Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nate's take on who has the advantage

A European Pearch caught in 2003 in Northern Sweden. If I can get over there this summer, John has no chance.

If you haven't figured it out by now, John and I are competing to see who can catch more warmwater species on a fly this year (2009). I have a huge advantage over John because I live 4 blocks from the Mississippi River, home to more than 70 catchable fish species. On the other hand, John has no kids (yet). By May, I expect to have two (that I know of). That gives John way more time to hit the water than me. The other advantage for John is that he actually seems to prefer warmwater species over coldwater species (like trout). I find some warmwater species to be somewhat repulsive, such as the catfish John is holding in his previous post. Yet some of these species are incredible fighters. In fact, much of what at first may seem sort of gross about these fish, is really just how they have adapted to warm and turbid environments. You can compare the morphology of many warmwater species to ocean dwelling fish that many flyrodders spend thousands of dollars to chase. The difference is the lighter color of ocean fish which are adapted to crystal clear water and which we often find attractive-especially compared with the brown-green-yellow combinations of warmwater species. At any rate, this summer, I'm taking off my tweed jacket and hat and putting on my cut-off jeans and straw hat. its time to embrace life on the Mississippi; bowfin, gar, catfish, carp, buffalo-you stand no chance against the allure of my flies.

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