The Optimist by David Coggins

The Optimist: A Case for the Fly Fishing Life by [David Coggins]
The Optimist by David Coggins

The striped bass is an athletic, even a social fish. It swims with its colleagues, who are more like friends, it doesn’t have too many hang-ups or obsess over its own mythology, like trout do. It’s got places to go…. The striped bass is a well-loved fish, among poets and populists alike. p.134

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Brook trout like clear, cold water, their presence indicates the health of a lake or river. It’s reassuring to catch one in a beloved stream, it means the water is clean. They aren’t mercurial, like brown trout, which are calculating and ornery. The brook trout takes a more direct approach, if it wants something it will eat it. It’s not reluctant and coy. It’s not a mysterious fish, it’s just itself, and that’s more than enough. p. 185

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The smallmouth bass lives in warm water and is not snobby. Where we fished, they were brown with wide black stripes. The trout prefers cold water and cares about its reputation, like an English aristocrat. It’s usually brilliantly colored with brilliant spots. The smallmouth is strong and will fight, and when you catch one it pulls and pulls. Finally, you reel it in, grab it by the mouth and unhook it and it will swim away without resentment. Trout are more delicate, more discerning, more distinguished. Trout hold grudges. p. 19

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One thought on “The Optimist by David Coggins

  1. I loved “The Optimist!” Such wonderful, humorous observations, with human characteristics. We all know them, even if we aren’t fishermen.


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