A Few Of Doc's Opinions
Doc Knoll sits back and thinks thoughts about fly fishing. Some thoughts you might have answers for, some you will agree with, and some you might not want to know about.
By Doc Knoll
Okay... I have a fly shop. Sometimes funny things do happen inside but.. they're pretty much "you had to be here," kinds of things. Then again, I often think of the various patrons who have stopped by for a visit... and then again I guess "you had to be there."
On any given day in the summer I greet a bunch of fly fishermen and women who just want to have a good time. They are usually cut from the same mold. But... being the way that I am, I usually remember the few which the mold hit the wall shortly after birth...
Some angling people want to stand in a stream's running water and have the percolation of the creek purge their souls. Others walk up the middle of the same creek and disturb so much of the bottom (in their quest for the big one) that anglers 1/4 of a mile away pull up stakes.
Other anglers want the "one photo" or one captured memory to smack them hard in the face... but then: it must be quickly mounted and placed on a wall.
I tell my kids that if they forget what a place looks like... then it's time to revisit.
If you bought a "fish stomach pump"... you need to catch a fish before you use it.
Being "politically correct for fly fishing," makes me puke. I like to catch fish and so do most of the people who use my shop. And, if they are having trouble hooking up to "that trophy" then I'll surely help them out... and that's for real.
I heard that a "notable" fly shop owner was bragging that he won some "notable" fly fishing contest. It figures... since nobody that I know bothered to go.
In my shop a "fishing story" is okay... but a liar will be shown the door.
I once had a visitor come and park in front of the shop. He got out of his car, opened a lawn chair, sat down then reclined and faced the sun. I think he fell asleep... because I let him stay there until he stirred (about two hours later). Did I tell you that Redford filmed A River Runs Through It in my neighborhood and the "sunburn scene" was filmed just up the road.
When I was a youngster I caddied at Braidburn Golf Course in New Jersey. The golfing "pro" told me if a golfer didn't swing a club "naturally" he would most likely always be a "hacker." My belief (for fly fishing) is that if you don't "get" the fly casting stuff "right" after one or two lessons try another instructor... because your being had.
Why can a kid using a hook and a gum wrapper catch more fish then some VIP with "everything made under the sun?"
I had a customer tell me he was floating the river with a guide from another area . The guide's cell phone went off. The guide then proceeded to book another trip while they floated past a series of "perfect holes." (I hear about ALL the complaints.)
One day I met a photographer and he had the walls of his house covered with all these memorable shots. .. then again I have been in other homes which the animal "decided" to come home and become part of the furnishings.... In 1972 I missed the world record for Pacific sailfish by 4 pounds. I mounted that fish and regretted it ever since- but that's just me.
Animal rugs (of any material) feel great to lay on... put one in a teepee and everyone regresses to "a level which is somewhat more primal." Trust me... that CAN be good.
Sometimes when I'm cutting the grass by the shop a person will pull into the parking area but they won't get out of their SUV until I turn off the engine on the mower.
Most of our visitors appreciate the fact that Amy and I give free cold soda to our guests... then again we think it would be downright crude to drink something chilled and refreshing in front of you. PS. (I want to add an ice cream bar to the shop but... then again, probably no one would leave for the river.)
I enjoy hearing that I had something to do with creating a "vacation of a lifetime."... But, I enjoy it more when I know they will be returning to my area once again.
I have a friend in the Florida Keys. He's a fishing guide and he doesn't take anglers out for "scenic floats" when he knows the fishing sucks. Wouldn't it be advisable for the other guides (wherever they are) to do the same? (Yes, I'm still fed up with the number of lousy guides.)
Most products which are advertised in very glossy print are worth about a third of what they actually cost... The rest went for the hyped advertising and the manufacturer's ego.
I raise feathers for fly fishing but to limit my fishing to just "fly fishing" is really stupid.
The average life of a fly hook is (by my estimations) is about thirty or forty minutes. The average fly should catch four or five fish before being trashed to the point of discarding the very worn fly. So, why does someone pay more then he should for a hook that has a life no longer then that? (ANSWER: glossy advertising.)
My neighbors are all avid fishermen and they all profess that "their section of the river hold lunker fish." I once connected all these great areas and it stretched through the Valley...
Lastly, why is it people on the shore cast to the deep water and the boaters cast to the bank?