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flyfisherman. Over the years, zealous adherents have nearly come to blows over such things as whether using a strike indicator is truly flyfishing at all. In fact, just today, I learned of a debate that raged nearly a century ago, and I'd like to share it with you. The following is an excerpt the book Practical Dry-Fly Fishing, by Emlyn M. Gill:


"And still harmony does not always reign supreme among members of the English floating fly fraternity. The dry-fly "purist," as he is known, casts his fly usually only when he sees a trout rising; he "stalks" the fish; if he sees a rise, he goes within casting distance of the spot, carefully places his fly so that it falls exactly where the trout had risen, or just above it, that the fly may float down over the fish. If he finally gives up in his attempt to catch this particular trout, he looks for another rising fish, but does not make another cast until he again sees a rise. If no rises occur within his vision during the day, he does not wet his line.

"An American, with a mind capable of seeing humorous features in almost all things, and also at times not beyond the temptation of indulging in ridicule, may easily see an opening for poking fun at the disappointed purist, as he returns at evening without once having cast a fly during the day.

"The strict purist, in turn, has retorted to those who are inclined to make of him a ridiculous figure, by calling all who do not adopt his methods "poachers." It would not be fair, however, to convey an impression that ill-natured criticism is common among the British sportsmen. I have read much of their literature, bearing on all sides of the question, and have found a general inclination to be tolerant of each others opinions, and most courteous in their arguments. Their ideas of sportsmanship are high, a condition that I believe is very general among dry-fly anglers everywhere. The fascination of the game seems to be the attraction of this method of fishing, and not the "heavy creel" at the end of the day."


So there you have it. No matter what lengths to which you go, there are some folks who will never be satisfied. Can you imagine a fellow angler calling you a poacher because you cast a dry fly to a riffle where you saw no rise? That was the state of the art in 1912. So don't feel bad - the recent debates may be nothing more than passionate sportsmen carrying on a proud tradition. I mostly enjoy stories, photos, fishing tips, river reports, and good humor. But I also enjoy a healthy debate once in awhile.

db

"If I don't catch them today, I'll catch them another day." Art Flick
 

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I find nothing in the "ethics" discussion discourteous. Winter is upon us and what are we to do in the evenings but contemplate and speculate. In my many years as a flyfisher, I've found Aristole's words very appropriate: "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If that constitutes "ranting", may I suggest a forum on needlepoint?
 

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Bright Rivers- thanks for the research. It's a good thought on the philosopical questions posed by our sport. I accept it (not for me) but not a bad idea for someone else. In fact, if I ever find myself up to my waders in fish, I might just try it. I'm open to new attitudes, ideas, and thoughts. :THUMBSUP
 

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On many sites, and a few times on this one as well, the "bickering" has lost much of it's proud tradition of literacy and respectful differences and taken on more the nature of beating a dead horse.I think it's good to be open to the possibilities and any forum worth it's salt would allow for open discussion. There's also an obvious need for setting the tone of respect, brevity and clarity.People can always find things to argue about, it can be endless.I hope this site does not go the way of many of the others with so many tired and disrespectful hacks at one another.Chris has asked, repeatedly, that we pay attention to what we are saying on this site. And he also sets the tone for what he feels this site stands for policywise.It's a good thing to have a little structure amidst the bickering.
 

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I'm with Little Stone. Two thoughts come to mind: Agree that we can disagree. and to be tollerant of others that disagree with your own view. I think it's great that a person is passionate about a ethics or whatever. Just express your views and justify as necessary. No need to ramble on. The person reading it will either get it and accept it or reject it. It does not help to use expletives, name calling, or to continue to 'beat the dead horse'. If everyone were tollerant of others the world would be a better place.

I would also like to say again that I really think that Chris is doing a great job with the site and forum. I have learned a lot so far and hope to continue for some time.


:THUMBSUP
 
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