I was half a block away from home when I realized I had forgotten my lucky fly fishing hat! This just wouldn’t do. Without it, I knew that the entire fishing trip could be destined for failure if I was not wearing this special hat. Finding a spot to turn around and return home, and realizing that I would be facing my wife’s amusement, I began to reflect on some of the common superstitions surrounding the sport of fly fishing. It wasn’t hard to come up with quirky things I have seen over the years.
My son, Nick, for example, insists on fishing from the bow of a boat, and knows that he will not have success from any other position. He also seems to believe that a determined Clint Eastwood expression is essential for success in landing a catch. Fishing buddy Carl from Denver starts every fishing trip with what he calls a “throwaway cast”, purposely spoiling the cast to avoid catching anything on this critical first cast. To him, catching a fish on the first cast means the rest of the day will be a complete bust. Another fishing fanatic I know will only fish particular spots and rivers at certain times of the year – because any other time would be unlucky. Maybe my special hat is not so weird after all!
Listen to more fly fishing superstitions and decide if they make sense to you. Apparently there should not be any bananas within 20 feet of any angler. Some think that fishing on a Friday is unlucky, and that the best fishing happens on the 17th and 18th of any month. Others believe that chewing anise is a charm, especially when you spit on the fly before casting. Fish will bite well when it is thundering or…..fish will not bite at all when it is thundering. Some think is it unlucky to bring a dog on a fly fishing trip. Some experienced fishermen insist on kissing the fish before it is released, to ensure continued good catches.
Perhaps the next time I drop in to my favorite fly shop, Minturn Anglers in Denver, I will suggest they install a bulletin board where anglers can post their sometimes weird and wacky tips for fly fishing success!