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Whoooaahh sharp intake of breath!
We are funny in the UK when it comes to what is deemed acceptable and what isn’t in fly fishing. In America streamer fishing on rivers is popular whilst over here, we are happy to use streamers on still water but the mere mention of using streamers on running water can cause tuts and sweaty palms.
Why do some anglers shy away from or criticise flies that pose a possible resemblance to a maggot? After all the maggot is just a larvae of many types of flies such as the blue bottle and we use flies that imitate all sorts of different fly larvae such as caddis, and midge.
Why is it that a fly angler will delight on catching a fish using an imitation of a caddis larvae but not on the larvae of a blue bottle. I suspect, it is a bit of snobbery because maggots are commonly used to catch coarse fish. But why? Coarse fishing, fly fishing, sea fishing – it all shares a common objective, it’s all fishing!
It’s even more difficult to explain this to a beginner, to them it seems daft that one sort of fly is ok to catch a trout with in a pond but not in a river. Or its ok to imitate the larvae of one fly but not another. And to be honest, it is daft. Then again, be a fly angler I think you do have to be a bit daft really.
They key to negotiating this minefield of eccentricity and contradictions is to ask yourself the following question. Are you enjoying yourself? If the answer is yes and you are abiding by the rules of the fishery then that’s all that matters. Set your own boundaries and rules that make you happy and go for it.
I occasionally read with dismay some of the incredibly boring arguments on fly fishing forums online about all sorts of pointless topics and it made me think – while you can learn endless technical skills and preach to others what is right and wrong ’till the cows come home, some people never learnt the most important skill of all – how to enjoy.