Picking a gear heads pocket

#1
Man, fishing has been tough this month. I thought February was going to be a bust: it's been that slooow. And it's not just me. Nobody has been hooking up. This week I talked to some guys who floated the river and told me they got into four to six fish their last trips. This really got me more focused. The next run I hooked into a chrome hatchery(?) that came unpinned at my feet.
The next day I was at it again. This water has some really gnarly natives that can and have kicked my ass on many occasions. There unfortunately aren't as many of them around. But this day I am determined.
As I am fishing I notice someone fishing the next run below me. A gear guy. He is fishing the water I hoped to swing through, but c'est la vie, I'm going to have to follow him through the runs. I walk to the next run and see him starting to fish the run below. I stop and fish a short rocky tail out where I've never moved a fish, but it's fishy so I fish it. By this time I notice the guy has moved to the body of the run, so I reel up and move to the next run. This is a popular piece of water, so it's probably seen a few worms, eggs, jigs etc.. I decide to change up my rig. I cut off the big blue and black fly, change to a type three tip and tie on a sombre pattern tied on a traditional steel head iron. I do this away from the bank because fish can and do hold in close; the seam beginning in deepish water. I'm tired and my focus is waning. I tie a knot and it breaks. I tie another knot and it breaks. Finally a knot that holds. By the time I'm re-rigged I notice that my line is tangled in the surrounding foliage. I look like I've been cooking spaghetti with the Three Stooges. Untangled, I'm now ready to fish, but my focus is nowhere. I begin my first cast away from the bank, a short overhead cast with a two hander. I take another few steps closer to the bank and cast again. Finally I'm in the water stripping out the line and swinging. I'm up against the brush and my casting sucks. On about my third strip of line I cast, and it's so bad I don't even shoot the line I've stripped. But I decide to let the current pull my line out. Self conscious I look to see if the gear fisher is noticing by poorly choreographed casting performance. What happens next is foggy because honestly, my head is in a funk. What I do remember is watching my line feed through the guides, then watching my line start to bow in the water, then watching my line feed through the guides and finally a screaming reel. I can't remember if the fish jumped once or twice, but I do remember the gear guy packing up as my fish jumped just upstream of him (he's on the opposite bank). I reel the fish in and fight him with about half my sink tip in. I switch angles hoping to throw him off balance knowing that with a long iron I'm giving him the leverage to unpin himself (herself?). With a battle still ahead the hook pops free, but who cares, I just got the better of the gear guy. I doesn't happen often, but when it does... Swwwweeeeeet!!!!
 

Lex

Active Member
#7
Nice report but to be honest, I'm sick of the whole gear vs fly thing and it's the snobby attitude that is a total freaking turn off. It doesn't matter if a gear guy was there or not. You hooked and played a steelhead behind someone using gear. So what. I use gear, I use flies and both catch fish. Neither makes anyone more special.
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#10
I've been a fly angler ALMOST as long as I've been a gear angler (close, but not quite). I've known tons of anglers on both sides. I can honestly say I've seen more flyanglers who get butthurt and make a deal about gear anglers then vice versa. And I've been in, and run, MANY camps on both sides of the spectrum with a good variety of anglers. I've heard quite a bit of bitching at the fly campfires about gear, but can't seriously recall one bitchfest of a gear angler at a campfire complaining about someone flyfishing. I've heard smacktalk on the water. But that was just people being people (basically friends shittalking). But they'd have been tossing insults if it was a plugrod, jigrod, spoonrod, or flyrod. It was simply to get a reaction out of a friend is all.
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#11
I've been a fly angler ALMOST as long as I've been a gear angler (close, but not quite). I've known tons of anglers on both sides. I can honestly say I've seen more flyanglers who get butthurt and make a deal about gear anglers then vice versa. And I've been in, and run, MANY camps on both sides of the spectrum with a good variety of anglers. I've heard quite a bit of bitching at the fly campfires about gear, but can't seriously recall one bitchfest of a gear angler at a campfire complaining about someone flyfishing. I've heard smacktalk on the water. But that was just people being people (basically friends shittalking). But they'd have been tossing insults if it was a plugrod, jigrod, spoonrod, or flyrod. It was simply to get a reaction out of a friend is all.

Odd. My experience is 180 degrees from this. I was taught to watch for snobby or elitist fly guys. They are actually not all that easy to find. Anglers are usually cool guys regardless of gear types. I have had some truly awful experiences with gear fishermen though, mostly that had assumed some odd things about me due to the thickness of the lines I was using. Other times from just a different pespective on how we all shoud treat each other.

In my early years when I did not fly fish at all, I just believed flyfishermen were generally snobby elitists. It's what I was taught in the boat. With some gear anglers, I've found the sensativity level to be so high that it isn't worth talking about fishing at all unless you are talking about gear fishing only. Like most things if you look hard enough you'll find it.

Go Sox,
cds
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Odd. My experience is 180 degrees from this. I was taught to watch for snobby or elitist fly guys. They are actually not all that easy to find. Anglers are usually cool guys regardless of gear types. I have had some truly awful experiences with gear fishermen though, mostly that had assumed some odd things about me due to the thickness of the lines I was using. Other times from just a different pespective on how we all shoud treat each other.

In my early years when I did not fly fish at all, I just believed flyfishermen were generally snobby elitists. It's what I was taught in the boat. With some gear anglers, I've found the sensativity level to be so high that it isn't worth talking about fishing at all unless you are talking about gear fishing only. Like most things if you look hard enough you'll find it.

Go Sox,
cds
May be where you're fishing (and can be the guys you're hanging around with too), not sure. I grew up fishing since the early 70's in the South Puget Sound and OP rivers. Plus, I did run one of the larger gear boards too from the early 90's until present. And would have big Tilla's on local rivers (up to around 100+ guys at these events). You'd see a wide range of guys (not just a certain specific set of guys). Never heard a one knock on fly guys (and we would have flyfisherman, including myself some years, fishing with us). Just friendly banter. Which was always over a cold one around the campfire. But none that were malicious. Mind you, this was a HUGE spectrum of gear guys. Almost every style was represented at our Tillas. Now, of my get togethers like the Hoh Down, Spey Claves, etc, I've heard a TON of flyfisherman knocking on gear guys over the last 20 years or so of the net (pre net I rarely heard knocking of either side, and the group of my Dad's friends I grew up fishing with NEVER knocked me for grabbing up a flyrod). Hell, first speyclave up on the Sky was attrocious of the knocks on gear guys (and I could clearly tell it was from uneducated views on what a gear fisherman is). But that was a good 20+ guys knocking them just at the Sky Speyclave (circa 99/2000). I just remember I was off hurt when it happened. But I actually felt uneasy how ignorant the rants were, and how all gear guys were "bubbas". Wasn't most of the guys I knew. Most people refer to the snaggers as what a "gear guy" is. Those are the heavy bait, big ass hooks, snagging mofos what set the example for most flyguys. But they are truly a small percentage of all "gear guys". But I come from old school Steelheaders, most of my family was steelheading here BEFORE the "greats" who flyfished the S rivers were even born. So for us it was all about being on the water fishing, not what rod you have in your hand (and why I'll never go exclusive one or the other). :)
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#13
The next time I run across and elitist or a snob I'll let you know.

This thread is a good example of the sensativity factor. What's wrong with being a bit proud to pick a gear guys pocket. I've had my pocket picked and I take the ribbing. In this case the OP picked the pocket of someone using a far more effective tactic than swinging. Why is tha snobbish?

Go Sox,
cds
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#14
I've never had a gear fisherman give me lip about fly fishing (in 34 years). More often curiosity or a "well, if you want to do it that way" smiles tinged with incredulity...but friendly. I can only think of one guy who got his shorts in a knot about how I was fishing, ever. It was a float fisherman on the Grande Ronde in the 1990's. I'm pretty sure he was just a prick, or having a bad day. We were both gear fishing at the time.
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#15
I've never had a gear fisherman give me lip about fly fishing (in 34 years). More often curiosity or a "well, if you want to do it that way" smiles tinged with incredulity...but friendly. I can only think of one guy who got his shorts in a knot about how I was fishing, ever. It was a float fisherman on the Grande Ronde in the 1990's. I'm pretty sure he was just a prick, or having a bad day. We were both gear fishing at the time.
Funny you mention that. I've had more guys say "Man, I've always wanted to do that" or "I have a flyrod, but have had noone to teach me" then crappy remarks on the water.