I’ll stick to the rod and reel method of fishing, thanks

There’s apparently a new method of fishing that’s catching on along the coasts. I doubt we’ll see it here, and I’m not sure what I think about it.

Many of us in Wyoming have braved the frigid waters of our state in a float tube in order to get into a better position to catch a big fish. But would you consider just jumping all the way in and swimming out to the deep water?

Some crazy guy out in New York is doing just that. Paul Melnyk crams himself into a wet suit, grabs his fly rod, and just starts swimming. His goal is to latch onto a striped bass big enough to actually tow him around in the water, and he succeeds quite often. Apparently, this nontraditional method has earned Melnyk some enemies. They say he’s taking unfair advantage by getting outside the range of the surfcasters who confine themselves to the shallower areas where they can stay dry in their waders.

I really don’t see it being any more of an advantage than using a boat or a float tube. In fact, it’s probably a lot harder. Really, how the heck can you cast when you’re bobbing in the water with only your head and the tip of your fly rod sticking out?

And why the heck would you do it, anyway? I really doubt it’ll catch on here, where even our warmer waters are cold enough to induce hypothermia within minutes, wetsuit or not. Besides, with the exception of some of the legendary lake trout that have been rumored to lurk in the depths of Yellowstone Lake, we don’t have many fish that would be able to fulfill the second part of Melnyk’s equation – being towed around under the water while he’s trying to land his prize.

That’s really Melnyk’s goal, anyway. In fact, he calls the activity Skishing – a combination of fishing and skiing. I guess people will do just about anything for a thrill. If we had fish big enough here to tug me around, maybe I’d give it a try, but probably not. I’d rather avoid hypothermia.

I’ll stick with fishing from the bank or a boat, thanks.