Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Gunpowder River and a proposed management style

The Gunpowder should be called the Gunpounder. This poor tailwater in Maryland, during the warm months, is fished and kayaked to death.

I wish to god the beautiful catch and release stretch was run like a private club, with beats and a nominal daily rod fee...and no boating allowed.

I have had some of my my memorable angling moments on the Connectquot (sp?) and Nissequogue (sp?) in Long Island are run on a beat system. This system is simply the only way that decent smaller trout streams near large population centers can remain healthy and fun to fish in the warm months. In the cold months, the streams could go back to standard catch and release, no bait.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Fractal Salmon Fly and a Salmon fly Manifesto

I am firm in the belief that the various permutations of the salmon, steelhead and streamer flies allow the most artistry and creativity in the act of flytying. The pallette is larger, the amterials more varied and the need for exact imitation of the drab colors of nature is obviated.

I am also of the belief that macro-photographed portions of those same flies can be a kind of art in and of themselves. As we get closer, the imperfections come to the forefront and what seemed to be perfection turns out to be the irregular folly of our quivering fingertips. The salmon fly becomes the fractal shoreline- flowing and gangly becomes linear and angular which them becomes flowing and gangly, ad infinitum.

Like so many things in our life, the salmon fly as currently tied urges us toward a kind of mechanical perfection. Gone is the ever-so-slightly rough-hewn sensibility of those who tied salmon flies for fishing. Instead, we are left with a generation of mere technicians, hermeneutically reinterpreting aged tomes to mean that spending two hours constructing a wing is acceptable and that a salmon fly selling for $300 is rational.

I throw back the gauze clouding modern salmon fly tying and offer this Manifesto:

1. A salmon fly tied must be tied to be fished
2. A salmon fly must follow rules until makes sense not to.
3. A salmon fly pattern must be able to be completed in under ten minutes.
4. A salmon fly need not be fished for salmon, but must be fished with passion.
5. A salmon fly should use materials that reflect the tier's respect for the natural world and for once-living beasts.

Tie on, friends.