For once I might have stumbled on a trend, a movement, perhaps you might call it a push. Normally the Journal is on the backside of cool in the trough behind a wave but apparently not on this one. Mind you being on the cutting end of the Brownlining trend isn’t exactly exactly going to guarantee fame, fortune, groupies and a Wikipedia entry. But hey it got coverage in the Wall St Journal.
And its a natural for the Mid-West, Texas, and Louisiana. Brownlining for the unitiated is the less glamorous end of fly fishing, one might say the grubby dirty end, broken roughly into two schools. The first revolves around urban or industrial waters, the ditches, drains, canals and concerete lined river beds which cut through our cities and towns. The second school covers the lesser species found in these places: carp, suckers, redhorse, bullhead, chud, shad, white bass, gar, the sunfish and other perches, catfish and more _ the weirder the species the better.
Of course there have been a disparate group of fishing hungry fly rats all over the world chasing fish in the weirdest of environments, far removed from the pristine streams and rivers that are fly fishing’s icons. But a handful of bloggers, starting with Californian Ken Barton ( Singlebarbed.com) and Tom Chandler (TroutUnderground.com) have created a movement over the past two years _ the Brownline Nation. PS: Take your time to scroll through the rest of the Fat Guy Fly Fishing Blog its seriously funny.
Funnily enough my first exposure to “brownlining” or its saltwater equivalent came back home in Tasmania, when I started discovering the joys of kelp living fish “pike” and parrot fish when traditional game species weren’t around. No selfrespecting saltwater fly fisher worth his anodized pliers would have bragged on catching these but it was a hoot on trout gear.
When I hit Los Angeles I was introduced to the other school of brownlining chasing carp in creek as ugly as that urban sprawl can produce, wedged between the 401 Freeway, the Orange County Airports and the skyscrapers of a hightech enclave. Carp fishing behind a shopping center followed in NW Arkansas, and introductions to various basses, walleye and whities and hybrids in the Upper White.
Now we take our trout fishing as serious fun. The salmonids are our passion and our life. But there is a whole world of fun in brownlining for other species. And since many of our extended family live in urban centres like Memphis, Dallas, Oklahoma City, St Louis and Kansas City we reckon y’all might like a few more opportunities to wet your line between trips to the White River. Send us the pics and your story
Tulsa for instance has a great brownline running through the center of town in the Arkansas’ River, with stripers and hybrids in the mix. I still want to land a gar and catch a catfish or two on fly.
Golf courses can offer some premium brownline fishing, as long as you can arrange access. The hunt for water is part of the fun. In this neck of the woods Crooked Creek offers some great carp, but researching this article has summoned my ultimate brownline target for the next couple of months, encapsulated the quirkiness of the whole game.
I want a sucker from the Norfolk Catch and release section and not as by-catch, I want to go there specifically targetting the suckers. With low water coming I reckon Im a chance, anyone got a good sucker pattern?