What Kind of Fly Fishermen are The 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidates?

Do you ever wish we had a fly fishing President? With the 2016 Presidential Election looming on the horizon, it’s become apparent that none of the candidates are addressing their fly fishing experience. We here at Trout Stalkers are fed up with the absence of fly fishing as a key topic of discussion during the recent debates. We know it has been on all of your minds, so it’s time to clear things up. This guide is meant to define what type of fly fishermen (or woman) the current candidates are to help you make a more informed decision this November.

Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton is a well-traveled angler with a proven record of progress. She learned to fish from her husband, former US President, Bill Clinton. She followed him around the world, fishing the most sought after waters, staying at the most luxurious lodges.

For a long time, Bill was the hot stick in the boat. That was until one day Hilary caught Bill in a bald-faced lie about a big steelhead he claimed to have caught on the fly. As it turned out, he did catch the fish, but it was on a on a Mepps spinner. She forced Bill to go back to the bar and come clean about the catch. His fish story was so offensive and betraying to the local fly fishermen that they ran him out of town. They’ve since forgiven him and allowed him back, but only if he is accompanied by Hilary, and with the understanding that she had to do all the story telling.

Hilary always sits in the front of the boat now, with Bill in the back. She is notorious for directing their guide down the river and loves to call the shots despite instruction from her guide to do otherwise. She is known to keep her fly box closely guarded and she refuses to allow anyone access to it out of fear that someone will find out what she is using. Her 2016 fishing resolution was that if she did not catch a 30 inch trout this year, she would quit fly fishing forever. 

Ted Cruz

It does not appear that Senator Ted Cruz fishes very often. He claims to have the experience and skills to fish anywhere, but guides have said that he spends most of his time sitting in the front of the boat looking at his iPhone and lecturing about how bad other fly fishermen are. To his credit, when the cameras come out, he is sure to stand up and give his best “fishing pose”.

Reports out of some Pacific Northwest steelhead camps have come in regarding a jealous Mr. Cruz sabotaging other anglers because he was fearful of them taking the best holes in the morning. Apparently he had it out for one particular angler who alleges that Cruz spread false rumors about him around the camp. Cruz even went so far as supergluing his reels and puncturing his waders to ensure that he could not fish the rest of the trip. His plan was so successful that the victim vowed to never return to the camp again. 

No one questions whether or not he has studied the art of fly fishing, as he has received a certificate of excellence from some of the most prestigious fly fishing schools in the country. He’s also worked in some of the busiest fly shops around, providing insight to the best spots and hottest fly patterns to visiting anglers. It’s yet to be seen whether or not he can “walk the walk” though because no one has actually seen him fish for the finicky browns in the local spring creek. 

John Kasich

The governor of Ohio is not an avid fly fisherman by any stretch of the means. His fly fishing trips are always on family vacations or when he’s absolutely forced to go. He typically chooses his outfitter based on the lowest price he can find and always insists on bringing his spinning rods. His priority is watching his twin daughters catch fish.  A double hook up always brings him to his knees in a sobbing meltdown. After the release, hugs all around are in order to get him back in the boat. 

With his trusty Field Guide to North American Birds close to his side, he spends most of his time on the lookout for Warbles, Finches and Dippers. At the end of the day for John Kasich, fly fishing is about enjoying his time in nature and not how many fish he catches. His passion and determination for catching fish may be lacking, but at least he enjoys the ride. After all, if he really wants to step up his game, he can always spend a little more on a quality guide the next time around. 

Bernie Sanders

Let's be perfectly clear on one thing: Senator Bernie Sanders wants to tear down every man made structure that interferes with anadromous fish migration. Mr. Sanders is a lifelong angler with an affinity for the traditional fly fishing culture. His garage is a dedicated fly tying workshop, where he can be found well into the early morning hours perfecting the delicate art of tying with CDC and exotic natural fibers. He’s a DFO angler (dry fly only) of course, and still fishes bamboo rods, click and pawl reels, and silk lines. It’s been rumored that he has recently taken a liking to Tenkara. 

Bernie Sanders drives cross country in his bio-diesel Westfalia to his fishing destinations. Though pleasant and mild tempered in the boat, when asked by his guides to fish a nymph rig, he firmly exclaims, “No, I will not do that!” Bernie Sanders is unique in that he carries a megaphone with him on every trip. If he catches a fish in a certain hole, he then asks his guide to anchor up as he instructs every passing boat to fish the same flies he did in the same hole, so that everyone can have the same wonderful experience. Unfortunately, nearly all of his guides prohibit him from doing this and not everyone catches a fish as they pass through. At the end of a trip, Bernie is sure to not only tip his guide, but every employee of the fly shop equally. 

Donald Trump

Real estate developer and serial entrepreneur Donald Trump goes on a couple of trips a year with his son, and only stays at his own resorts. Many people are unaware of the fact that at one point he owned a rod manufacturing company in China called Trump Fly Rods. "TFR" has since gone belly up. As of 2016, all of his gear is made in the USA.

Guides have noted that he is a chronic lecturer and fish counter, and he is constantly trying to prove that he is better than anyone else at fly fishing. He loves fishing three or four flies, but always claims to only have two when the game warden checks him. Records show that he has received numerous fines for his violations, though according to Trump he isn’t aware of these and is “pretty sure” they never happened.

Donald Trump sees nothing wrong with fishing bait and always counts foul hooked fish. At the bar, every fish Donald caught was HUGE! Astonishingly, he is consistently featured in all the magazines and is mysteriously portrayed as one of the most knowledgeable fly fishermen in the country. This is despite the fact that most anglers mock him on a daily basis. In recent news, Donald has suggested that he is against salmon migrating up rivers to spawn, stating that the salmon are illegally entering the steelhead’s territory and disrupting their communities. If elected, he plans to block all salmon from returning to freshwater by building a dam around the entire perimeter of the United States.