Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Art of Deception

March Brown
All fishermen are liars!  That is.... in one form or another.  Yes, we have all heard the tall tales about how big this one or that one was. There is also the ever popular story about "the one that got away."  I have even been known to exaggerate a few times (when I was younger).  But let's not kid ourselves, WE ALL practice the "art of deception" when it comes to angling.  If we didn't how would we ever catch anything?  The whole point after all is to convince the fish that the bait or fly that we offer is an easy meal and not a sharp metal hook that will turn them from predator into prey.  There have literally been thousands of flies designed with this purpose in mind and multitudes of stealthy techniques created to disguise our presence.  But for all of our dishonesty and cunning the fish survive (and with catch and release live to swim another day).  This is true because nature is not without her defences.

Beautiful little brook trout.
Take one of my favorite creatures found in nature, the brook trout, as an example.  In a small stream, leaving anglers aside, it can fall prey to a number of other animals such as mink, raccoons, herons, and larger fish.  You would think with it's beautiful bright coloration's that it would last very long but it does. 

 Evolution has also given brook trout the ability to deceive.  Have you ever really watched a brook trout in a stream?  Sometimes when I'm not fishing I'll just watch them.  They sometimes just disappear before my eyes and suddenly reappear when they make a sudden movement.  Their striking patterns give them the ability to "hide" in plain sight.

Two brookies.
In the picture above, I placed two brookies that I had just caught into a small water filled depression in a rock next to the stream.  I was amazed at how, even with such a lousy background to hide against, they could blend in. I never ceased to be amazed with what nature has to offer us.  When it comes down to it, more than one animal can practice "the art of deception" and that is a good thing.  A one-sided battle does not last very long.  For me, the constant back and forth with who is deceiving who is what makes angling such an enjoyable (and obsessive pastime).  For that, I will always be thankful.


  1. That is one great looking fly....the perfect deception. Great post!

  2. Ah, the march brown spider ! Fall has me thinking of classic wets again and getting back to the vise !

  3. Mark...the March Brown is an oldie but a goodie! Spiders are great flies to use when deceiving trout.

  4. All of the facts you state are true.
    The brook trout is a true survivor.

    As for the angler not being truthful, that's another thing,

    Nice post.