"Yuppie Fly Fisherman"
I have a good friend of mine who I am trying to convince to start fly fishing with me. He is a avid spinner fisherman , which is perfectly fine with me. I do give him a hard time sometimes by telling him how much he would enjoy fly fishing over the spinning method. He says he just doesn't like the "yuppie" attitude of the fly fisherman he has encountered. He believes when he goes into some of the fly shops with me that the people there talk down too him. I got to thinking about this and was wondering, am I a so called "yuppie". Although I think its crazy that there are $700 waders and $800 reels, I don't mind dropping good money for quality products. I have over $500 invested in my rood and reel together and absolutely love them. They are guaranteed for life, so why not spend a little extra. He thinks spending this money is crazy. Well anyways I just thought this was a funny subject and want to see what other fellow fly fisherman thought?
Sure there are "yuppie snobs" in fly fishing. Just like there are "redneck jerks" in bass spinner and baitcast fishing. That does not mean all bass fishermen are redneck jerks any more than it means all fly fishermen are "yuppie snobs".
There are sterotypes for nearly all aspects of the sport with people who use worms and minnows being somewhere toward the bottom in the respect hierarchy. It does not mean that all or even a significant number of peopple fit that description, but some do and they stand out and therefore become what others tend to see and key in on.
With that off of my chest, I better finish my double mocha latte before I get in my 5 series and drive off. I wouldn't want to spill any on the seats or stain my khakis. :smile:
Jeff! Funny stuff ...
I guess I'm a redneck hybrid; a product of Sevier County, so red by proxy. You know, acting for that "other" in me. That comes out in me when I am grabbed by family and made to sit in a john boat and fish sauger, walleye, or bass. I like it a lot, but it's not a day wading the Clinch or hiking in the GSMNP. I like to move and enjoy the scenery and not worry about falling overboard when relieving myself. Anyway, the given is I would fly fish anywhere, and spin fish when family time comes. But I guess I'm lucky since the same people who drag me off spinning are the same who I drag fly fishing ...
By the way, my job forces me to "look the part." Therefore I have a few shirts with little crocodiles on them even some nice flat fronts by old Ralph. I guess what further seperates me from THAT pack is I buy clearance at the outlets during the off season.
Flyfishing has its share of "yuppies", but I think the issue is more with attitudes than "yuppie-ness". I started flyfishing in Colorado, and almost gave it up because of the attitude in most fly shops that I went into, out there. It was very elitist and that attitude made it hard for a beginner to ask questions and get started.
I think that this part of the country has much less of the elitism of other areas, but it does exist. However, if we look at it honestly, I think its really a society wide issues ranging across all pursuits, not just flyfishing. You can find it in all sports and hobbies.
I flyfish, not because I think I'm better than spincasters, but because I like the method better. I don't nymph fish all that much for the same reason. Could I catch more and larger fish? Of course. But I like watching a fish rise to inspect a fly more than just the catching part.
As for pricing of equipment, I can see where your friend is going with that point. But they don't have to spend a great deal of money if they don't want to. They could get a completely serviceable setup for less than $200 (including rod, reel, line, flies and some gadgets). The same pricing issue applies to almost everything. Look at cars. You could spend a lot or a little to transport yourself around, it all depends on what you feel comfortable spending, no makes you buy an expensive car...including a 3 series. Of course you shouldn't ask me, I drive a 92 Ford Explorer and my wife drives a Volvo...what do I know.
I'm with Jimmy as well. My brother is a huge redneck, but he lives in Buffalo. I have a few Polo button down shirts, but I bought them on clearance. I hate Starbucks...Of course you shouldn't ask me, I drive a 92 Ford Explorer and my wife drives a Volvo...what do I know...
If you are fishing for Bass from a boat, you have more $ in your equipment than I do, and I'm talking about an aluminum jonboat-- not to mention what some of these bass boats cost ya'.
I don't pull in enough coin to be a yuppie lol. Just ask Bill at LOR. He had to dig through the warehouse to find a set of waders that I could afford! (Or at least that I was willing to buy). To me, fly fishing is the opposite of yuppiness (I think I just made up a word). In reality, you can buy a combo, a fly box and some flies and a decent set of boots and a vest and you are set for around $200. If you can't stand the cold water, a cheap set of waders is around $120. Not exactly big money. I have had great expereinces in fly shops in Nashville and I definitely had a great expereince at Little River Outfitters. They were VERY nice and helpful and when it was obvious that I was trying to work within a budget, they weren't snobby about it at all...I mean not in the least. Why would a person that stands in the middle of a river or stream trying to catch a fish be a snob? I could see it if it involved making deals on Wall Street or playing Pebble Beach, but this is FISHING for Pete's sake lol! Just my thoughts on the subject.
Well, me and the hubby definitely would not be considered yuppies. Blue collar jobs and living in a doublewide in Cosby is pretty non yuppie. :) I have met the type that you are talking about though. The ones with the "attitude" But having more $$ to spend on gear don't make them better fishermen. That takes skill and the cost of that is practice and dedication.
I think people like that have that kind of snob attitude in whatever they do, be it fly fishing or anything else. They are missing the real beauty of the sport.
Evidence Speaks for Itself
I challenge anyone to look at the LRO Message Board and characterize this particular community of fly fisherpersons as snobby.
When some of the most responded-to posts are sympathy for a man who has just lost his dog and a brother who is quitting smoking. When novices like me can ask silly questions and make sillier comments and the responses reflect patience and understanding. When we can laugh together at a story of a taser at Christmas and offer a teenager with high ideals career advice. When the community can celebrate with a beginner catching the first trout in the Smokies and respond without guile to the 25th question about the CSF. And we can still have lively but civil debates on fish mortality, the price of license plates, bamboo vs. plastics, mono vs. fluorocarbon.
This is not a gathering of snobs, it's a community of folks with a common interest in fly fishing (regardless of how much or how little we've spent on our rigs) and a universal interest in each other. Yeah, some of us wear khakis and a nice shirt to work but that's not what defines us. Our passion for fly fishing and our concern for each other define us.
Tight lines, big hearts.
Many overly broad sentiments like those expressed by WNCFLY's friend, although unfair when applied to any particular person, have a little truth to them. Let me demonstrate by asking a few questions:
1) Do you think of folks who dunk corn for trout to be of below average social class, average, or above average?
2) What about folks who mostly catfish?
4) Nascar fans?
I think that although we may be fast to defend flyfishing, and maybe deny the yuppie nature of it, well, lets also think hard about our views of the social status of people in other activities, and maybe that will give us a more complete framework for viewing the things we do. For example, I think that it is 100% certain that if I randomly gather 100 people who primarily catfish, and 100 people that flyfish, the flyfishers are gonna have a MUCH higher income as a group.
Of course, one can't use that to point at a particular individual, and say, "You are a yuppie because you flyfish." If a poor person wants to flyfish, he can. If a rich person wants to catfish, he can. And sometimes this actually happens.
Personally, I think flyfishing still has far too many pretentious, snotty types. I've been in a western fly shop, while wearing a baseball cap and t-shirt, and felt the eyeballs of the staffers, wearing their $400 Bean outfits and $100 Filson hats, burning a whole in me. The woman manning the cash register acted as though I were dipped in sewage (trust me, I wasn't). And she acted this way even though I'm trying to buy stuff in her store!
But I also know a lot of great, down-to-earth flyfishers too. And I love to flyfish too, so scr** what anyone else thinks about it. I love catfishing with a 6-pack, lounge chairs, and a bucket of fried chicken as well.
I'll have to say that nvr2L8's view about the message board seems right on... The folks of this forum certainly seem more down to earth than the average flyfishing community. In fact, by and large, I think the people on LRO's forum are wonderful. And I'll also add that LRO is the best fly shop I have ever been in, partly because I don't think Byron would ever hire a pretentious snob.
To the point
I'll have to admit that your questions gave me pause. I had to reflect on how I personally viewed those that participate in other aspects of fishing. I started out fishing as a bait and corn caster. I enjoyed occasional fishing and caught a few stockers. Then I started spin fishing in the Smokies and I haven't been back to the bait casting. As folks have said in many posts, a 5 inch native trout in the Smokies is a lot more fun than one three times that size in a stocked stream in terms of fight per ounce. And there's no comparison when it comes to surroundings. I was a rooster tail spin fisher for about 30 years in the park before I broke down and learned to fly fish last year. And my spinning rigs are now gathering dust in a corner of my study. As much as I enjoyed spin fishing, it doesn't come close for me to the challenge and fun of fly fishing. As I've evolved from bait to rooster tails to flies, I don't feel at all like I've climbed a social ladder. I've simply moved to a form of fishing that brings me so much more enjoyment than anything I've tried before. I'll never have a freezer full of fish with fly fishing but I've never had more fun.
I don't believe that I look down my nose at grabblers so much as it just doesn't appeal to me as a sport. Neither does roaring around a lake in a bass boat. For me, the quieter and technically challenging version of fishing that uses dry flies rather than 6 hook, jointed bodied 7" lures is simply more appealing. And it has nothing to do with social status so much as personal preference.
I'll also admit that next winter, I may dust off a spinning rig, go get a 1/8 ounce black rooster tail and go after a Little River brown.
Interesting that the examples of snobby, pretentious fly fishers seem to be more western in flavor. Maybe in our part of the world we're all bait fishers at heart with fly rods in our hands.
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