Matt Crawford visited Alaska West this past summer. He also loves to hunt birds, and among other things is the former editor of the Upland Almanac.
Matt thinks fly fishing and upland bird hunting have a lot in common, and wrote us a post on that very topic. Thanks Matt!
An earlier post on this blog about how to store gear in the off-season made me chuckle. Partly because my preferred method (piling stuff on a table in the garage) wasn’t mentioned and partly because it’s exactly the same question I get asked about in regards to bird-hunting. In both cases, the hard-cores pretty much answer the same way – there isn’t an off-season. In bird hunting, between attending gun shows, shooting in skeet leagues, field trialing and/or training the dogs and, of course, travel, there isn’t really much of an off-season.
That, and a phone conversation with Andrew Bennett who has heading out on Puget Sound while I was on my way to the Vermont grouse woods, started me to thinking just how much upland bird hunting (and by that, I’m talking ruffed grouse, woodcock, pheasant, sharptails, quail, chukars and the like) and fly-fishing have in common. There’s a large overlap in the people who do both, as recently witnessed in Smithhammer’s take on Buster Wants to Fish.
- Both are surrounded by a long tradition of fine writing. We just lost one of the better modern-day practitioners of the craft, a man as comfortable with a 20 gauge as a 5-weight, Bill Tapply. If you haven’t read him, consider this an assignment.
- Both have conservation organizations that, while they’ll drill as deep in your wallet as you let ’em, do really good work.
- Scotch tastes even better after partaking in either one and helps provide sustenance for long discussions about “best” gear.
- In both guns and gear, some prefer the, ah, refined craftsman$hip of the British Empire.
- Pheasant and grouse feathers make for pretty good flies.
- That same joyous jolt to the heart comes from the flush of a bird, the take of a fish, the scream of a reel’s drag, the sound of a shotgun clicking open.
- Wild fish, wild birds, wild places. Enough said.