Fly fishermen tend to be nice folks. More than once I’ve been offered advice or invited to fish an incredibly productive spot alongside another fisherman. Complete strangers have offered to give me “the fly of the day.”
But it seems that the gloves come off away from the water.
Last Tuesday was my club’s annual auction. This is an event I look forward to, even if I’m not in the market for anything extravagant. There’s always a huge selection of member-tied flies, old reels and rods, and books to peruse.
It’s an opportunity for a great deal. And if an item is bid up, at least the money goes toward substantial donations made by the club every year to worthwhile conservation organizations. Everyone ends up happy. Or so I thought.
I wasn’t in the market for too much gear this year, but placed bids on about a dozen items. Among them were a few sets of a half dozen flies, a member-crafted wood cribbage board, a couple of books and an old reel. I revisited each item at least four times, revising my bid as necessary. My expectation was that about half would be lost to last-minute bids.
One last glance at a few times suggested that I just might win a few goodies. It’s unclear if it was the fact that five minutes passed after the official closing time before an announcement was made or an indication of “sniping” was more rampant than I expected, but thoughts of losing more than a few games of cribbage to my wife quickly faded when I was handed one set of flies.
I was relieved that I didn’t overspend. But a little disappointed.
I should have known better. It seems that all fly fishermen are always looking for a deal, but are willing to open their wallets when getting gear also supports conservation. That’s a good thing.