FISH FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Here is an article that ran in the Prescott Courier. Pretty Cool!
|Fishing expert shares fishing tips and environmental outlook By Derek Meurer
The Daily CourierFriday, November 30, 2007
Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he never goes hungry. Jason Meszaros, employee of Lynx Creek Unlimited, a fishing goods store in the Bashford Courts plaza in Prescott, has taught fishing to many men and women of all ages, and he explained some of the basics of fly fishing and fly tying.
“It’s not about catching; it’s about fishing,” said Meszaros. “We specialize in fly fishing. That doesn’t mean just catching trout. Just about anything that eats, you can catch, from little sunfish to sharks, and everything in between.” As with any hobby equipment, Meszaros said that people can purchase a $60 kit containing a basic rod, line and reel to upward of $700 for a high-end rod.
“In fly fishing, as opposed to regular fishing, the weight doesn’t come from the end of the line, but from the line itself,” said Meszaros. “It’s an almost weightless fly you cast with fly fishing. The rod will bend as you cast forward. Different weights of lines are intended for different rods, and you want to factor what kind of fish you plan on catching into your choice of rod.”
Meszaros said that the lures used in fly fishing mimic natural food objects in the stream or lake that the fish normally feed on. As a Fishery Science specialist, Meszaros has an extensive knowledge of the insects and smaller fish that fish prey upon. He uses that knowledge to make lures that are uncannily similar to insects to the human eye, and indistinguishable to a fish.
“I’ve been fishing a for a long time – fly fishing for about 15 years and tying lures for 10. Still, I learn something new every time I fish,” said Meszaros. “Whether it’s a different spot or the same spot at a different time of year, I’m always learning more about fishing.”
Meszaros recently volunteered to teach a group of children in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program how to fish.“To learn the basics of how to cast doesn’t take long,” said Meszaros. “The children were actually catching fish in under two hours. With a good instructor, you can learn to cast well in about a week, some people say, but I believe there’s no upper limit to how much you can improve, in fishing.”
Meszaros named some popular local fishing spots, such as Willow Lake, Watson Lake and Granite Basin Lake, the lake where he taught the BBBS children how to fish. Also, Goldwater Lake and Lynx Lake, the store’s namesake, are popular spots that the Arizona Game and Fish Department periodically stock with trout.
“I’m from the Appalachian Mountains. I tromped all over the world (P.S. THIS IS A MISQUOTE!!!) before I came here, to the desert,” said Meszaros. “I thought, ‘Where am I going to find a place to fish? Where am I going to find a job?’ I’ve learned it’s actually a misnomer when people think there’s no water, here. That’s not true; it’s just that since water is scarcer here, it’s all the more previous and important to preserve it. Nearly 90 percent of Arizona’s riparian habitats have already been decimated; that’s a staggering statistic.”
Meszaros said he feels strongly about preserving natural lakeside environments, and has worked with the Prescott Creeks organization in its riparian preservation efforts. He also encourages fellow members of the Prescott Flycasters group, a local fly-fishing organization, to volunteer for similar efforts.
“Fishing is a hobby with a lot of history to it, and we need to preserve our waters if we’re to continue to enjoy them,” said Meszaros. “The hobby has kind of leveled off in recent years, but it’s still steadily growing; there are always more people getting ready to go fishing for their first time.”
Lynx Creek Unlimited offers fly-fishing classes three days a week on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, and lure-tying classes once a week, on Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.flyfishaz.com or call 776-7088.
For up-to-date fish-stocking schedules, see the Arizona Game and Fish website at www.azgfd.gov.
Here is an article I found while surfin’ the net.
What Makes Flyfishing Special
By: John Cook – Montana Flyfishing Guide and Outfitter, Wildlife Biologist, Owner – Backdoor Outfitters – Stevensville, MT
Flyfishing. Just mention the word and, as if by magic, all sorts of images appear. Beautiful loops of colored line passing above pristine green waters; anglers hip deep in a mountain stream while clouds of caddis flutter in the foliage of adjoining bushes; or a thick shouldered rainbow held half out of the water while a smiling fisherman reaches down to unpin a stimulator from its lower jaw. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I hear that word. Of course, it’s more than that, and rightfully so.
Now, don’t get me wrong with what I’m about to say. I’m probably one of the last people in the world who would ever endorse the ‘Orvis’ type mentality that seems to say ‘fly fishing is akin to some sort of spiritual plane… which can only be achieved after one has spent their entire life savings’. But, I have to admit, I kind of subscribe to the first part of this sentiment. If spirituality is something that enriches the soul, teaches someone something about themselves and how they fit into the world around them, as well as hopefully making them a better person, then fly fishing is a form of spiritual cleansing. Of course, don’t all forms of fishing do this? To some degree I’d have to say yes! Then, why is fly fishing different?
I believe, a gentleman I met at a sport show in Portland best stated the answer to that question. He described fly fishing as a sort of progression. In the beginning most of us just want to catch a fish. After we’ve succeeded at that task, we move on to a phase where we want to catch a lot of fish. Now, god knows, I’ve been there, and this is kind of a tough one to get past. I know for me this phase lasted well over twenty years. Whether I, or anyone else, ever get completely out of this phase is open to debate, but somewhere along the line we seem to add another phase, or the next phase just blends into the previous. This phase is typified by the desire to catch the biggest fish. This is another one that is really tough to get past. And, if the truth were known, I’m not sure I’ll ever get completely out of this phase. Finally, if one lives long enough and is fortunate enough, one enters the phase of fishing. Just in case you didn’t notice, all other phases had more to do with catching than fishing.
It’s fishing that works on a person’s spirituality… not catching. It’s during the phase of fishing that one experiences the subtle nuances of life and, it’s in the phase of fishing, that nature is able to work on ones soul. While fishing, the difference between a trout gulping down a stonefly, sipping a mayfly, or chasing a caddis up from the bottom is not lost. Likewise, the difference between how a tree swallow works short 50 foot stretches of river on a feeding flight while a cliff swallow prefers to work longer runs does not escape the fisherman.
I’ve heard it said many times… and often state it myself… that someone really doesn’t care so much whether they catch fish, it’s merely being out there that matters. I guess this is the final phase, the phase of fishing. Here, we enjoy the companionship of friends as much as the hookup; the beauty of eagles soaring overhead as much as the sound of line screaming off a reel; the sight of a tiny mink attacking a much larger marmot as much as bringing a tail dancing rainbow to net; and the overwhelming beauty of where trout live almost as much as having our picture taken with ‘a big one’. While fishing, we revel in the immensity of creation, while searching out the subtle difference between where a trout lives in the spring compared with summer. We derive more joy from spending an hour trying to get a decent drift across a 14-inch brown that’s lying in impossible water than having our photo taken with a 25-inch fatty that took the hook too easily. Pleasure is received from helping another learn some aspect of fishing almost as much as experiencing it your self.
Of course, you must now ask yourself, ‘Don’t all forms of fishing allow a person to enjoy the things you’re talking about’? Here is where fly fishing differs from most other forms of fishing. Fly fishing demands one pay attention to the details of nature. It is these details that separate fly fishing from all other forms of the sport. Subtle differences are the way of nature, and, to be successful as fly fisherman, we must learn to appreciate these differences and, in some small measure, attempt to understand them.
It is here where I believe fly fishing takes on a form of spirituality. If spirituality is a journey, then fly fishing must be spiritual. For, it is definitely a journey. And, everyone has a right to take their spiritual journey in the manner they see fit. Be it in a library studying the teachings of a philosopher, on a mountain top in Tibet learning from a master, or on the sides of a stream in Montana learning from nature, the choice is an individual one. For me, I think I prefer to attend the church of the Bitterroot, Clark Fork, or Blackfoot. With luck, someday I will become a fisherman, and not a fish catcher. But, if there truly is a God in heaven, he’ll allow me an occasional hookup.
MY OWN TAKE: ….If fly fishing is spiritual…than God is definetly a fishing guide. And a darn good one. Except, this fishing guide only charges patience for a half-day trip or willingness for a full-day trip. This guide always has an opening…even during the best hatches of the year. This guide doesn’t scoff at the bait fishermen or rich yuppie-types with all the most expensive gear…..but this guide would ALWAYS rather take a little kid fishing.