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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
was having a good discussion with a friend of mine who is not a fly fisher.

Basic question - is fly fishing a diminishing sport? Myself being young, I don't see many fly fisherman my age (mid 20's) or younger. Its often a popular sport among the older folks. So what does WFF think? Is this a fragile culture and sport that will eventually disappear?
 

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Long Lost Member
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20,209 Posts
Not if I can help it. I'm the only fly fisher in my family, recently self taught. Both of my daughters 6 and 4 have spinning and fly rods. They both are interested enough to try them from time to time. I'll keep the pressure off but hopefully feed their interest over my own water time anytime they want. I've launched my pontoon boat a number of times this year without a rod of mine onboard just to spend time with them doing whatever they want to do. I can see myself row trolling one of my local stocker lakes with each of them trolling a WB just to see what they do if they hook up. As the fish populations diminish, why not see fly fishing grow as a more challenging way to catch fish? I can't think of any "bait fishing only" places but several "fly fishing only". Maybe that will help.
 

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Every time I go to a fly fishing show, like Ellensburg and Albany, OR, I am surprised at the large number of young people who are attending, taking casting lessons and watching tiers dress flies. I'm not talking about just 20 somethings, but teenagers and younger, both male and female. It's really encouraging to an old man like me (over 60) when the young folks sit and watch me tie flies and ask such sophisticated questions about the hows of fly tying but also the whys. A dead or dying sport..don't think so, as long as the younger folks find mentors willing to spend the time and energy to help them along the way.

REE
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Every time I go to a fly fishing show, like Ellensburg and Albany, OR, I am surprised at the large number of young people who are attending, taking casting lessons and watching tiers dress flies. I'm not talking about just 20 somethings, but teenagers and younger, both male and female. It's really encouraging to an old man like me (over 60) when the young folks sit and watch me tie flies and ask such sophisticated questions about the hows of fly tying but also the whys. A dead or dying sport..don't think so, as long as the younger folks find mentors willing to spend the time and energy to help them along the way.

REE
thats good to know! Perhaps its because fly fishing isn't a "mainstream" sport but its good to hear that its well and alive with younger people. I've had the privilege to fish with both older and younger folks and it always seems that there are not nearly as many younger folks. This goes with my friends as well. I have several friends who just don't understand my obsession with fly fishing. To them, gear fishing is more efficient and just easier. Perhaps they're right, but I think the importance in fly fishing is its culture and the people behind it. Maybe I'm generalizing but I'm always impressed by the fly fishing industry and their efforts in conservation.

Would be a shame to see it all go in the next century.
 

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Indi Ira
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9,492 Posts
When I was in my teens and in my twenties, I felt the same way. Now I'm in my late 30s (still young) but now I understand that sometimes it just takes awhile for folks to find it. But I guarauntee you that it is not going anywhere. On the contrary, I think you'll find it expanding even more in more in the next generation. I think that "fly fishing" will start to expand to non-fish species. I know people joke about it, but I bet we'll find that hunters will eventually see that catch and release is not a bad idea and as of yet the whole tranquilizer thing is still pretty new and like catch and release fishing it as of yet does not have a 100% revival rate for large game. So in the meantime I know there have been some guys playing around with large equipment and various techniques to lasso and otherwise snare large game. Oh yeah, you wait "flyfishing" ain't going nowhere.

Ira..
 

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BigDog
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3,554 Posts
I agree with mumbles and Ron, I don't think fly fishing is a dying sport. It is still a minority sport among fishermen (and women) nationwide, but in places (e.g., Montana) it seems to be the majority method. In general, in places where trout fishing predominates, fly fishing is growing. In WA, where there is still a lot of meat fishing in the salt and major rivers for anadromous fish and even in mountain lakes in the summer, it sometimes seems like fly fishermen are rare.

As an educator and editor, however, I do worry about grammar being a dying art...:)

Dick
 

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Fly fishing has a recorded history of over 500 years. That alone seems to suggest that there is something very basic that attracts certain individuals.

If we look back just 40 years ago there were very few flyfishermen compared to gear and bait fishers. Then the movie A River Runs Through It came out romanticizing flyfishing. This appealed to a whole new group of individuals and there was an upsurge in popularity. It also seemed to attract a large group of people who had a lot of disposable income. People became willing to spend a lot of money for the newest and best high tech rods and related gear. This does have a discouraging effect for beginners with limited means. Thankfully there are still manufacturers that are aware of market for lower priced and suitabe gear. Today fly fishing has become in a sense a cult following. Some of that is OK and some of it I c an do without.

Like anything that has a long history it will act like a pendulum. Sometimes very popular and at other times in decline. Fly fishing fills a basic need, or needs, in a certain type of individual and because of that it will always be.

Dave
 

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Eyes to the sky...
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2,738 Posts
It's not dying in my family. I'm 33, and started FFing this year. I picked it up from my dad, who taught my boys. Both the 6 and 9 yr old have their own rods and can cast. They are also starting to learn their way around a vise. Thoughts of the 3 of us exploring creeks and rivers all spring and summer are what's getting me through this winter. I worry that the fish won't be there when it's their turn to teach their kids. I think that is the only thing that will kill this sport.
Jason
 

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Still truckless now farther away
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1,693 Posts
Four sons are fly fishers, three grandsons have started. No grand daughters yet do, and the great grandkids are still to young. We're trying to keep it going. My Dad fished and bought me a fly rod about age 10 but he used a closed face reel on a custom made fly rod done my my Uncle. Dad would use flies with a float and he also used small lures and would sometimes troll all with the same outfit. He never learned to cast other than roll cast when we fished small alpine lakes. Othere than buying my first rod he never said anything about type or style. What he did do was show me and my sister a love for the great outdoors. And we have passed that on to our families. My sister is almost 70 and I started teaching her to fly cast last fall and we'll continue when she's here again. Bob
 

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Not Politically Correct
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276 Posts
I don't think the sport is dying either. I actually started sport fishing by becoming a "bait boy" when I was 12 years old for salmon on the charter boats at Westport. Moved up to skippering the boats during my college years and then finally just got burned out with the old mooching rod thing and quit sport fishing for a few years. Maybe working with tourists had a bit of a hand in that decision also. I always remembered and was intrigued watching Curt Goudy (sp) on American Sportsman fly fishing in exotic places so after several years of not sport fishing I picked up a fly rod. I was in my mid-30's when I did that and I have yet to lose any interest (55 yrs old now). In fact the interest keeps growing. I think the thing that keeps me going and will draw more people into the sport is the technique required, all the various factions (salt, lakes, rivers, cold water and tropics) and everything else that keeps the mind working. There is always something to learn about this sport. The only detriment that I see that would keep people out of the sport is the high cost of everything. It's fairly easy to walk into a fly shop, drop 35 to 50 bucks and walk out with a tiny plastic bag of "stuff". Buying equipment is a whole different level of cost that you would think would be hard on a young person just starting out. It's too bad our fly shops don't stock a line of cheaper stuff. People starting out could buy equipment without taking out a 2nd loan on their house and still get good quality advice that you get at the fly shop.
 

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Resident Swinger
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1,773 Posts
Fly Fishing will never die!!! I too was a gear guy for many years until I saw the 'fly light' when I turned 31. Now all I want to do is swing for steelhead on my spey rod. I also have a little one on the way, and if I have anything to do with it he will also enjoy the great points of fly fishing for many, many years.
 

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Richard,
Fishing in any form is a BLOOD SPORT! Whether you release a fish or harvest a fish there is blood spilled and there is always a chance of mortality. Those runs of salmon are meant to be harvested. That is the whole point of hatcheries! Just because a person takes a fish or two or three is not a bad thing in most instances. Total release of all fish caught in certain situations is not neccesarily a bad thing. There are situations where retention of all fish caught is good. No one can make a blanket statement that covers every situation. There are vaiables on top of variables.

I basically reject your inference that taking anandromous fish in general is a bad thing as well as harvesting fish from high mountain lakes is a bad thing.

As far as your English Teacher idea of grammer I will relate what a communications teacher told all of us in BIG CAPs on the black board.

I don't give a damn how you say it! As long as you get my Fing attention and I listen to what you have to say.
That just happened to be a 400 level persuasive speech class, instructed by a 60 plus grey haired old gal who knew how to make a point!

Dave
 

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Well im 26 now and i first picked up my first fly rod at 13 and there is no other fisherman in my family at all! but i have been fishing since i was 6 years old and i have never looked back, im a self tought fly fishermen and im pretty proud of it, my buddies that i fish with always give me crap about my fly fishing but now im teaching the both of them how to do it cuz they got intrested over the years of watching me do it and they have finally came around to the dark side lol. I dont think its dieing but its not the most popular way to fish either and the reason i think its not so popular is the fact that you cant learn this over night it takes time and effort and there is also a big missconseption on the fact that fly fishermen dont catch as many fish as gear fisherman do witch is a total farse, i dont know how many times i have gone down to the bank and out fished theys guys, its all about gathering the knowledge and practicing and putting to use and you will be as good as any fisherman anywere thats my 2 cents
 

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BAMF
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369 Posts
im 26, been fly fishing for 4 years now, didnt watch "a river runs through it" till last winter. i got into it cuase i was intrigued with the challenge, tradition, and classyness. I also viewed fly fishing as less of a blood sport, and not a kill all, keep all sport like bait and gear fishing had alway came off to me.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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460 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
good to hear from those that are dedicated to this sport. it definitely is a niche sport but from the sounds of it, not dieing.
 
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