Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 19 - Words of Wisdom

Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morn, sailor be warned.

My dad used to say this to me and my brother a lot when we were kids. It's a simple phrase that helps predict the weather. I've been told it has to do with clouds reflecting something or another and normal weather patterns. All I know is that for the most part this old sage advice holds mostly true.

In my exhaustive search (about ten minutes of googling) I've found many pieces of advice that should help, inspire, locate, catch, et cetra, et cetra for the fly angler. The sayings range from the bizarre to the very plausible "why didn't I think of that" insight.

For example, here's a bit of information that makes sense to me, and I wonder why I haven't heard of this until now:
Let's follow the birds today.

It makes sense that if birds are swarming above a stream, they are obviously eating some kind of insectlife. As a fly fisherman, I should take notice, as maybe a hatch is on, and I should try to "match the hatch" (another good adage).

A few months ago, while on a fishing trip in Wisconsin with a friend, I heard this advice from him:
If you see a fox (dead or alive) it will be a good day of fishing.

I'm not sure how this plays to fly fishing, maybe something to do with active wildlife seeking food? I'm really not sure, but it seems that fly fishing has a lot of these sayings, or bits of wisdom, that predict success or failure.

Another one that I've heard, and tend to use is:
Bright day, bright fly.

I think that is a pretty standard saying and it has proven useful in the past. My guess is that its easier to see bright colored flies on sunny days, which in turn helps with triggering an aggressive response in trout. I'm no scientist, so I can't speak with authority.

I remember hearing about a fellow angler in Minnesota who only fishes with an 8 weight rod. He's been known to catch big fish consistently. Someone, who obviously had trout envy asked him what was his secret. His reply was:
Big fish, big fly.

I'm pretty sure that one has been around for awhile, but I do like his simple explanation to the man's question.

Ken Iwamasa (fly tyer, guide, professional fly angler, photographer...) has this knowledge to bestow upon us when we tie our own flies:
The flytier who practices with the flies he or she has created soon realizes that there can be a large degree of difference between a fly pattern that catches the admiration of anglers and those that catch trout.
I'm very aware of this knowledge, as I have a whole drawer of "pretty" flies that are wonderful to look at, but can't even catch a cold.

Now I understand that I've only touched the tip of the iceberg on this adage. So, I'm asking you the reader to provide your thoughts on this topic. The way I figure, I can always use a little more wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. I will give you the "Bigger Fly, Bigger Fish" time and time again Josh has moved up in size to get something meal worthy.