I often get weird looks, mainly from fly fishers. Most likely because of my rod, which definitely doesn't look traditional. The worst was one day when I was fishing Ridley Creek. It's stocked, possibly with some wild trout in it's upper stretch. I was fishing a nice set of riffles in the FFO section of the creek. Sitting on a large rock on the bank, dressed in my finest fly fishing clothes. Rubber boots, cut off an old pair of waders, urban camo BDU's, a ratty t-shirt and an equally unwashed Orvis vest. I'd already caught a couple of trout fishing a CDC. I was changing flies and I look up and here's this guy wading down the middle of the stream. It's about 15 feet wide at that point. Dressed to the nines, he could have been on the cover of an Orvis catalog. Tossing a large nymph down stream in front of him. He stopped at the top of the riffles and said to me. "This is a fly fishing only stretch" I held at my fly rod to show him the reel, then he asked if I'd caught anything. I bit my tongue and didn't say to him. "I was until you decided to to wade through the spot I was fishing" He looked at how I was rigged up and the fly I was tying on. I had a thread furled leader. This was back around 2000 when furled leaders were pretty much unknown on the East coast and I was tying on a CDC and Elk which he'd never heard of. "You'll never catch anything with that fly and set up" He continued on his way trying to brain the trout with his big nymph. I waited a couple of minutes as he waded on downstream and started casting again. I was sitting down, another strike against me. On the third cast I hooked a small brown, and made a show of fighting it and netting it. He'd was looking back so I tipped my hat to him.
Don't feel bad, Mike I'm in the same boat. Old habits die hard. Every year the fly shop I frequent had a spring tune-up. The shop's casting instructor would use me as an example of what not to do. I can get off a 50 to 60 foot cast if I have to but it ain't pretty. Sort of like the hippo ballet in "Fantasia"