Flyfishing in the Nineties

by Bob Scammell, our Canadian Fly Fishing Editor,
from his wonderful book, The Phenological Fly

What we are seeing in the nineties is a resort to technology, to the instant solutions of hatch and river hotlines, computer programs, newsletters and the informal networks of anglers with cellular phones in their rigs.

The problems with these substitutes for the real knowledge derived from observation and experience -- in other words, from lore --are that they do not take account of the variables, and, worse, they lead to the malaise of modern fly-fishing: everyone going to all the same places at the same time. Technological substitutes also lead to the misconception in new fly-fishers that these are the only places to find a super hatch, and thus they miss entirely the personal voyages of discovery that used to form the early part of every angler's apprenticeship.

In most parts of Western North America it is still possible to discover new places and private super hatches of the usual insects or, perhaps, as has happened to me in entomologically unexplored Alberta, the discovery of an entirely new super hatch of an insect not previously known by anglers to exist in a region.

Bob defines a super hatch as "the emergence of an aquatic insect from underwater to its adult flying form that triggers major feeding in major fish, particularly trout." His book relates this to floral keys.