Beef or Pork?

One thing I hope you’ve noticed about this blog is that I like to keep the overall tone positive. I try hard not to throw anyone under the bus except myself — which is hard because there are some real idiots out there who are practically begging me to mock them. But I’m not taking the bait– at least not in print. (Come find me around a campfire.)

Your comments seem to track along these positive lines as well, which I really appreciate. Granted I’m pretty sure some of you are hitting the sauce pretty hard when you write them (which I love of course!) but all the comments are funny, poignant and all-around a good read. Makes for some good clean fun, don’t you think?

That said, the boys over at Fly Talk have launched a debate that has caught my eye, so I thought I’d bring it over here for a change of pace. Their question is: What makes a fly a true fly? Does it have to be made of natural materials that were once part of a living creature? What about foam? Does it make a difference if they are tied or glued? Do “spoon flies” and gummy minnows count if you throw them on a flyrod?

So have at it. Give us your thoughts. A rare blessing from me to get more aggressive in the Fly Fish Chick comment thread. Shout it from the mountain top, tell us how you feel.

While we’re at it, let’s roll up our sleeves and cover some other touchy topics…

Would you listen to an ipod while fishing? (another Fly Talk debate)

Cast upstream only — or is downstream acceptable?

Freshwater or saltwater?

Dries or nymphs?

Are bananas really bad hoodoo on a fishing trip?

If you touch the leader and the fish unbuttons, does it count as a boated fish?

How do we solve America’s healthcare crisis?

What’s the best movie in the Godfather trilogy?

And once and for all, would the real BBQ please stand up….Texas Beef or Southern Pork?

Got anything else?…Throw it in the mix! Vent to your heart’s content. Be loud. Be nice. Anthony’s in charge of breaking up any fights and making sure no one says anything mean to me.

33 Responses to “Beef or Pork?”
  1. KBarton10 says:

    I don’t understand why fishing isn’t more linear. If yesterday was the best fishing of your life, how come tomorrow isn’t the second best fishing of your life?

    …and if you bring a buddy, why is it the worst fishing of your life?

  2. Jim@FFO says:

    Don’t get sick
    GF I (duh!)

    What’s my score?

  3. WT says:

    Those yellow things are bad luck for shure.

  4. Brotherof4 says:

    Pork is not even part of the equation. While in the Marines and having been out of CONUS for a few years I returned stateside to NC and CRAVED BBQ. I pulled into the first bbq joint I saw and ordered a chopped sandwich. When it came I ravenously tore the paper off and shoved half the thing in my pie-hole only to spit it out because it was shredded pork with peppersauce, and get this, it had a GOB OF COLE SLAW ON IT!! Whiskey-tango-fox!!! What do you expect from a state that has on their “great” seal a miniature ham impaled on a spear. I vomit a little in my mouth every time I think about it…see, right there. Brisket or bust!

  5. Parker says:

    For me, the right price makes a fly a true fly these days…I’m a fly fishin’ balla on a budget. One day I’ll introduce tying into my favorite hobby and be better equipped to answer question #1.

    Once in awhile is a nice change of pace.
    Alternate between weekends
    If they are…I’m done w/ the fruit
    IGFA says no…on a slow day, I say yes
    crickets chirpin
    Godfather I
    TX Beef

  6. Day Tripper says:

    I love throwing people under the bus, you get to see guts & stuff. What I wanna know is why it’s so hard to get good pizza in NY.

  7. Harry says:

    It is against tradition, but if a fish will eat it, I will throw it! Truth be known I have been seen using a small plastic hellgramite for smallies on a micro jig. Yes, on a flyrod. (My buddy says that I have no shame, especially when I outcatch him)

    Either-whatever the fish like that day
    Don’t tell my wife if they are
    Darn tootin
    Everyone get a job!
    Godfather 1
    Texas brisket (Memphis style pork is a close 2nd tho)

  8. Jimmy says:

    I did not know that overcooked beef with tomato sauce is considered BBQ-another Texas conspiracy!

  9. rivergeek says:

    You missed one…
    Don’t be calling it “Chili” if it has beans in it. That’s “Chili with beans”. It ain’t bad, but it ain’t “Chili”. That also goes for macaroni and other assorted additions to Chili. “Chili” is meat, chiles and spices. Period.


  10. dmj says:

    iPod while fishing?

    iPod’s are great, but you can’t use ‘em in my boat. They dull your senses when doing something important–you can’t hear a trout feeding if your’re listening to your iPod.

    Cast upstream or downstream?

    Well, if you’re on the Test where tradition dictates upstream, then it should be upstream. Having said that (as the english say), I’ll cast both ways on big rivers. On small creeks I’ll also cast both directions, but sometimes only upstream will work. I really don’t consider this a controversy.

    Freshwater or Saltwater? Again, not a controversy. Each endeavor is equal in merit, but different in challenges and requisite skills. Flats fishng may require longer casts, at times, but that is no more difficult than figuring out what a selective trout is eating.

    Dries or nymphs? Hmmm. I have my bias here. I prefer dries—it’s much easier. You can see what’s happenging when fishing dries; whereas with nymphs you must deduce what you can’t see. Fishing nymphs well requires transcendence. A few summers ago, I would see an elderly man wade-fishing subtle seams and riffles in a large tailwater that one author described as a collection of spring creeks. All of us were fishing dries, except for the aforementioned wade fisherman who was using a nymph. Every day I spied him, I anchored up and just watched. He was too deeply absorbed in the seam, his unseen fish, and his nymph to notice my presence. His every movement was at the same speed as the current. Each graceful cast was so fluidly executed that the hundred’s of casts seemed to become one cast. He was in a zone of his own creation and much closer to Melville’s nature than I will ever be. And, based on the number and quality of trout he caught, he must have proactively connected with the fish. So, what’s my point? I don’t know but I believe that man got closer to the essence of fly fishing than I will ever be and he was using nymphs. It was a privildge to watch.

    Bananas on a boat? Not on my boat or any one I’m in. Bananas on a boat are bad business. I speak from exprience. Some smart ass put a banana peal ( not even a banana) in the raft to which I was assigned on day one of a 60 mile float. Later that day, when all our companions had passed us, we hit a sharp rock and blew out the raft about three miles from camp. Our patch kit went missing and we had to L & C it down the river. Later on the trip a companion sustained a broken ankle 30 miles from the take out. Bananas? Not no, but hell no!

    Touching the leader = boated fish? Hell yes. Its better for the fish and conducive to exaggeration.

    Rx for health care? As long as the government and HMO’s are involved it can’t be solved. The providers are excellent at what they do but the layers of middlemlen between the patient and doctor screw things up. Maybe the speed of the rot can be slowed by a cleaner habitat, more exercise, less stress, and HSA’s.

    Best of The Godfather Triology? It ain’t even close. Its the first one!

    Texas beef v. Southern pork? Properly prepared Texas BBQ beef doesn’t require tomato sauce. The smokin’ process provides the flavor and moistness. So, the sauce on Texas BBQ beef ain’t even part of the debate. Southern pork is acceptable if you can’t get authentic BBQ beef, but it’s merely a substitute. Hands down, beef is better. Besides, that’s what the Marine prefers, and as Angel said in the “Wild Bunch”, “I’m with you Jefe.”

    Anything else? Since you asked, yeah. In the national dialogue over fuel costs and the enviornment, why doens’t anyone promote natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles. We have plenty of it, it’s less costly on a btu equivaltent and it burns cleaner than gasoline and diesel. We could divert the diesel to the railroads which ship bulk more efficiently than over the road trucks and more crude to jet fuel.

    Oh, and while I’m thinking about it—-good for Little Chick and the recycling of plastic water bottles. This summer disposable plastic water bottles will be as welcome on my boat as bananas and iPods.

  11. John says:

    Would you listen to an ipod while fishing?
    I listen for pods of fish

    Cast upstream only — or is downstream acceptable?
    I cast to where the fish are sometimes even sideways but never more than on direction at a time.

    Freshwater or saltwater?
    The only difference is the taste and I have to wash everything after salt. Does one not have fish?

    Dries or nymphs?
    Yes and streamers too. Hey Sink tip or full sinking? there’s a question fer ya FFC.

    Are bananas really bad hoodoo on a fishing trip?
    For men yes. Ladies speak fer yerself.

    If you touch the leader and the fish unbuttons, does it count as a boated fish?
    No, that’s called movin’ a fish. Ya gotta touch the slimy critter.

    How do we solve America’s healthcare crisis?
    Don’t smoke and drink Dr. Pepper

    What’s the best movie in the Godfather trilogy?
    Uno and I ain’t horsin around.

    And once and for all, would the real BBQ please stand up….Texas Beef or Southern Pork?

  12. Murdock says:

    Pork with vinegar based sauce….I thought I saw a UNC hat in your sidebar slide show. Go Heels!

  13. Steve says:

    1) Single hooks only. Has to be designed to get the fish to take the fly, not to snag the fish. As long as it is not bait, materials don’t matter.

    2) No

    3) Either

    4) Either — Fish what you can

    5) Dries when their takin’, but either is okay

    6) I never heard of this, but I’ll add it to the list: (1. Don’t walk under ladders, 2. No bananas on fishing trips 3. Don’t open umbrellas in the house…)

    7) No. Unless you meant to get the fish off the hook.

    8)Give everyone a banjo

    9)This question cannot be answered. There were only two Godfather movies. The mythical 3rd movie never happened. I repeat, it did not happen.

    10)Dry Rubbed Pork, light on any sauce, slow smoked, with lots of slaw on the side and white bread (No Sweet Tea !! )

  14. Wook says:

    I refuse to choose between pork & beef BBQ. And you can’t make me, either, though you’re welcome to try.

  15. Glista says:

    What makes a fly a true fly? – Never gave it much thought.
    Ipod while fishing? – Never! F-that!
    Upstream vs Downstream? – Never gave it much thought.
    Freshwater or Salt? – Never gave it much thought.
    Dries or nymphs? – Dries! Dries! Dries!
    Bananas = good
    Leader touching? – It’s good.
    America’s healthcare crisis? – Never gave it much thought.
    Godfather trilogy? – #1
    Real BBQ? – Texas Beef.

  16. Dash says:

    What makes a fly a true fly? – If it “flies” through the air on the end of my leader, it’s a fly.
    iPod while fishing? – No, but I have been known to sing Jerry Jeff tunes.
    Upstream vs Downstream? – I say you should cast where ever the fish are.
    Freshwater or Salt? – Yes
    Dries or nymphs? – Yes
    Bananas? – No. Why tempt the fishing gods?
    Early Release? – To quote Marv Albert, “Yesss! And it counts!”
    America’s healthcare crisis? – What healthcare crisis?
    Godfather Trilogy? – I think it’s unanimous – #1
    Real BBQ? – This is a tough one. I love both and consider both to be true BBQ.

    Extra Credit: Shiner Bock or Lonestar? – I cut my beer drinking teeth on Lonestar longnecks, but graduated to Shiner several years ago. Don’t even offer me a Lite beer unless I’m obviously dying of thirst.

  17. Kentucky Jim says:

    Most of these questions are far too esoteric for me. Those who have gone before have much better educations than I do on these important subjects. However, I-Pod while fishing? Have you lost your F’—-n mind? Party on, girl; love them Texas Honkey Tonks. But fishing is fishing, and somebody has got to draw the line. If it’s me, so be it. I’pods while fishing…jesus…what kind of shit will they think of next? Really, who did think of that? Guess I’m getting old, and that’s ok, too; some of us have to be scouts about what’s coming for you younger ones, who should be out on the water fishing, instead of thinking up strange, no weird, very weird, ideas. I-pods while fishing! Find a new marketing idea. Humph!

  18. Anthony says:

    Gang – we have seen it all. Texas Beef is truly the only kind you can call a delicacy. I betta you this – FF Chick can probably make a sweet BBQ that melts in your mouth, much like the same feeling most of men get when seeing that pretty smile at the top of the page.

    There are a few of you out there that need to broaden your horizons. Others are deadon in my world and we invite you to the campfire to sing songs of great Texas artists.

    Day Tripper – NY Pizza. Are you f’in kidding me. I bet you like Pizza Hut bread pizza that is flavored with cheese and a gallon of grease so they can get it out of the pan. Being a Buffalo, NY native, I may be slanted but only enjoy a true NY pizza that you must fold in half to eat.

    Brothers of 4 – Everyone in here should stand up and tip our hat to you for protecting our freedom. You deserve to eat Texas BBQ and we should as a country figure out how to ship food from home to you guys on the line.

    Parker – don’t give up with your fly fishing. It is a life long journey. Being a fly fishing guide, I can tell you many secrets on how to get started in fly tying. This will save you money. The start up costs are up there in dollars, but after you get established you can get an edge on what your buddy is tossing in the water.

    Jimmy – what are you thinking brother? Beef falls off the bone, it is tender, it is sweet, it is spicy, it is tangy, and best of all – NOT TOUGH like shoe leather.

    Rivergeek – Roll on…

    DMJ – Dries are not necessarily easier. I think you made your point. You were trying to say that you enjoy catching fish on the fly, but if there was something else to do for a day you would do it. There are the die hards of the sport – and I fall into that category – who must find a release in the world. I do a lot of my major thinking on the river. This is where I find the answers of life.

    Dash – Singing out loud to Texas greats is not bad. Listening to an iPod while fishing – that does cross the boundary. There is nothing wrong with having a playlist made for trips to the water, but after that it is water and the entertainment that makes it own music.

    While talking about Texas greats – here are my favorite Texas singers: Jerry Jeff Walker, Pat Green, Willie, Norah Jones, Lyle Lovett, ZZ, and best of all – Robert Earl Keen.

    Dash brought up another valid point – leave the lite beer on the shelf of the beer store, unless they are sold out of everything. I like to say – that you can try like hell to drink a town dry, but they keep bringing it out.

    Shiner rules. If you have not visited the brewery in little Shiner – do yourself a favor and visit. You get to sample at the end of some fresh beer.

    As for the Godfather… This is my favorite movie trilogy of all time. No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3. Great!!! What is even better is to wake early and watch them all, done not too long ago.

    Now if we want a debate – what fights better? A large mouth bass or a Trout???

  19. Alabama flygirl says:

    Ipod – I would probably drop it in the water so no
    Upstream/downstream – Wherever!
    Freshwater or salt – only fished freshwater so far, but I am open to a saltwater trip!
    Dries/Nymphs – love the dry
    Bananas – I’m with Dash – don’t tempt the fishing gods
    Early release – count em baby!
    Healthcare crisis – pass
    Godfather – “leave the gun, take the cannoli” #1 by far
    Real BBQ – Raised on Southern pork (Ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis) but I work for a food dist. so I am open to any new food experience! Bring on the brisket!
    Oh yeah, what makes a fly – if I can purchase in a fly shop then I will use it!

  20. Anthony says:

    AlaFly – come to Florida and we will cross the salt off your list and the margarita glass.

  21. courtneyw says:

    pulled pork please…finally back in the land of real pulled pork – yum! can’t beat that with some sweet tea.

  22. gren says:

    If I can cast it on a fly rod, it’s a fly…

    I don’t even own an ipod…

    Where ever fish live…

    What ever they’re takin’…

    Bananas? Never heard of such a rumor…

    LDRs’ don’t count as fish landed, but sometimes, when I’m countin’, I count hook ups, not landings…

    Men don’t go to the dr. anyway…

    #1, although I haven’t seen it in a long time…

    It’s all meat, and as long as it’s smoked properly, it’s all good…

    NO Bud, Coors, Miller, Lone Star, or any other of those “so called” beers. Real beer has favor and color. If you want real beer, try Guinness…

    Willie Rocks! As well as Lyle Lovett, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Asleep at the Wheel, Slaide Cleaves,Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez (Got them sweet teqiula blues commin’ down) and etc. etc.,…

    And El Jimador beats Jose’ Cuervo hands down…

  23. Harry says:

    Anthony poses an interesting question sure to bring up some controversy. Which fights better, a largemouth bass or a trout?

    In still water with fish of equal size on the same weight rod and I would likely call it a draw, but put the trout in a river situation with current and I would have to give the edge to the trout.

    Here in the midwest, I would offer a match up of the white bass in current to that of a trout in current. We sometimes refer to the white bass as like hooking up with a bluegill on steroids. Make it real interesting and hook up with the white bass/stiped bass hybrids and watch the line fly off the reel. They can take you down to the backing real fast.

    And then there is the smallmouth.

  24. KD says:

    Wow, I gotta “accentuate the positive” more often. I’m starting to get a complex.

    This, however, is liberating. I can answer those questions over here. And I find this blog supremely entertaining.

    Foam flies are indeed flies that elicit some of the best “eats.” What kinda A-hole asks a question like that?

    iPod: Of course not. But the key to a great fishing day is having a killer song in your head. When it’s Queen “Im in Love with My Car,” good day. Theme from the Brady Bunch, bad day. iPod intervention is allowed in such cases.

    Upstream, downstream, sidestream, all good. In my family, kids fish downstream until they’re 10, when they’re big enough that they can turn around and work against the current … a rite of passage, but no rules against going back.

    Freshwater and saltwater.

    Dries and nymphs, and streamers too.

    Believe the banana juju warnings.

    IGFA rules, baby, touch the leader, it counts. Those are my favorite kind when the water is 40 degrees and it’s snowing.

    I’m an outdoor writer now because I spent 10 years working in healthcare marketing. If ever I were to write anything else on healthcare, it would be a book, title, “Enough to Make You Sick.”

    I dunno… I kinda like Part II, with DiNiro as early Vito, and Michael goes over the badass edge. And that hot Italian chick, until she gets blown up…


    And here’s my tossup — can someone please explain to me why women are far and away better natural casters and anglers than men? I think someone here might have an opinion on that.


  25. Lou says:

    Real barbecue is made from beef, smoked all day at least. You can barbecue almost anything and make it more edible, and I’ve been known to eat barbecued javelina, turkey, chicken, and even pork. But that’s variety meat, not real barbecue. I know there are people who prefer pork. There are also people who think chili is made from hamburger meat. I’m pretty sure they’re the same people.

  26. Jimmy says:

    1)ipod-what is the fishing world coming to? Now if the new generation of flyfishers want to listen to My Morining Jacket while banging some attractor on the Madison, I am all for it-it just won’t be in my boat. Call me old school, but I have located many a trout with my ears!

    2) maybe I am a cheater or my skills deficient-downstream it is-I love feeding that fly to them!!

    3)good question- I recently had this discussion with a friend of mine on a saltwater trip. He commented that most avid flyfishers ending up favoring salt over fresh. I have to agree with him-now don’t get me wrong, grinding over a big bankfeeder can be the ultimate challenge and is special, but when you have a 100 pound plus tarpon explode 15 yards from the boat or hook up on 8# bone in shin deep water on a beautiful flat-you have pretty much arrived.

    4)Dries or nymphs- I am the first to tell you I have wandered the Ranch for three days on the Henry’s Fork looking for that elusive rise or kicked back in the drifter for countless hours waiting for it to turn on. Dry fly action is why I trout fish. With this being said, I do believe that one must be a good nympher to be a good trout fisherman. Nymphing teachs one an understanding of entomology that is critical for success…

    5)last banana I saw on a fishing trip was smashed inside one of my float tube’s pockets in 1988.

    6)absolutely-not even a question if the boat is anchored up in heavy current-you just have to be real quick with the camera. On a slow day, a fish flashing on my nymph counts as a touch!!

    7) not really sure i know the answer to this one other than socialize medicine is not the solution.

    8)the Godfather II! the scene where the Senator gets set up is just classic not to mention all those great flashbacks…

    9) I have answered this one, but Fly Fish Chick you have really stirred me on this one. I don’t care how it is cooked even if it involves some elaborate smoking process that makes it some kind of succulent delight that “falls of the bone.” It is still beef with a tomato sauce. I will give it up to Texas as having some of the greatest music on the planet but it just ain’t so with the Q. Pork reigns supreme!

  27. dmj says:

    Anthony, first of all thanks for reading my post-that’s a first. I agree that “fishing dries is not necessarially easier” than fishing nymphs. I guess I let my alligator mouth overload my hummingbird ass on that one. If the fish aren’t taking dries on the surface or emergers in the meniscus, I’ll put a small bead-head nymph on an attractor or go to streamers-I am very fond of streamers. Next I’ll go to a pure nymph rig. If that’s not effective, I’ll rack my brain trying to figure out what might work or gratefully tip my hat to the fish for making it a never-ending challenge. But, I won’t find something else to do for the day. I believe knowing how to fish a nymph properly is like seeing the unseen and that’s what I admired about the man I described. I made a poor attempt at expressing my admiration for those can expertly fish a nymph. Jimmy’s comments on the subject were much more articulate than mine.

    Deeter. Since I spend a lot of time fishing with women, I often wondered the same thing. I’ve found its easier to teach a woman to cast than a man. I can have a woman casting a loop much quicker than a man. Perhaps its because I employ the spoon casting technique when instructing a woman. As far as angling is concerned, perhaps a woman’s intuition gives her an advantage.

  28. Anthony says:

    DMJ it is great to hear that you are a long rod casting instructor for the ladies. The first image that popped into my mind was Kevin Costner in Tin Cup – let the big dog eat. Grip it and Rip It… Two bad instructions for fly casting 101.

  29. weel, well, well.

    THIS has been fun.

    with all these thoughtful replies and wonderful comments, it’s only fair I jump in the mix and answer my own questions! tomorrow, though. it’s been a long long week and this bird is cooked. so I will respond with due focus and attention…tomorrow

    in the meantime I’ll just say MANY THANKS to you all for jumping into the fray. good times…

  30. gusti says:

    your blog is very nice… it’s been 15 i’m reading here….

  31. ?ömine says:

    Thanks you for sharing

  32. This blog is cute. I have taken some time to think about these Thanks for sharing this one.


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