reel why screw around...go straight for bait and/or hardware. Use a damn flyrod with centrepin reel if you are concerned about how they are gonna feel on the rod or don't like a 25:1 retrieve ratio. I would rather be castrated and boiled in oil then drift fish with a fly rod ever again. For any species. Means nothing to me. Call me an ass or a snob I don't care. How many freaking fish does it take to realize you are smarter then an instinctual creature with a brain the size of a pea? Geez man I remember as a 10 year old bait fishing kid trying to make the game harder. That is how I quickly ended up with a fly rod in hand. What I don't understand is why there seems to be so much emphasis in trying to do everything to make the game more effective while using uniquely limited gear??? This last statement is what drove McMillan to develop his fishing techniques. And he too was a numbers guy but chose to use his data for attempting to put some science with the anecdotes.

    Flourocarbon and drift fishing...Clay Sharp...So be it...those choices are up to the individual. Enjoy them as you will. If it means I am the kid in the corner wearing my drawers around my ears so be it. Don't give a crap and will trudge on with my own rules. But I will NOT purchase that damn book.

    William
  12. dbk Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +54 / 0
    Nothing this guy allegedly did justifies people tearing him down on this forum. To blame the classless reponses of some here on Clay Sharp is analagous to the girl who gets date raped and then is told she brought it on herself because she wore suggestive clothing and acted like a "tease" on the date. Bad behavior is simply that, regardless of what "motivated" it, and should not be tolerated in a forum like this. Nobody was forced into making classless, disrespectful comments about Clay Sharp. It was a free choice, and they should be accountable for what they did. This is a great site, but crap like this appeals to the lowest common denominator and makes flyfisherman in general look bad.
  13. Stephen Rice Senior Member

    Posts: 1,479
    Wasilla, Alaska
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Unfortunately what everybody is saying is true. Clay is a nut job at best. I have had the chance to fish with the guy and he does catch some steelhead. I remember we were on the Kalama one time and we werent there more than ten minutes and he hooks into a monster which drug him down about fifty yards from where he hooked him. it was a beautiful Steelhead too. If he had any secret way to catch a steelhead I didn't see it. I have tried his little fly and never had any success with it. I know it works because that is probably the only fly he ever uses. He is a strange character that is for sure, I can only take little bits an pieces of him. When I had met him he had started to fall on hard times, the coast guard was giving him a hard time, his wife was divorcing him, yet he had a positive attitude(to a fault) about everything.
  14. SilverFly Ancient Steelhead Sensei

    Posts: 372
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +49 / 0
    Inland,

    I understand he rubbed folks the wrong way. Yes he was definitely overzealous and did not know when to quit pushing. It was painfully obvious to me that he did not understand the hostility he was receiving and assumed it was that people simply did not believe him. The only response he knew was to offer more "proof" of his success, which of course, only dialed up the hostility. It was a vicious feedback cycle. It should have been obvious to everyone that he did not understand it was his approach that was offending people. I'm sorry, but I feel that it was contingent on those he was offending to take the higher ground and break the feedback cycle by ignoring him. That is the reaction consistent with "superiority" and "class".

    I find it interesting that the remainder (and bulk) of your reply is devoted to "technique", which has absolutely zero relevance to how we treat other human beings. I don't give a ratz azz if he slapped a Zebco spinning reel on his flyrod and caught steelhead with bass lures. That's his choice. NOTHING within the boundaries of legal fishing regulations deserves the flood of unbridled distain and sadistic wrath he received as a result.

    His approach to the sport was very simplistic in viewing success as a matter of catching lots of fish. I actually found that refreshingly "innocent" for lack of a better word. Annoying? Maybe, but definitely not a hanging offense in my book.

    Lets all take a good look in the mirror because I think we can do a lot better next time.
  15. Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    I haven't read his book, nor have I even seen it. However, I have spoken to Clay for hours at a time on the telephone. He asked me to endorse his book, to write a paragraph suggesting that I too knew that all of Clay's stories were true. That didn't happen and here's why...

    Clay was a nice guy, and I don't doubt that he caught some fish, that said, I asked him specifically how many days he would average out steelhead fishing in a given season and his reply was 10-14...He'd also mentioned that he had been in the Coast Guard and had been unable to get out fishing for many years. From what I gathered, his success was limited to a very short period of time, a few days during a season or two after retiring from the Coast Guard. I believe his success has been limited to a very few fish.

    What Clay didn't understand was that there are many fly fisherman here in the Pacific northwest who average well over 100 days per year in pursuit of these fish, and furthermore, that many of them have spent far more time and have far more knowledge about these fish and fishing skill than Clay could begin to comprehend. In Clay's mind, he was as fishing tornado...relentless in his pursuit of these fish. :confused:

    If Clay were to invest 100+ days per season on any series of steelhead rivers, he too would find that catching "a bunch" of steelhead happens rarely. Clay would state that he 'never' has been skunked while he's been out, and anyone who has spent time in pursuit of these fish, know that either he doesn't spend much time after them or he is full of BS. I've spoken to my fair share of 'old' steelheaders and I can think of only a few of them who've said that they had caught over 10 fish in a day here in the pacific northwest during their entire lifetimes.

    I offered Clay a number of opportunities for him to come out and fish with me, and put him to the test. Mind you, this would be fishing for these fish year-round. At that point, he conceded that his success has been very limited, fishing one tributary that I won't mention, that gets stacked with hatchery fish in the fall.

    As I mentiond, Clay was a nice guy, I'm not bashing him as an individual. However, I'm skeptical at best about his book, and I believe I've pointed out why. So if his book offers some 'magic bullet', some 'new' technique that has yet to be employed, and suggests that he's spent 'year's developing it, I'd be skeptical at best. If someone wants to believe there's a Santa...go for it. If his technique is able to stand up to the claims he makes, then more power to him. On the other hand, if it's a bunch of BS, which I believe it is, why make it into something that it's not?

    I love quotes from Carl Sagan and here's one that seems right for the topic:
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

    Now if Ed Ward, Mike Kinney, or Les Johnson were to write a book on the topic, I'd highly recommend it!
  16. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,377
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +485 / 0
    :beer1: :beer1:
  17. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    P.T. thanks for calling me an idiot. I appreciate it! You know are going to be low holed and going to need to duck from my mighty snap-t ;) .

    Searun, I remember you defending your friend Jim Teeny who fishes the same way as Clay, and talks about himself just as much. Do you think this is a little hypocritical? By the way, nice book!

    Stephen Rice is right, Clay has gone through a lot of hard times over the last few years. Clay wrote that hook in hopes that he could make some extra money so that he could pay for school, while helping to support his kids. I talked to him after a friend of ours died and he told me that he finally got into seminary school. Something that he has dreamed about and worked his butt off for. I'm no Jesus freak, but I know what kind of devotion and love it takes to dedicate themselves to God. I personally pray to the steelhead god. He has not replied yet this year.

    Clay does not deserve the bashing he is getting, even in jest. Although I have problems with the guy, I would never ridicule a man that works his ass off to feed his family and try to improve himself. He does not deserve this. Bashing a man that cannot defend himself is just plain cowardly. It is no better than the poor ethics and etiquette that we complain about everyday on this forum.

    Let's all just go fishing. :beer2:
  18. Matt Burke Active Member

    Posts: 3,640
    Kenmore
    Ratings: +55 / 0
    Why should anyone take the high ground? What? It’s the job of the public to coddle and protect new writers or fisherman until they build up a tough enough skin to stand up by themselves? I don’t think anyone held Trey Combs’ hand. How about Les Johnson? Did a bunch a guys wearing thongs at a fishing party, dance around the fire and chant for Les’s protection against the evil public. Why the hell should anyone have to bend over for anyone? Unless you are promoting diversity in the community. If you can’t take the heat, then get the hell out of the kitchen. Clay’s writing skills have always sucked, his people skills are worse as evidenced by his behavior at claves and other gatherings and you would be a damn fool to even think of buying this book or believe that the fly fishing community should be forgiving of someone with numerous shortcomings. It’s hard to ignore anyone who stands on his own soap box and craps all over himself. Did Roderick Haig-Brown need anyone to help him. I heard he was very arrogant and rubbed people the wrong way, but the guy could write a damn book. In fact, there are quite a few authors out there that have rotten people skills, but they can write a book and they get published by legitimate company’s after spending years writing for several papers, magazines, etc. Just because Clay has been through some hard times, we should cut him some slack? We all have been through hard times. Gezus, I’m going to puke. So if poor Clay can’t get through the first hurdle of writing by himself without a bunch of full grown men dancing in thongs to protect him, screw him. Don’t buy his book.
  19. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,135
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,224 / 0
    Jesus Matt, sounds like you forgot to take your meds today ;)

    To your point about Les Johnson, Combs, Haig Brown, and others, they also know/knew how to catch fish, not just write.

    K
  20. inland Active Member

    Posts: 592
    .
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Who is trying to hang Clay? Who is trying to date rape Clay? Are you guys nuts? Last time I checked not a single hand was being laid on the guy. Not a single person said they were going to physically harm him. Please don't insult those who have been lynched or date raped by comparing the statements in this thread to the real world.

    Steve said it best...as usual. For those that are having a hard time understanding please read his post again. And again until you are able to understand that Clay's fishing perception isn't reality. Not even close.

    William