Do you love big bluegill?
It is quite sad that a man who would get in a time machine from the 1600s would DESTROY a US angler with most of our manufactured horrible tackle. US Tackle industries offer us perfect tackle to have a below-average and horrible fishing outing.
While world fishing tactics have not changed in 400 years, simple technology shifts between 1900 and present materials - and the tackle company's want for mass production have set fishing back. These technology shifts have buried our fishing skills because the generations of anglers who fished properly here are long gone.
The fact is, George Washington would also beat you if he stood next to you based on his methods. While a colonist, he had access to proper techniques and fishing tactics. George was not a fly angler - this was reserved for gentlemen and kings - of which he would take no part in. Others tried to say that he did in fact fly fish, but they were trying to spin his hobby in a positive light. The General preferred live bait.
Back to our time traveler man. He would bring with him his cane pole and with this method could NOT be out-fished by us in 90% of situations. These situations only include the need for distance casting - otherwise, get your rod, your jighead, your float and your lure and prepare to be humiliated by your new time traveler friend.
Two things would slow our time traveler up- one is the thick cartilage lip a gill possesses. I have seen this slow down European competitive anglers when they first get here. I have even beaten a set of them in the US Open because their hooks were too narrow and to weak. The gills took a number of outings for them to get their setup right so the hook would get past that set of bony lips and/or not bend out. With their newer fine lines and thin hooks, they also were no match for the strength of the bluegills. The Achilles heal for the angler from the 1600's would be the braided cloth or horsehair line they used as these were thick. For the challenge to measure out- we would give him some mono to fish with.
He MIGHT be able to beat us straight up without the mono, but to get this right, we would upgrade his line a little to keep the experiment fair.
While we would give him some monofilament line, the rest of his equipment, knowledge and approach would baffle us. Our time traveler would only posses horsehair braid - a very thick line, but his techniques, bait, hook and float would be too much for you.
I know this too - the tougher the condition, pre-coldfront or in cold water fishing, the more the humiliation might grow - it might be 10 to 20-fold. The old school angler is used to tough fishing and subtle takes as the population has always been large where he fished. Many anglers and only a few pond opportunities which were pay lakes. Every bit of land was claimed by someone and most waters private, the rest of the commoners had to find heavily fished spots - this is all they had.
Over the past few years I have been studying tackle history and the history of US fishing. I also was taught by someone who ran with some of the great anglers in England when they were older and passing their knowledge on.
The way I used to fish and the methods I was taught vary so greatly. There are other methods available and more tackle available to us. I
If this interests you - look for a bright flash in the sky. More history yet to come.
I will be out fishing on an actual Flux Capacitor tomorrow after the Showgram (back on the air after months!) I can't wait.
I hope the gills are biting for me in this new pond I am trying!
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