Fly fishing emerges into the future with updated technology, techniques, and newly discovered information. However, there seems to be a constant clash between modern advances and long lasting traditions . Anglers on both sides of the debate of how fly fishing should be are growing considerably more biased towards one another.

Recently, I stumbled across a topic that some anglers considered incredibly controversial. Fly fishing legend, Lefty Kreh, is scheduled be teaching a seminar titled ” Take Better Pictures With A Smart Phone Or Any Camera” on January 25th at the upcoming Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ . The subject sparked a debate over social media, containing strong opinions from both sides. The traditionalists argued that a man who has contributed so much to fly fishing, such as Lefty, should not be teaching such a class, because it is against traditions practiced over hundreds of years. Quite a few anglers consider taking a photograph of a fish both disrespectful and potentially dangerous to it’s chance of survival . Others sided with the fact that Lefty has been an accomplished fly fishing photographer and writer for years.  Lefty has in fact written an entire book on outdoor photography ( L.L. Bean Guide To Outdoor Photography) and is considered to be one of the foremost names in the fly fishing industry. The subject opens up more arguments every time I go over it.

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The contreversial “grip-and-grin” can make memories last even longer, as long as anglers practice proper fish handling techniques to ensure there is no harm done.

 

Through countless years, fly fishing has kept the majority of it’s original traditions but the sport is constantly evolving. Fly fishing was once considered a gentleman’s sport, an activity reserved for upper class old men. Today, the sport is beginning to see a new breed of younger, middle class men and women seeking to find their next adrenaline rush. Heavily weighted articulated streamers, triple nymph rigs, and high  floating foam terrestrials have created new and exciting ways to entice fish. Fly fishing films with upbeat hip-hop and rock playing in the background, tech fly-fishing-specific clothing, and fast action graphite fly rods are just some of the high selling items in todays fly shops. All of this new material has left people wondering where the original appeal of blind casting an elk hair caddis with a bamboo rod into a slow moving spring creek has vanished to. I can be the first person to tell you that the original draw is still highly evident in many anglers, they just experience it in different ways.

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Though the sport is constantly changing, the sheer beauty of the places in which trout live continues to be one of the main reasons why people continue to come back,time after time again.

I have learned a lot about the non-fishing-related aspects of the sport over the past few years. Talking to anglers of all different skill levels, from all over the world, practicing all types of fly fishing. It has given me my own point of view; fly fishing is the kind of sport that could not stay rooted in society without a healthy mix of both established practices and modern advances, simply because of human diversity.

Each angler has their own view of what fly fishing is. For some, it is a lifestyle. These are the men and women who work in the fly shops, the guides spending day after day on the water, and the dedicated anglers who help guarantee that people continue to enjoy the sport. For others, fly fishing can be an every once in awhile activity that helps create tighter bonds between families and friends, it could be an escape to enjoy one’s own solitude, or it’s something new for others to try for their very first time. Regardless of someone’s unique view point, we are all connected, pursuing the same love and passion for a sport that has come a very long way since it began.

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Deep inside, we all share the same love and appreciation of what nature has to offer.