We’re all snobs.


I’m always amazed at the number of individuals that will take issue with the way another angler finds joy and takes pride in their angling pursuits.  I of course find joy and take pride in fishing the dry fly.  I also have a certain affinity for equipment that is not only highly functional, but also aesthetically pleasing to me.  Utilitarian function alone is simply not enough.

Some anglers (some of which may not even “angle”) take pride in owning something absolutely unique, or at the very least extremely rare, and often consider themselves “collectors.”  It may be as ugly as sin or function poorly, but if it’s a one-of-a-kind…  Of course, if it’s a thing of beauty, functions better than Perfect (pun intended), and is still one of a kind, so much the better.

Others take pride in simply flaunting their wealth.  For these individuals, the price alone may be reason enough to acquire an item, and their favorite equipment is also likely a status symbol.

At the other end of the amount paid spectrum you’ll find the thrift snobs.  These individuals take great pride in spending as little as possible, and may also hold utilitarian function as their sacred cow.  But make no mistake about it, they’ll make the, “I’m superior because I paid this much for my gear” argument just as often as those paying the big bucks will, and perhaps even more.

Rod material snobs limit themselves to rods made from a specific material, and take great pride in the attributes of bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite.

There are the “latest greatest” snobs, the “tradition at all costs” snobs, the “bigger is better” snobs, and the “ultralight” snobs.  The Tenkara, Spey Caster, Czech Nymph, Steelheaders, Carp addicts, Trout, and even Panfish snobs.

The list goes on and on, and there will likely be new categories of snobbery to come that haven’t even been thought of yet.  It’s all good, and whatever dimples your cheeks is fine by me.

Just don’t expect me (or anyone) to agree with your snobbery, and certainly don’t look down on those individuals that haven’t seen the light and converted to it.  As you can see, I’m all about promoting “religious” tolerance here.

Of course, if you’re reading this, at the very least you must enjoy dry fly fishing, even if you don’t limit yourself to that form of snobbery.  But don’t fool yourself, even you “all around” anglers are snobs.  You just worship a fatter cow than I do.

So shout, “Hallelujah” to ‘em all, even if the DFGs (Dry Fly Guys/Gals) are the only ones truly going to heaven.



10 thoughts on “We’re all snobs.

  1. Marty
    August 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I for one after decades of not caring what others thought got tired of the assumption of snobbery on my part. Now I (with tongue in cheek) poke fun at all the others. Truly a fun experience to tell a wealthy man met astream his newest sage one is a great tomato stake. For me my love of bamboo,silk, old reels comes mostly from having to many latest greatest technologies in my life. A day spent astream sans cell phone with a 100 year old rod and reel. Or one handmade by a man whose hand I’ve grasped in thanks when I picked it up. Fishing a dry fly I’ve tied with natural materials in a pattern that was tried and true in my grandfather’s time……well it just makes it more special. But just to be clear streamers, sinking lines, and nymphs are for squirrel molestors and perverts… :)

    1. Dry Fly Guy
      August 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

      “But just to be clear streamers, sinking lines, and nymphs are for squirrel molestors and perverts…”

      (I’m still laughing at that comment!)

      ~ DFG

  2. Pixrob
    August 21, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Tragically, most sports cast divisions between the haves and the have nots. Really doesn’t matter what sport.

    Great baseball players in the Dominican Republic whose “glove” is a milk carton to a kid traveling all over the US trying to get noticed for a college deal.

    Car racing has become a science of labs fueled by marketing budgets instead of guys in a garage with passion for racing.

    I have looked at and lusted over amazing rods/reels (even an Abel nipper) that are far above my ability and price range yet they will sell to someone. At least I would hope so for the shopkeepers investment.

    Recently, my fishing has been all spinning with ultra lights & Rooster Tails. You might scoff, but my daughter is fishing right there with me with the same setup. She just wants to catch a fish or two. Yet the highlight of our most recent trip was watching me pour water out my waders that had seen better days, but then hearing her laugh was the highlight of my trip.

    And we didn’t catch a thing that day.


  3. Creek
    August 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Yes, i’m a snob. I know this, because i’m called it all the time. It doesn’t bother me a bit, but seems to bring joy to those who call me a snob. So, I feel i’m bringing some joy in this world.

    I only fish freestone creeks. I only fish bamboo. I only fish dry flies that I tied with natural materials. I’d like to say I only fish silk lines, but I will use a peach line when it’s cold out. I only wear a vest. I only fish alone. I only fish C&R. I only fish for wild trout.

    I’m old enough to be set in my ways, and calling me a snob won’t change them. On the other hand. I could care less what everybody else does, and I have no names for them.

  4. msbfly
    September 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    If I am a snob because I fly fish, so be it. I can live with that and all the other snobs on the water no matter what kind of snob they are.

    What gets under my skin is the lack of “fishing” etiquette that goes on, on the water.

    I feel that people should have to take an etiquette class before they receive their license.

    What happened to being considerate to your fellow fisherman. I know this is an individual sport, but thinking of others before you walk through their hole or high hole them or cast from the far bank into someone else’s side, is that too much to ask for. Just crowding someone when their is plenty of water else where is down right rude. Find your own D*#^ spot! Or at the very least, ASK. Common courtesy is all I am asking for. But like common sense……It is not that common.

    So I am a snob but I do not think it is because I fly fish, it is because I expect more from people on the water. We have a personal space and I feel we have a personal fishing space and all I ask is that you respect mine as if it were yours.

  5. Dark Waters
    September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    There sure is an awful lot of truth in that article of yours DFG. I’ve been multiple types of snob at one time or another. I’d like to think I’ve moved past that. I really don’t mind how others choose to enjoy fishing as long as they behave themselves – act somewhat courteous and follow the rules.

    Our time here is short, our time to relax and enjoy this great sport is even shorter. Respect the environment, other anglers, and just enjoy yourself out there.

  6. Trouter3
    September 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t know whether snob is what I am, I’ve been called worse than that, snob may be a compliment
    Pointed toward me… I’ve been called an elitist, my being a C&R fanatic normally gets negative responses in my direction, yes, I may be disinterested at times and my patience for trivia and BS isn’t what it used to be ..all I want is peace and tranquility and I find that on the pristine gin crystal clear streams I fly fish in my beloved state of Oregon ..very rarely due to the vast wilderness do I see other anglers …and to tell the truth I like it that way !! Hey that must classify me as a SNOB … Send me my membership card ….


  7. Eric Peper
    October 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    To paraphrase an AK Best quote that was in one of Gierach’s books, “When you start worrying about what other people may think of you, it’s time to go fishin’.”

    Nuff said.


  8. JoeFriday
    October 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I’m a snob in many ways. Fly fishing is merely one of them. I like bicycles that cost as much as a good used car, french wine named after chateaus, stereo equipment that uses tubes older than I am, and cameras with optics that you can’t properly name unless you speak german. But I work for my own money and pay my own bills. I have the right to be a snob, just as long as I don’t make someone else feel bad for not being one, too.

    When I first started fly fishing, I was very conscious about what other people were using. I’d glance at a rod or reel in someone’s hand the way women glance at each other’s diamond rings. I have since learned that the high dollar rod doesn’t bring in any more fish on its own than the department store brand. I admire people who catch fish with what I would consider inferior equipment. But fishing isn’t entirely about catching.

    I enjoy the feeling of ‘unity with the universe’ (to paraphrase Tom Morgan) obtained with a really good rod that matches my casting. I enjoy fishing only dry flies even when the fish aren’t rising. I enjoy releasing a gently held fish as quickly as possible without taking photos in order to get him back to his hole safe and sound. And I enjoy it all the same whether anybody else notices or not.

  9. Glass Stixs
    October 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve never really thought of myself as being a snob although I have probably unfairly put a few folks in that category. I guess its all about perspectives. I don’t fish the latest and greatest gear but I don’t look down on those who find enjoyment owning and fishing it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the “chase the rainbow” game with gear over the years. I haven’t decided if it was because I wanted to fit in or to give me an edge on catching the most and the biggest. I am a product of the 4-step process with gear and fishing. In the beginning, it was about catching a fish or getting a rod and reel. The second step was about catching more fish and upgrading to better gear. The third step was about catching the most and biggest fish with the most expensive gear I could possibly afford. I’m in the fourth step now. I just want to fish and be out there. I have some nice (to me) gear and fish it because it fits me and my fishing style. I got into rod building about 10 years ago and find great satisfaction in catching fish on a rod I either built or resurrected from the dead, with a fly that I tied. I would define a snob as someone who thinks they are entitled to the best spots on the river just because of the pricey equipment they use or the company they keep. I need to work on my “not too quick to judge”.

Leave a Reply