While much of the fly world has wondered how fly guys would do against traditional pork-rind and rubber tossers in bass tourney, Dylan and John Sherman throw down to find out, literally; spanking Rat flies on thick green mats of growth in hellish heat. Their reward? A brace of ditch pickles and the respect of many men named “Bud”.

Words: Dylan Tomine

“With sunburned shoulders, a red-faced baby in one arm, and the leash to a snarling rottweiler in the other, a woman standing in the sweltering heat asks, “You the feather guys? Y’all got something to weigh?” It’s tough to tell if she’s taunting or asking. We look around for help. “No,” someone says, “they’re just hauling that bag of fish around for exercise.” Hoots and hollers from the peanut gallery. She smiles. Laughs even. “Well, come on, honey. The weigh station’s right over here.”

Maps may show the Mason-Dixon Line ending in western Pennsylvania, but I can tell you, the maps are wrong. The line actually resurfaces again just north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Sure, it’s in California, but this is not the West. Aside from the occasional palm tree, the Delta is more southern-fried than sushi. More bayou than beach. More hillbilly than Hollywood. And as such, that beloved fish of the South, the murky-water-swimming, spiny-finned, gluttonous, pot-bellied, bigmouth bass is king. Trout? Those are for fly-tossing, hybrid-driving, wine-sipping weenies who couldn’t thumb a level-wind to save their lives. Pass me something fried. Hold my beer. Now watch this…”

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