The-machine-of-the-truth or Why McLean Weigh Nets Rule

niceone.300 brown and happy angler. Photo by Chris Dore

We are all entitled to our bragging rights, it is part of the fly fishing heritage. However, balancing those “the really big one got away” and “my smaller one was 50 cm” with some objectivity doesn’t hurt either.

One month ago we —my good friend and fishing guide Prpa and me—met a fellow angler on the bank of the Ribnik river in Bosnia; last time we chat was more than a year before, so it was a good opportunity to have some beers together. Our conversation drifted to this issue of the fly fisher’s tendency to exaggeration. I talked about people fishing for the first time in this particular spring creek and, when finishing their week, boasting about the number of close to 60 cm grayling they caught.

Well —our interlocutor said— my best grayling here was 52 cm.

This guy has been fishing Ribnik for six years, about two months each season. His name is Pascal Cognard and he has been individual world champion in fly fishing three times. He is one of the very few that doesn’t need to brag.

Another very particular version of the bragging rights —a rather annoying one for that matter— is that one in which your fish tend to get bigger and bigger, while your partner’s ones get smaller and smaller. Sorry man, your freedom to brag ends where mine begins!

Following is the rough method of fish size estimation employed by a fishing buddy of mine (International Measuring System).

One kilo
Caught by him: “Big brown!
Caught by me: “Hmmm… Not baaad

Two kilos
Caught by him: “Enooormous trout!
Caught by me: “…Nice one

In the International Measuring System the fish above is niceone.300 as per the-machine-of-the-truth. 😈

This brown trout below was just 2.8 kg. Don’t get fooled by wide angle lenses and fish that are very close to them.

A 2.8 kg New Zealand brown. Photo by Chris Dore.

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