I had an interesting experience today with what I affectionately refer to as a "yahoo". A yahoo is someone who tells fish stories on a consistent basis, and would have you believe that their manhood hangs to their knees. To question a yahoo is to question their manhood, and by definition is calling them a liar. Yahoos are easy to spot because they're usually wearing the biggest hat and belt buckle, and have a strain in their voice from talking too loud and forcefully their entire life.
To quote Denzel Washington in the movie American Gangster by saying, "the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room". And you my yahoo friend are why many people in my humble opinion don't get into our sport, or leave it after only a few outings on the water. I spend 150-200 days a year on the water either teaching or fishing so I find it humorous when yahoos try to comment on how new my waders and wading boots look after 3 seasons...
Just because some people take better care of their equipment than others doesn't mean you have the green light to try and clown on them because, "What?! you mean your boots lasted longer than a year? I must be a bigger MAN than you!". Nope it just means that you are a yahoo, and yes your doodoo stinks so save your subtle jabs. I'm writing this because I want anybody who has had an experience with a yahoo either on the river or in a shop to know that fishing is not about how loud you can be.
Fish don't have egos. In fact it's been my experience that the bigger the fish the more humble they are, and the more they try and stay in the shadows. Fish run and hide from people making tons of noise on the river. Yahoos talking big game should learn to try and be more like the fish they tell stories about. Everyone else, and this especially holds true for beginners, it's important to me that you know not to worry about loud and obnoxious people, and instead focus on the true spirit and meaning of flyfishing.
Flyfishing is about being in nature, and learning something new every time you get on the water. It's about sharing your experiences with people you care about and having fun. Trust me when i tell you that for every yahoo there are ten people willing to share a great spot or a fly that has been hot for them. There are yahoos in all facets of life so please don't let a run in with one of them chase you out of the sport we love. Because as many less insecure people know it's not the size of your fishing rod, it's how you use it.