Reader Input: Sports column offensive to fly fishers

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Re: J.D. Richey “Outdoors” column, “Down with the fluff chuckers?,” Journal Sports, Nov. 28:

Unburdened with the facts, Mr. Richey’s misguided column criticizes fly fishers using incorrect, biased opinions.

I’ve been a fly fisher for 50 years, a fly fishing guide for 20 years, a part-timer in a highly respected local fly shop, fly fishing instructor at Sierra College and columnist for a fly fishing magazine. I believe that qualifies me to speak for fly fishers.

While I’ll not engage his client’s ignorant comments, I will critique Mr. Richey’s opinions:

1. I’ve guided hundreds of fly fishers. I’ve never heard one of them say anything rude to another angler.

2. What’s wrong with preferring dry flies or eschewing egg flies? In my guide business I don’t use “indicators” aka “bobbers.” So am I an elitist?

3. I’ve never heard of a poaching fly fisher. I’ve seen many poachers — all bait or “hardware” anglers. Who leaves worm and cricket containers, cigarette butts, beer bottles, cans and other garbage? Not fly fishers.

4. I’ve never observed “elitist behavior” by a shop co-employee. I’m sorry Mr. Richey had a bad fly shop experience. Still, given his barely-concealed disdain, did he enter that shop with an obvious chip on his shoulder?

5. Virtually all fly anglers are conservation-oriented — not as ideologues, but to protect the resource for our children and grandchildren. Plenty of intelligent bait/hardware anglers feel and act that way. “Elitism?”

While I find Mr. Richey’s opinions laughable, I suspect he’s offended many readers.

I’ve sent the column to local fly fishing clubs. He may hear from them, also.

Bill Carnazzo, Foresthill