Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Mutt

I am a mutt.  I am not the purebred child of Isaac Walton, Doug Swisher, or Lee and Joan Wulff.  I am the bastard child of Al Lindner, Larry Dahlberg, and Norman Maclean.  I didn't grow up delicately placing size 24 blue winged olives in complex back eddy of some world renowned, private, or blue ribbon trout stream.  I grew up pitching worms and a Thile bobber to eager bluegills and bass in a small lake a few minutes bike ride from my parent's house. I grew up drifting fat night crawlers into deep pools of Coulee creeks in South Western Wisconsin for German brown trout.  I am so much of a mutt, that I "borrowed" my father's 9 foot fiberglass fly rod and attached a Diawa spinning reel to it so I could get maximum distance out of casts and lever pumpkinseeds out of thick cabbage weeds.  That's a Great Dane crossed with a Shiatsu (Great-Shit?).
 My sinful marriage of fly and spinning gear was born out of the inventive mind of a ten year old.  I had a problem and I fixed it with whatever I could find in my parents garage.  Fishing isn't a declaration of religion nor of a philosophy to me.  It is a word problem.  It is a Rubic's Cube. It's Tetris on water. It's the Pythagorean theorem; fly + drift = fish.  It is a way to test my problem solving skills and the mettle of my innovative spirit.  I spent my youth fishing with conventional tackle because it was what I had access to and a simple tool to unlock a treasure chest of questions I read about in "In-Fisherman".  As I matured, I wanted to increase not only the challenge of my quarry, but of the tools I used.  Much like why some hunters use bows, I graduated to a fly rod and trout.  I picked up a fly rod because casting it is harder.  Because it takes more time, energy, patience, and knowledge.  Because it takes a certain amount of insanity.  I am still a mutt down deep.  I will never win Westminster.  But I will fly fish.  I am a troutologist.