Generation Gap Our 'Generation Gap' essays in June provoked discussion concerning whether an angler could or should be judged by his age, his equipment,

Generation Gap

Our 'Generation Gap' essays in June provoked discussion concerning whether an angler could or should be judged by his age, his equipment, clothes--or lack thereof-- or choice of beverage. To add your comments, visit flyrodreel.com.

Regarding the "Does Fly-Fishing Have a Generation Gap?" essays [April], the picture of the guy with the Bud in his hand says it all. His age bracket (generation) totally lacks the appreciation of the history of fly-fishing, disregards the rules of the sport and doesn't have a clue about stream etiquette. If you happen to be fishing where he wants to cross, he'll tell you that "it's his right to cross where he wants to" and "you don't own the f***ing river…I mean, after all dude, I have a party to get to on the far bank!" We definitely need more golfers.
Paul Antolosky
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

The guy you are referring to is named Mike Schnietz. In fact, Mike knows proper stream etiquette and avoids using the word "dude." Yes, he does like to party. - Ed.

I was never quite sure if you were trying to discuss the differences in the generations or the lack of fly fishers. First one must recognize that there are fewer people in each of the generations since the Boomers. The Boomers were a very large group and generation size has dropped since. Then within those smaller groups there are fewer outdoors people in general. This goes along with the general trend of people moving into the cities.

One of the big differences I see is that a lot of the younger fly fishers have not gotten into fly-fishing through a chain of exper-iences. They fished a little and then they became fly fishers. Most of the older fly fishers I know were bait fishers, then they got into spin-fishing, then they took up fly-fishing. This is looked at as a progression, but it isn't. A very good bait fisher, if taught how to cast a fly rod, will be a very good nymph fisher. The bait fishers I feel are looked down on because some of their equipment includes lawn chairs and a beer cooler. They make themselves very visible because they are the ones who make the big mess. But most bait fishers are not all that dissimilar from fly fishers. They work the stream the same. In my case, when I was younger I even used a fly rod to bait-fish.

The other heavy impact is that there are so many competing activities. It is hard for the young family person to do all the family things let alone add fly-fishing to the list. We Boomers now have more time to get out and so are more prominent. There is also a disposable income problem. When I first got a fly rod it cost me a whole 10 hours of minimum-wage labor to get a rod and reel with line. That is very hard to match these days. None of the major rod companies has ever geared itself to the beginner. The cheap stuff that is out there is only good for staking tomatoes. Poor equipment will shut down a person very quickly.

I find that a lot of people getting started want to go straight into fly-fishing for trout. They want to jump past years of learning about fishing and without much training. I have heard some say it took them two years to catch their first fish. Most kids are not going to last that long. They need to start fishing for bluegills and develop some skills before they just burn out because they aren't catching anything.

Yes there are fewer fly fishers and yes they are different. Will this have an impact on the industry? Yes. Is this bad in general? No, it just is.
Brian Larson
Cassville, Wisconsin

First Sergeant Joe Cunningham

Just wanted to thank you for sharing info on First Sergeant Joe Cunningham. The Mid-Hudson TU chapter is currently e-mailing Joe and sending him books, videos, magazines, fly-tying material, tools and even a rod and reel. Materials were collected from TU members and several local fly shops, Hudson Valley Angler and The Anglers Den. Joe is now teaching fly-tying classes with the tools and materials we supplied.

Joe and his captain recently sent us an American flag that flew over the base Joe is stationed at, with a certificate signed by Joe and Captain John Kirchgessner.

We have also sent over 150 magazines to Walter Reed Hospital. We mail the magazines with a letter from our chapter to "A Recovering American Soldier" thanking them for their service.

Your article on Joe inspired us. Thank you again.
Steve Little
Joe Rist
Mid-Hudson Chapter TU

We'll Take Lefty's Word on This

In the April issue of FR&R, Buzz Bryson writes about the differences between weight forward (WF) and double taper (DT) lines. For his comparison he chose 6-weight DT and WF lines and further assumed that the head length for the WF line was 30 feet. He then made the case for why WF lines will not do well for casting with distances at 40 feet and are troublesome for rollcasting. From reading this article many readers would assume that the desired fly line for most trout fishing would be to use a DT line.

The suggestion by Mr. Bryson that WF lines do not cast well at 40 feet or greater and are troublesome for rollcasting at 40 feet is a misrepresentation of the characteristics of modern fly lines. The WF lines available for casting these days are quite capable of casting distances of 40 feet and in most cases well beyond 60 feet.

So why not get the facts straight rather than picking an incorrect hypothetical head length and making up a story that is not true or accurate?
M. A. (Mack) Martin, Jr.
Atlanta, Georgia

Just finished reading the April issue and wanted you guys to know that the piece on fly line tapers is perhaps the best explanation of them I have seen-great job!
Lefty Kreh
Hunt Valley, Maryland

Ethanol Debate

Ted Williams should be congratulated for his conservation writing. Ted's reporting always digs deeply into a problem. This time in "Under the Influence of Ethanol" [April], he seems to have left no stone unturned. I feel it is FR&R's responsibility to send copies of this article to all state legislators involved with the environment and to all ministers of environment in Canada's provinces and to the federal ministers as well. As a Canadian I'm very afraid the energy requirements and water requirements to produce ethanol are going to lead to accelerated exploitation of gas north of your borders, as well as a siphoning of water from the Great Lakes. In addition, the greatly increased production of corn will lead to a greater increase in chemicals being deposited in the aquatic environment due to the spraying of herbicides and pesticides.
George Ozburn
Thunder Bay, Ontario

I read Ted Williams' article "Under the Influence of Ethanol" with interest and regret. I was raised on a grain farm on the Great Plains and still own about 1,000 acres of irrigated and dry farmland producing corn and other grains. I think Ted is correct on most of his points that corn-based ethanol is an inefficient source of fuel and that it is environmentally undesirable. Unfortunately, for the average grain farmer, it also offers the rare opportunity to make a good profit farming. For most of the last 100 years, grain farming has been a tough way to make a living, and it's going to be hard to turn away from the opportunities ethanol offers.
J. Glenn Sperry
South Haven, Michigan

Please cancel my subscription. I have read the last article from Ted Williams that I care to read. His article on renewable fuels is the poorest-researched and most uninformed article I have ever read on the subject. As usual, he writes from a perspective of prejudice rather than perception or objectivity. I wouldn't publish his articles on toilet paper, much less in a magazine.
Darold McCalla
East Lansing, Michigan

Correction: In our April wader review we misidentified the Orvis waders in the photo on page 34 as the Tailwaters XT model. In fact, the pictured waders were the Orvis ProGuide2's.