Only on the late night self help circuit

It must be true I finally stumbled on the fly fishing equivalent of those “late night medical breakthrough” shows with faux MD’s hawking snake oil. We’ve all endured them – hosted by some ersatz skeptic who adds little other than, “Well, Doctor Bob – how can the viewers get Miracle-Krill?”

This 50 page tome claims to perfect your fly fishing skills in under an hour, but wait – there’s more … we couldn’t simply pass it on, we had to embellish just a wee bit..

“…here is just SOME of the Pro fly fishing techniques you will find inside:”

  • The best way to practice at home

I practice lying mostly; where I been, how much it cost, I’ve had this rod for years..  It’s the look of indignation that needs to be perfected – if you’re unable to look wounded by the accusation you’ve no business in this hobby.

  • What the pros do when they need to find a rod that’s perfect for them.

The Pro’s buy it and enlist a buddy to smuggle it into the house. Typically they’ll pretend to be fixing the rod or have their pal make a show of giving it to them free – all the time they’re stalking the mailbox attempting to intercept the credit card bill before their spouse does.

  • How to change the hold on your grip under any fishing condition.

Most of the grip changes are caused by frustration or the “Rock Slime Rhumba.” I toss the rod away from me when falling on dry land, and cradle it unto my bosom when landing in the water. I’ll switch grip to the “javelin” style and throw it at the first onlooker that giggles.

If the grip involves fish or a beer can, there’s no need to switch unless the latter is empty – or the warden’s approaching.

  • 4 top bait choices no expert would do without.

There’s no bait in fly fishing, I presume the author means “what bait to entice your buddies to join this sordid expedition.” Promise anything – but add, “I seen it, I was there yesterday,” to the end of each sentence.

  • The secret to keeping your dry flies floating higher and longer.

Stay in the parking lot, the sumbitch floats forever in a dust eddy.

  • 3 types of reels. (which one is right for you?)

The one you can afford. The other two types are; “the one you can’t afford” and “the one you used to have but your buddy broke.”

  • 4 ways to tie the perfect, tight knot.

Get someone else to do it, get someone younger to do it, or get someone with better eyes to do it. Use this season’s tippet (rather than last year’s).

  • 6 things to look for when choosing the fishing line that gets the job done (and doesn’t lose the fish)

The right line weight, as you can’t cast for crap I would order them as follows; floating, cheap, cheap, cheap, and buy a reel – so you can have the guy at the fly shop tie all those “perfect tight knots.”

  • 5 lures that any self-respecting fly fisherman will not be without.

Initially I’d assumed “lures” was a reference to flies, but with only 5 – I wouldn’t respect myself,  hell – 5 dozen wouldn’t hardly scratch the surface. He must mean the Great Falsehoods:

The lure that I’ll mow the lawn without being asked 14 times, honest.

The lure that after you let me go fishing this weekend, we’ll visit your Mother-In-Law next weekend, honest.

The lure that while watching this highly charged romantic melodrama whilst snuggled on the couch, I’m not thinking of how little oval tinsel I have left, honest!

The lure that were she to accompany you, she’d have a great time.

…. and a frog pattern Kastmaster. That’s five.

  • How the pros notice patterns with the weather, water conditions and more to make sure they bring home more fish than their buddies.

The Pro’s wind up with all their erstwhile pal’s fish, as he made the mistake of dropping them off first. Them pals insisted, “yup, I got everything,” knowing you were going to be stuck with all the stink fish … and guts … What that Pro really needs is a new group of buddies.

  • The secret to using sub-surface flies to reel in more fish.

Sub surface flies are the “second best kept secret” in fly fishing. Unfortunately, the “first best kept secret” is that “fly eating rocks” exist, are lying in wait for you specifically, and lead wire can drive a #4 hook into your ankle better than all else.

The “third best kept secret” is that all your buddies are inebriated and will insist on using vice grips to remove the hook.

  • 9 tips from the pros to help you fish at night, from fallen trees, in coves and more.

The nine tips are common to every venue and every gamefish;

  1. It’s illegal to fish in freshwater at night for anything you’d want to boast about.
  2. Dark clothes are best, so is “Delta Force” face paint
  3. No flashlights or campfires, the insurgency must make do with night vision goggles.
  4. No glass bottles, they clink.
  5. The wounded will be left where they fell, no screaming or moaning will be tolerated.
  6. The warden is lying in wait.
  7. The warden is going to unleash his big angry dog on your ass, just as soon as you’re comfortable.
  8. Your wife will not recognize you in your combat attire and face paint, so if you evade the warden, she’ll shoot you.
  9. Use black flies, they give the best silhouette.
  • The trick to reading the water like an expert who’s been doing it for years.

It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s fuggin deep.

  • The place where fish like to set up feeding stations (the perfect spot for your cast).

Hatcheries have the little nickel vending machine that yield a handful of trout chow, start there. If that spot’s taken walk down the creek until you see the glowing neon arrow pointing at the water…

  • When night fishing is the only kind of fishing worth your time.

After your wife changes the lock. What could you be risking at this late juncture?

  • How to use perfect form when you cast.

Since when has “form” been important? All the best casters I’ve seen have either a double joint somewhere you don’t, or possess an indescribable stroke that you can’t reproduce. “Form” matters only in the retelling of mighty deeds, but that’s for the fawning noobs in the parking lot, not real fishermen…

  • 6 rules of etiquette to follow so you don’t step on any other angler’s toes.
  1. Don’t wade upstream of him
  2. Don’t wade downstream of him
  3. Don’t ask how big that last fish was ( and edge closer )
  4. Don’t ask what fly that fish ate ( and edge closer )
  5. Don’t assume the bikini clad teenager on the bank is his daughter (and edge closer)
  6. Don’t assume that because you observed #1-#5 above – that he likes you, and welcomes your feet in his riffle.
  • 4 ways to change the way you cast for changing conditions.

Duck, Snagged, Dodge, and “Oh Shit”..

  • Why beginners like the slow-action rod (besides the fact that it’s cheap), and what you should know before you spend your money on one.

Bamboo and glass are expensive as hell, and you should know you’ll prefer a fast action graphite after you try one.

  • 4 more etiquette rules to keep you from embarrassing yourself and angering other fly fishers.

You’re a slow learner, that ain’t his daughter topless on the beach towel. Your only hope is to duck, weave, dodge, and run.

  • 4 safety steps to wading through water safely every experienced angler follows.

“Moonwalk” and “Tip toe,” anything else is asking for it.

  • Why the pros use more than one tackle box.

The pro’s only use one tackle box, the other they got off the guy that winked at their wife sunbathing. One box is enough for dries and nymphs, an extra spool and a sandwich. The other is a cooler, it’s the one he’s cradling like an infant.

  • The secret to wading without losing your footing.

Stay in the parking lot, or be really tall…

  • Little-known ways to choose your clothing so that pesky insects will stay away.

Wear olive drab and add a shoulder patch and a sidearm. All the insects will stay clear.

  • 8 pieces of equipment you should never hit the water without.

Something to break your fall would be nice, barring that – waders, boots, wading staff, rod, vest, belt, flies, and … your choice of license or beer, pick one.

  • Why you shouldn’t use one size fly all the time (and how to know when to switch it up).

Using only one fly is a time honored practice resulting in you admiring everyone else’s fish, switch flies only when you run out of that size.

  • 10 expert tips for catching salmon by the bucket-load.

Dynamite and 9 seconds of fuse? Bring two buckets otherwise you’re catching salmon by the arm-load, that’s cheating.

  • Why your rod matters and 3 other proven tips for fishing for trout.

Your “rod” is the only thing separating you from the female of the species, without it you’d be spending weekends playing tennis or ensuring your progeny are suitable for public display.

  1. Lie convincingly
  2. Shower occasionally
  3. Soak yourself in insect repellant
  • Tricks you need to know for releasing trout (you may regret it if you don’t know these).

Release them gently, if they’re really big – release them reluctantly, always carry a camera because you’re unskilled at embellishment, everyone assumes you’re a lying SOB.

  • 4 dead-serious techniques for scoping out where the trout are hiding and likely to bite.

You entered the water like a water buffalo in full rut – the gunfire was a nice touch, as was the yelling and swearing.

Hint: the deepest, darkest, farthest away-est – is where the trout are hiding. They’re not biting anything other than their lower lip.

  • How to outsmart the “smart fish” (trout).

Don’t fish for them, if you do you’re playing their game and they are better at it than you are. Instead, take the family to the Casino with the intent of doubling your paycheck, it’s cheaper.

  • 5 things you need to consider before you choose the perfect fly for trout.

This is a trick question, as all experienced anglers know there’s no Perfect Fly, it’s a myth like the Holy Grail or Bigfoot. Little “squinch eyed shopkeepers” perpetuate this myth solely to put their children through college with your money.

If the goddamn perfect fly existed, why would you consider anything before using it? (Why would you consider using anything else is the better question.)

  • Why smart beginning anglers make a list (not an equipment list) to help them succeed faster than their friends.

The list helps get everyone’s stories straight when returning home spent and broken. Catching more fish than your friends doesn’t require a list, it requires only that you take the car – leaving them stranded at the motel.

  • The difference between fishing upstream and fishing downstream (and which helps you catch the fish).

I’ve tried both and they’re overrated. Upstream means the line is coming much too quickly and you start swearing because you can’t set a hook properly – downstream the line is departing rapidly and you can’t throw slack fast enough to prevent you from swearing.

I prefer fishing midstream – as the fly just sits there…

  • Why using a net wrong can lose your catch.

Using a net won’t lose your catch, but if your buddy uses his net your fish is gone.

  • How to care for your fishing rod and reel so you don’t trash your investment.

Put them in a darkened room with other of their kind, the next time your spouse peers at them, they’ll have reproduced like rabbits. They reproduce asexually – so even slipping condoms over them will not help.

It is impossible for the owner to trash a rod or a reel, that’s what his pals are for

  • How to handle fish once you bring them to shore.

You hook a thumb under the gills, lift the wriggling mass skyward and yell for your buddies to come look. Dropping it adds additional weight and may increase it’s length by and inch or two.

  • How rock color can help a beginner learn to fish.

You look at a rock and note its color. Ask yourself, why in hell am I looking at rocks, there’s got to be more enjoyable hobbies. Pick one, If you’re continually frustrated, bitter and cold – you picked fly fishing.

  • 4 more tips straight from the mouths of experts that will help you become a better angler fast!

Avoid women, work and taxes … inherit or remain on the public dole.

  • Why letting fish see you isn’t that bad 

Wave with the right hand – palm open and pointed towards the fish. Mime taking a drink of water. This will relax the fish as he cannot see a rod and will assume you’re thirsty.

…as he resumes feeding, aim that big rock you were holding in your left hand, and …

  • 6 great fishing areas (with lots of oxygen that attracts fish) that you should be on the lookout for.

These spots are easy to find, look for the nicer plots marked with the “No Trespassing” sign – fish put these signs up so you’ll drive past. If there’s both a sign and a 3000 pound bull with snot coming out his nose – he’s your guide.

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4 thoughts on “Only on the late night self help circuit”

  1. Haha, amazing. HoF post. Mr Barton, you certainly do have all the answers.

    Now to find some bikini-clad teenagers…

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