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Brice Boling
"Catcherman" - Guest Blogger

Ill-mannered Angler

Guest Blog by: Brice Boling 3/11/2013

I strolled down the river bank with a smile on my face, excited to wet my lines, and not a care in the world about what I catch. Although, if I could find a few suckers for once I would be much pleased. I've always thought the Animas River was bit overrated or perhaps overtaken, as every access point I've been to has had little elbow room. Well, a few times I guess I've been by myself. And a few times I've been skunked.

The day before I did a little recon, found some different spots in which I would actually have to walk up the river bank to some, perhaps, less pressured areas. Today I put that theory to work. So like I said  I was strolling down, oops, it was up the river bank with smile as wide as the water. Fishing would be a little limited because I broke the fly rod and haven’t been able to replace it. So today would be metals, a few plastics and hooks and worms for the suckers, if they were in there. Turning the last corner before my target location I saw a fly fisherman working the rip rap above the spot I planned on fishing. I figured I would see how his luck is going this cloudy day.

“Howdy, having any luck today?" I hollered and waved my hand. He looked right at me, I thought, but didn’t respond. “Maybe he didn't hear me over the water," I told myself. So I decided to get closer and , maybe strike up a conversation or at least make an introduction. Ten feet from him, he looks me in the eyes. “Hey buddy, how's the fishin'?” I asked. Nothing, but he mumbled something under his breath as he turned back around, and I couldn't understand him. "Huh alright, good luck anyways partner” I respond and returned to my hole.

First, I got the bait stick ready and threw it deep in the water and waited a few seconds for it to sink to the bottom then tightened up the slack. Conveniently, a nice log rested on the bank side worked as a good lean-to for my baiter.

“Hmmm, what to choose first” I wondered as I’d practically brought an entire tackle box in my backpack, at least in terms of lure section. I chose a black and orange bodied panther martin with a black tail. I started at the edge of the rip-rap, careful to not be too close to unfriendly fly guy. First cast, nothing. Second cast, bam. “Was that a strike or a snag?” I wondered.  Third cast, bam, set the hook and hollered out "Fish ON!"

It was a little 14 inch bow. Letting him go, I went back to fishing and paid no attention to the ill-mannered angler above me. The same thing happened, two casts and bam, "Fish on!" This time with a little sassy saucy tone incorporated in my yell. As I reeled in I caught a glimpse of fly guy staring in my direction. Sixteen inch cutthroat, as I released it, my attention was diverted to my baiter wildly waving like a flag in the wind. I chuckled as I ran over to it. In the midst of my laughter a chuckling "Fish on" escaped. Wahoo! A sucker! I finally have some bait for big blue next week!

I got the bait pole back in the water and turned to get my spin rod when I noticed  the flyfisher had moved down to the bottom of the rip rap, right where I was fishing! He was a little bit deeper in the water than me, since he had chest waders and I only had thigh high muck irrigation boots. "Ha!" I thought to myself. “Fine!” I thought and moved to the other side of my baiter. On the third cast wouldn’t you know it, "Fish on!" I stared at fly guy as a reeled in a beauty. Deep red color, big fat pig of a trout. I hesitantly asked fly guy if he would snap a picture for me, a request that was ignored.

So I gently released the beauty and went back to fishing. I caught one more young’n before fly fisher was fed up. He asked me what I was using. I replied, "A black and orange panther martin. I’m letting it sink a little before I start my retrieve." He quickly pulled out his selection of flies and began to switch out patterns.  I checked my bait pole, no action. Back to spinning, I caught two more while fly guy was tirelessly whipping his tackle into the water. Then I was startled at first when he began to yell. I couldn't make out the words at first, but when I turned to him I heard it all. He was trudging out of the water.  He had a snarl on his face when he walked five feet from me and began to belittle me about my fishing tactics and bad mouth bait and/or spin fisherman in general. Saying the Animas is for fly fishing and I need to get my shit and leave.  I stood there stunned thinking, “Wow, what should I do. Should I show him my MMA side, with a couple jabs and head kick? Or maybe a flying arm bar into the cold shallow water or...” Amidst all his bitching I noticed my bait pole going crazy again. I ran over to it, ignoring his grousing, I picked it up and yelled at the top of my lungs, "FISH ON!" another nice little sucker. I put him with the other one and began to pack up my stuff.

I had caught what I came for. Meanwhile fly guy had finally hooked up himself and once again he had moved directly where I was spinning prior, only he’s waded deeper. He finally landed a nice cutthroat, almost as big as the beauty I had caught.  “Wow, nice fish! Good catch man" I said to him, as I grabbed my spin rod and buckled on my pack. Once again, he ignored me. “Well, good luck to you fly guy, happy fishing," I called out and I was gone.

I don't know why there is such a bitterness between the fly fisher and the baitcaster/spin fisher. I'm not trying to imply that all fly fishermen act this way towards other types of fishermen but I have heard that there tends to be tension. It’s almost as if the pre-civil war "race factor" has worked its way into the sport of fishing. If that's the case I'm wearing blue and red wielding a fly pole and spinning outfit. I enjoy them both, each as much as the other.

On a side note, I hope ice fishermen don't get put in their own category.  I would be put in that category as well as ice fishing is my favorite way to fishing. To quote the great Martin Luther King Jr. " I have a dream, that one day . . ." fishermen and fisherwomen of all types and varieties will fish together in the same lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams, laughing together, helping each other, lending advice, and a hand to one another. No matter what kind of rod and reel they yield, no matter what kind of hook, line and sinker they cast, no matter what type of bait they use. The only thing that matters is that they are all having fun fishing.

That's the world I want to live in. So before you give your tongue lashing to someone of a different rod, try to remember this story and try to start a friendly conversation first. We are all human beings in th

Born and raised in Colorado, with every intention of staying. Brice spends most of his winter days on the ice. He loves the fact that he can fish wherever he wants to on the lake when it's frozen, especially as he doesn't own a boat or any floatation devices. During warmer weather he shore fishes a lot and is constantly practicing his newest addiction, fly fishing. He loves learning about fishing, different techniques and strategies, and more importantly how he can help preserve fishing for the future. Some people say fishing is a sport, a passion and even a way of life. Rest assured for Brice Boling, it's much more than that.
Blog content © Brice Boling
Blog Comments
fishingfreak, 3/11/2013 9:32:01 PM
Man....he just had a bad day of not catching fish thats all. oh well....
KayakerFishfinder, 3/11/2013 9:43:53 PM
When things aren't going so easy people look at differences to separate us apart. At the end of the day we are all trying to do the same thing(have fun and get thru life). On days like this please be the better man/woman. Do whatever you can to help your fellow man/woman. It will not be easy and they will not always accept your help. I ask you if you have been fishing all day catching nothing. Then somebody walks up next to you and screams fish on within a few minutes how would you feel. I am not talking his side, but look at the situation from all sides. You did good in my opinion no matter what the outcome! Keep the good attitude while fishing, I love the story!
Rsrecurvehunter, 3/11/2013 10:17:16 PM
Amen! I do it all from spin, fly, bait, and ice being my favorite. I dont get the gridges either . Bottom line it's fishing and you get out and forget about all the worries life throws at you, that's what matters.
Boling_Boys, 3/11/2013 11:03:02 PM
Just gotta say....props bro... U popped yur blog cherry :)... And I'm jealous that yur hitting the river while I'm stuck serving out my weekends in jail :(.... O and as for the blog... I think it's funny how SOME and I mean SOME people have that "holy-er than thou" opinion upon first sight but after they see u catchin' they are the first ones to ask " what ya using".... You definatly took the HIGH road and showed him the lure... I woulda probably smarted of with " obviously not what you are" or " what they are hunger for" or egged you on to give him the flying elbow into the cold shallow water... But hey what I guess I CAN learn fro
Boling_Boys, 3/11/2013 11:03:37 PM
From my little brother every now and again
aaron lee, 3/12/2013 12:19:35 AM
I fish every way I can. Flies, metal, bait...whatever works best. I have had very similar experiences on the Colorado at Parshall throwing panther martins and outfishing the grumpy old fly guys, even getting a few from a spot they pounded for 10 minutes and gave up on. Totally looked down at me, wouldn't talk to me, and were obviously "too good" to talk to someone who was not flyfishing. Who cares? Let that old grumpy fly fisherman karma keep the fish off their lines, and stay nice about everything and keep yourself busy catching the fish they can't!
Catman1979, 3/12/2013 8:12:07 AM
This happens all the time on the Arkansas. I have learned to just do what I am there for, and to ignore the haters. In defense of the fly guys, it's not all of of 'em. I would say that about sixty percent are absolute elitist morons, the other forty are some good folks. I actually learned a lot about river structure and currents, from a fly guy.
Brice Boling (Catcherman), 3/12/2013 8:24:44 AM
Huge thank you to Dave C. He helped me put this together and get it up on the site, so thank you very much Dave! I also greatly appreciate the input from the other members. Play nice fellas, Fish on!
Luke the Dog, 3/12/2013 11:49:19 AM
I don't hold grudges, and I'm one of the more friendly guys out there...But if you walked up to within 10' of me and started fishing (any type of fishing) in the same hole I was in without asking if it was ok, probably getting in the way of my back cast, I'd be pissed too!!!
Coyute, 3/12/2013 1:47:28 PM
Brice Boling (Catcherman), 3/12/2013 2:49:46 PM
I think you may have misunderstood or misread. I didn't start fishing while I was 10ft from the guy.
Kolorado KingFisher, 3/12/2013 5:11:15 PM
Truth is...this is an extremely common theme in any public river section that holds trout/salmonids throughout the western US. I primarily use conventional tackle and target trophy trout in many waters that nearly are exclusive to the fly guys. On countless occasions I have encountered nearly identical scenarios such as the story in this Blog, and in one particular case authorities had to be involved. Catcherman and any other who dares "spinn" in the mist of chest-highs, I have no solution to the overall problem, but rather a simple tip...get yourself a cheap tri-pod for like $15 and use the 10 second delay on your camera so you can be your own camera man next time...keep fishin'...Thanks for posting your story.
Anteroman, 3/12/2013 9:28:46 PM
Great story.......I have been fishing Colorado waters now for 8 years and I see this scenario played out on a regular basis. I fish a lot on the South Park lakes and always carry both fly and spin tackle, My motivation to fish, is now and always has been, to bend the rod. Many days I find the fly's work great and some daysI feel like I'm trying to drown a chicken, time to switch over to spin. I fish some of the "Fancy waters"of Colorado as well and have found day in and day out that I get more rod bending with the U/L spin tackle than I do with the longrod, use whatever, just get the rod to bend. Be a sportsman and crush your barbs down so the fish has a better chance of survival, this applies whatever method you use. I have also found that it is normally not a good idea to talk with many of the "FlyOnly" guys especially on the Gold Medal streams as they really don't want to hear that your catching 6-8 fish an hour on your U/L and they've had two bumps all morning. Go out and have a good time, bend the rod and respect the resource. Bill "Anteroman"
FISHRANGLER, 3/12/2013 9:45:06 PM
Always someone around that wont like you or what it is your doing for one reason or another. It doesn't matter if your working on the forum or fishing even church. Try to remember that plenty of others that know you and dont know you like you.
FISHRANGLER, 3/12/2013 9:45:48 PM
So just kick his butt next time.
FISHRANGLER, 3/12/2013 9:47:52 PM
Or don't and forget about it.
loopknot, 3/13/2013 10:02:41 AM
its against the law to harass another angler pursuing fish with legal methods. I feel comfortable reminding people who behave like this fly guy that the cdow officer is a brief phone call away. they can be courteous or explain to the fish and game folks why they were harassing. usually an easy pick.
twhart, 3/13/2013 11:32:02 AM
Whether you are fishing or not, I don't really want you walking up to within 10 feet of me and disturbing my fishing especially if I have gone out of my way (as it sounds like the fly guy did and you were trying to do as well) to find a stretch of water to have to myself. If I am out there fishing by myself, it should pretty obvious it is not a social event for me and I might want to be left alone to enjoy the solitude. Also, you yelling "fish on!" every time was ridiculous and certainly didn't help out the situation. You both are at fault if you ask me.
Coyute, 3/13/2013 1:22:18 PM
In between two differing accounts of an event, a single truth is revealed. I'd like to hear what the other guy has to say. There is a common theme to these gripes, it's always the other guys fault. lol
Brice Boling (Catcherman), 3/13/2013 1:43:53 PM
I agree, my " fish on" tactics were rude and I did have some part in making him snap. Even though I say fish on every time I hook up,no matter if im alone or with someone, I used it in a manner to boast at another angler and that's wrong. A simple hello, I haven't caught anything and I plan on working this whole 1/4 mile section of water, would have given me a hint. However, I'm not telepathic, and i wasnt going to let ignorance ruin my fishing trip. when he decided to be completely rude, I decided to be rude back. The hole I was fishing was a good distance away from him and its public water. Here's a scanario , if he would have been kind about it maybe asked me if I would fish above him cause he was working down stream or to a certain point, or even told me his plan, I could have then made adjustments to my plan (since he was there first I certainly would have) Or I could have been rude and not, giving him at least a reason to have a bad attitude. You never go fishing by yourself because you just want to go fishing and your by yourself? every time your by yourself you want complete solitude? If another angler or person were to walk by you and say hello, ask you how your day is going, offer you a beer or something to that effect it would totally ruin your fishing trip? I appreciate your comments guys, not trying to say I'm the perfect person in anyway. Just thought I would share a story, maybe get a smile, and raise angler awareness so that we can all do our part to be better anglers in this subject.
Brice Boling (Catcherman), 3/13/2013 1:49:47 PM
Coyute- I'm not griping about anything buddy.
Doc, 3/13/2013 5:18:30 PM
Good Blog!..
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