There are two types of anglers in my opinion. Type A (and I mean that) is the angler who feels his or her blood pressure rise when they park at the landing or trailhead and see other cars. Footprints on the riverbank are eyesores. The main appeal of fly fishing is communing with nature, and these anglers prefer to do that alone, thank you very much. They’ll hike miles beyond the beaten path, often trading chances at large (planted) fish for smaller targets. They’ll spend thousands of dollars on exotic adventures — to be dropped by float plane in the middle of nowhere. The reason? Solitude.
Type B is the “social angler” who enjoys the camaraderie with kindred spirits — even with the strangers they happen upon while walking the river. They actually embrace the challenge of trying to trick trout in the runs where others have already fished. And they like to catch big trout, even if that means standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder under the shadow of a hydroelectric dam in a “fish factory.”
I guess I’m a little of both. There are times when I need a fix of the Frying Pan, the Bighorn or the A Section of the Green River. I need big fish, and don’t mind rubbing shoulders to find them. I’m usually in this mode during the spring.
By summer though, I’m often done with that, and eager to get away from everything. That’s when I do my hiking, float tubing and Tenkara fishing on smaller streams.
But if you put me on the spot and said I had to choose one scenario over the other, I’d choose solitude every time.
How about you?