Thought for the Day… Fishing the Bunny Hill

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12_13_carp_survey_webI just spent the weekend at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in Minnesota, which was great on a number of levels. One of my favorite sessions was sitting in on a talk by Dan Frasier about carp fishing, and believe it or not, there were over 50 anglers there to soak in what he had to say about fly fishing for “trash fish.”

I couldn’t help but think, as I sat there in Dan’s full classroom, “My, how far have things come” given the historical reluctance to carp on flies and all that.

But then I had a deeper thought.

”Jeez, given how prolific and abundant carp are, in so many places in the United States… its like having the equivalent of a black-diamond ski run waiting and ready to experience anywhere in this country.”

It seems to me that if the American fishing community were to better embrace what’s right there, we would be to fishing what Austria is to the skiing world. Imagine what the pool for our “ski team” (the fly demographic as a whole) would be like. Imagine the potential, for retailers…

And yet, given the adherence to nymph fishing, the majority of magazine covers, and the waves of hero shots circulating through social media are pretty much derived from… well, the bunny hill.

We spend more time and effort defending the right to fish bunny hills than we do encouraging people to fish “steeper.” By glorifying “bunny hill escapades” and ignoring the challenges that abound, some of us (not all, but enough) are short-circuiting the future of the sport.

Shoot me down if you disagree.

-K. Deeter

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3 Comments

  1. I’m a salmon, trout, steelheader and carp angler. I started with salmon, trout and steelhead and moved on to carp. While you can catch carp in beautiful places, you can also catch them almost everywhere. If you can catch them at all. Black Diamond for sure.

  2. Dan Frasier on

    Thanks for sitting in Kirk. I thought it went well. I am increasingly amazed at the larger crowds and changing demographic we continue to see at these talks. I think you’re absolutely right. I think there is a black diamond just outside everyone’s door and I love that it’s no longer just the 20 something boarder in the flat billed hat that’s making that run. More and more experienced long-time flyfishermen are finding their way into my talks and onto the carp flats. It’s good to see more users and continue to see the trend in the right direction. Makes me wonder how the generation of flyfishers just joining the ranks today will view carp specifically, and our choice of species to fish for in general, in 25 years. .

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