Fishing Philosophy Chapter 2122019

I torment myself with fishing rods

Today's vision is this 3'8" 2pc ultra lite baitcaster along with soon to be custom built 8' 4wt 4pc sage accel for the purpose of ultra lite single hand skagit. The vision is on foot small stream wade upstream while baitcasting pockets with lures then at turn-around, switch rods, which will fit in same rod tube, to swing tactics while fishing back downstream.

I can think of two sections of rio chama that this is feasible. Also possible section of Gila river and just came to mind a section of rio grande

And of course that is just in state.

You know I watch a lot of guys, industry people especially, much of the time they seem to be about impressing people with their fly fishing prowless...I only ever wanted to be the best angler I can be. Be to a point where it's more success by skill rather then luck. for this reason I cannot tie myself solely to one method.. doing so would severely restrict the use of skill. When I'm on the stream or lake the only person I need to impress is me. No one else matters. I'm not comfortable with sheer luck even tho much of this is luck.

Maximizing my skill set for every fishing situation will hopefully bring about solving the issue of finding success. If there is fish in the water I'm fishing I need the skills to catch them. There is no excuse for me

I never want to tell stories of wonderful weather and beautiful scenery...those are excuses

Over decades I've caught fish in the most unlikely scenarios. Of course perseverance plays a key role but there is still some sort of mythical lack of understanding that ones own belief in success will in-fact bring about success. To me it's the greatest phenomenon in the skill set of fishing. Believe you will catch fish and percentage of success will prevail, Doubt you will catch fish and more often then not that will be your fate.

Passion or Prestige - Why do you fish?

Do you see the face of a Hunter? Do you see yourself?
Let me just start this off with a bit of personal background. As of the time of this writing I am mere days of age 52. I've fished in some form most of my life. Some of my earliest memories are fishing in the grandparents farm pond. I've collected a books worth of fishing memories thus far in life and my everyday wish is to add to those memories. I've fished with a lot of great anglers, I'm willing to shared my knowledge and I've spent a lot of time fishing alone.

Something that has become clear to me recently is that not all anglers get the same thing from fishing as I do. Just to clarify, I'm not writing about the difference of sport verses harvest anglers. I believe most anglers quickly recognize that distinction. What I'm really noticing is the difference between passion or prestige.

To reiterate, maybe these are unfair titles but you decide what might fit better after I describe what I've witnessed.

I'll use myself as my base point. I'm passionate about sport fishing no matter the where, how, when or what are the locations or the quarry. Bluegill to steelhead, snapper to tarpon, it's all good to me. I can enjoy fishing a puddle and have been fortunate enough to fish some famed waters. The passion for me is the same.
I believe I am truly a passionate angler.

So there is no misunderstanding, believe me I do recognize the varying levels of commitment, skill, challenge and reward associated with various fish species and/or fish locales.

But I notice a distinct difference in many other anglers. I want to be careful here and avoid saying that maybe they are not passionate about angling. But there seems to be many that without hesitation shrug off most forms of fishing as mere simple pleasures. They seem to always seek out conversations involving the higher profiles. If it doesn't include a passport stamp then why bother.
Some go as far to show absolute no interest unless they are fishing the top of the food chain. Many would go a year without even wetting a line just to spend a few days in pursuit of a prestigious trophy.

I personally don't share in or understand this philosophy.

Prestige or is it Romance
It no longer surprises me to be in an airport with a fly rod tube to have someone try to strike up a conversation with me about the beautiful art of fly fishing. They most always clearly have a "River Runs Through It" idealistic image of what it is to fly fish while trying to describe casting with waving arms and starry eyes.

While it is easy to buy into the attention, what my new found friend is completely unaware of is it's not some graceful art that drives my passion. The art is in the deception of my quarry. Sure I appreciate a great form fly cast but I'm much more interested in the cast that catches fish, graceful or not!
In these situations I have just learned to smile and agree with my new friend while hoping they are not going to be seated next to me on my flight. Life is too short to try and paint them a new image through my words of my definition of a modern fly angler.

I'm not in this for a prestigious ego petting. But, if you've been doing this for as long as I have I bet you know at least one angler, if not many, who is seeking this ego petting.

As I continue on just let me continue to clarify that I'm not saying this is a wrong pursuit. It's just different.

So why do I feel different
Personally I don't want to go very long without fishing, certainly no way a year, even a month seems unreasonable. I enjoy the challenge of any fish species and if I find no challenge than maybe I need to consider a tougher tactic. I've caught bass on soft hackles, catfish on poppers, carp on streamers and I remember every one of those catches. Certainly not the most effective techniques to apply to these species but as in the words found somewhere in midwest redneck philosophy "There's more than one way to skin a cat"!

Yes, I have some limits. I don't care for fishing put and take trout stocks, I'm not going to partake in snagging, and I have no interest in fishing with live bait. My fishing passion absolutely relies on the pure trickery through artificial means of the species I pursue.

As I'm writing this I'm just minutes away from joining a great group of anglers on a well known steelhead river. It's quite prestigious. I'm happy for the opportunity and seek to embrace the challenge.

I'm not going to share to you about the great weather and wonderful scenery in cover of a failed outing nor will I feed you instagram images for the next 30 days displaying my unwavering skill level. You see I don't need your validation. That's not why I fish.

My question I want you to ask yourself is, Why do you fish?


Underwater Fish Photography

Umpqua River Smallie Release

Watch Video...

Equipped with a waterproof pocket camera I'm having a lot of fun taking these underwater pictures. You never know what you're going to get. I wanted a way to photograph my catch while I fishing alone. I tried to do fish selfies but that was just felt totally wrong on many levels.

Many fish get away before I have a chance for photo or video. More and more I try to keep the event as a natural release. New pictures are achieved by netting catch, removing hook, then with camera in one hand while I cradle the fish in other hand I simply let the fish go when he is ready. I miss a lot of photo opportunities but the feeling of a healthy release is good for the soul, pictures or not.

My camera is an Olympus Tough TG860. It also shot the underwater video fish releases found in the Fish Chile post. It's getting a little rough from years of use but still working pretty good. The Olympus tough has been upgraded several times since I've purchased mine. I would and will get it again when I'm ready for a new one.

Fly Fish Chile with Outcast Anglers - Video

Fly Fish Chile with Outcast Anglers | 180Trout

Fish Chile from BassProGreg on Vimeo.

The fishing experience is challenging and real. The rewards are great. In this short video get a feel for what Outcast Anglers and 180Trout have found and so graciously shared. An experience of a lifetime and worth doing again!
Chile is an extraordinary destination for fishing and culture. Life there took me back to a time before over-development. It feels clean and natural. I can't think of a river that I have fished that is as clean and natural as this one is.
Sorry, but no names will be mentioned about this location. I know someday eventually it will be developed and fishing lodges will line the banks but until then lips are sealed. If you wish to experience this place please book your trip with Lance Wilt of Outcast Anglers at

Float-n-Fly - Video

Float-n-Fly Smallie on Greg's custom tied fly

Float-n-Fly from BassProGreg on Vimeo.

This simple tactic of Float and Fly continues to amaze me. It has worked in all kinds of water and all kinds of condition. It seems to work best when other tactics fail. It's not just a small fish tactic as you can witness in this video. I've been told my success is also in part how I fish with it. I craft my own flies, modify my own floats and tie my own leaders. While this tactic is regularly performed with spin gear I find it more fun and effective with a fly rod. Longer than a decade I've experimented with this tactic. Now my future quest is to perfect it. More species, more locations and more fly patterns is what I am pursuing.
While the Tormented Angler Blog is a collection of things I have either produced or find interesting as the future rolls forward its focal point will be pursuing the Float and Fly tactics. For a long time I've mostly kept this information to myself. Now I wish to openly publish it for those interested to find. If you find my blog while searching for float and fly, please drop me a message so I'll know and follow along on Instagram @bassprogreg

Crick Bassin - Video

This short video highlights my recent trip to the Midwest on some small water with big fish. It was the beginning of June and the fish were post spawn. Poppers attracted a few fish but it was float-n-fly that put the most fish in my hand. It still amazes me when one can observe a fish flat out refuse other offerings and yet doesn't hesitate to eat my float-n-fly. On this day I fished behind my buddy. He went first throwing either a game changer or a booglebug. I came in behind with float-n-fly to clean up. Most of the day I had out-fished him until late day when a thunderstorm rolled in. Just before the storm the fish turned on to his booglebug at the same time they seem to become skittish to my float. I wonder if a popper dropper setup could have been more effective.
Tormented Angler