John Gierach ruined my life. Well not entirely; my Father introduced me to the sport, so I suppose Gierach only is indirectly responsible for my misspent life. The first book I read on the subject of trout angling was Fly Fishing Small Streams by Mr. Gierach. My father gave the book to me at a young age. Through the pages of this book, I learned to fish and I figured everyone fished this way. Not even close to being able to drive, I was kept off the river and away from the truth, the truth being that the days of cane rods and upstream fishing had gone the way of cane rods and upstream fishing. The fact that the local fly shop was run by curmudgeonly old men, who fished upstream with cane rods, did not quicken the process of disappointment.
I rarely read a fly fishing magazine; if I read anything about fly fishing it was a Gierach book. And from these books came my prejudice against bobbers and cheater flies. Now let me go into detail on this subject. A cheater fly is a pattern which seems to work too well and puts the trout at an unfair disadvantage; meaning they can not help themselves, thus making trout fishing with such a fly way too easy. The Glo-Bug (or similar eggy patterns, including shiny estaz and sucker spawn) look too much like Power-bait for most fly anglers, I have found; however, many fisherman use the following flies. The Greenie Weenie is a pattern that it’s followers like to say represents a Caddis pupa. The pattern is chartreuse chenille on a heavy nymph hook. I’ve seen variations in red and fluorescent pink used here on the Gunpowder. The San Juan worm is the last on the list. The reason being it is the only cheater fly that accurately imitates a steady season long food supply, red aquatic worms. However, all the above patterns seem to represent bait fishing ethics and ideas; which in my opinion have no place in this sport. A bobber, at least two split shot, and two cheater flies seem to take something away from the idea that is not all about catching fish.
A brief statement on Wooly Buggers: I love Wooly Buggers. Screw you if you don’t.
By W. R. Lepczyk