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If the choice is sex or fishing, the fish will get screwed

Ask your average angler whether he’s contributing to the steady decline in fish numbers and you’re liable to get a supersized serving of righteous indignation.

Most fishermen agree that hooking and landing fish generate some  mortality, but they’re just as likely to rationalize the money they donate to conservation organizations, licensing, and taxes paid on outrageously expensive terminal tackle, more than make up for it.

Likewise for the angler that eats fish. As fishermen are keenly aware – our sporting fraternity is among the few groups anxious to see fish propagate, and while we admit to our kill (although understandably quiet about what is freezer-burned and tossed), we’re just as apt to quote similar avenues of compensatory dollars that lessen the impact of our hammy feet on the environment.

Unfortunately those dollars are outweighed many times over by the angler’s yearly outlay on Doritos, Ho-Ho’s, double-decker Bic Mac’s (dripping with plasticine GMO Cheddar), greasy Chili Cheese fries, great slabs of charred red meat, and the butter necessary to slide of that mass down his gullet.

While anglers protest with a pathetic bleat, “… at least we get a little exercise,” – the reality is that we’re fat, and growing fatter by the minute.

And as a by-product of all that questionable gastronomy, our collective diabetes medications are accelerating the feminization of male fish downstream of every sewage outflow.

Estrogens from birth control medications in wastewater treatment plant effluent have been cited as the likely cause, but research has shown that endocrine disruption is not solely predictable based on hormone receptor interactions. Many other non-hormone pharmaceuticals are found in effluent at concentrations orders of magnitude higher than estrogens, yet there is little data indicating the impacts of these other medications. The widely prescribed anti-diabetic metformin is among the most abundant of pharmaceuticals found in effluent and is structurally dissimilar from hormones. However, we show here that exposing fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to a concentration of metformin found in wastewater effluent causes the development of intersex gonads in males, reduced size of treated male fish, and reduction in fecundity for treated pairs.


Given that anglers are never prone to accept blame for more than a few milliseconds, and based on what the medical profession insists we do to correct our behavior, it appears as the act of fishing is now a life saving measure, and should be advertised as such to any spouse insisting on lawns being mown or chores being done …

It’s important we do our part to minimize the effects of our diabetes meds mixing with the existing slurry of birth control and female hormones in wastewater. While we can agree to sacrifice an occasional cheeseburger, we’ll waive any chastisement of female additions to wastewater, as we can all agree if the choice is between fishing and “tail” to save a watershed, the fish will definitely get screwed.

At some point we’ll see stability, but not yet

I’ll call this site “Singlebarbed Too” in honor of my horrid punctuation skills.

As we speak two sites exist due to my migrating the content from one account to another. Site “one” has a BASS graphic as the header image, and “Too” has the tied fly header.

So far this morning the DNS update has made the default site Singlebarbed One, and now at midday it has become Singlebarbed Too.

I’ll assume all this will quiet down within 48 hours, but it may prove a little odd if you comment or post, and it appears to vanish – as it has done twice already.

No worries, it will stabilize at some point.

Brief Hiatus nearing completion

Been a bit reluctant to add more to the site as there was the potential to move it onto another vendor. Naturally I didn’t want to confuse the issue any – after exporting all of my past blather and saving it should the move prove less than advertised.

To hell with that … given the sudden parting of the Heavens and the deluge that resulted. While the drought (both writing and water) has taken a couple of wicked body shots, we need a bit more weather and time to ensure next year’s fishing is a sure thing.

Back shortly.

Dumpster diving, sloth, and the sweet song of glass

dumpster_diveIt was an involuntary wince when I felt the resistance to my pulling an armload of fishing tackle from the back of the rig. Instinctively I’d bowed like a tarpon angler whose seen his quarry come airborne on a taut line, yet the crack of rod tip impacting something in the bed as it released lacked the rattle of broken –  yet sounded violent enough to trigger a burst of self loathing and profanity.

Only a dental visit makes an angler more repentant … a dangling fly and momentary sloth meeting something damp, oversized and heavy, with a prized rod thrust into Harm’s way and an armload of supplies making its peril invisible.

I got lucky, the overly loud snap of tippet and accompanying violent reverb off the truck bed merely disrobed half a snake guide of thread, and altered the tip top from spherical into ellipse.

… which didn’t slow my swearing any, just made the muttered epithets blanket North America, rather than the World at large…

After a year reacquainting myself with fiberglass, and my renewed pleasure causing me to move numerous rods from the back of the pile to the front, I could scarce afford to start trimming their number with carelessness.

Especially since I’d made the mistake of cracking a catalog and asking myself, “what’s the latest generation of glass going for?”

A house payment, Natch … silly question.

… and whether it’s got a couple of vowels or simply a consonant preceding “glass, “ it’s alternatingly a sharp intake of breath or a headshaking giggle.

After viewing a couple of contemporary catalogs, I figured the “S” meant “Super” or “Superlative” – yet just as quickly changed to – “Stupid”, “Simple” or possibly its owner merely a “Spendthrift”.

“Sudden Chastity” being part of the Mean Old Guy mantra, as we knew a good rod lasts a lifetime and saved the old gear, only occasionally upgrading our tackle with more fashionable contemporary fodder. Naturally, once heeled we feel free to comment on others and how their manhood comes cheap …

Yet from my Ivory pedestal, as I attempted to straighten what was now a damning ellipse, I realized its source was just as damning, as this was proof of my Urban Urchin youth, the unloved pristine Fenwick Feralite, Model FF807, that I’d spied in a curbside dumpster along with a worn Mad Magazine (Issue #50).

The gay colors of the comic book cover had me teetering precariously on the lip of the dirty container, brushing aside rancid can goods, broken lathe and plaster, and with comic in one hand, spying the cork grip of someone’s failed attempt at Gentile …

I ignored the angry screams from the second floor, figuring the same spinster was likely the cause of the rod owner’s premature death, and he wouldn’t mind my repurposing his tackle – nor my thumbing nose at his spouse.

Now some thirty years distant (and suddenly blushing from snooty commentary), I find this rod proof that I was never “to the manor born” – rather I was an ardent gutter snipe angler intent on killing stuff smaller than me.


… which is why I prefer sub-hundred dollar glass from eBay, and never turn up my nose at the creek’s bountiful offerings, including bullet riddled teapots and free shorts.

… and here I was thinking the Jigglicious video was the penultimate found thing …

There’s a reason fishermen hate to eat fish …

Us Californio’s have always been eager to promote fads that make you recoil in discomfort, violates your personal ethics, or makes you trod wantonly across lines that are rarely crossed …

… and if it looks or smells nasty, then we’re doubly sure to export it to the rest of the planet. As both coasts have embraced Sushi for some time, it’s only those members of the 46 red states betwixt the two oceans that needs to watch the below …

For your dining pleasure, a little soy sauce and we have reanimation …

… something about salt and nerve endings – works swimmingly with frog legs and an unsuspecting girlfriend you’re looking to shed which are only half as nasty, hence the lesson in international cuisine (without mentioning IHOP).

There’s a reason most fishermen hate eating fish, damned if I can remember why though …

Archaic and Harsh, but we’re tired of putting a fatherly face on them as gas Chickens

field_streamI’m giggling while reading a tirade on whether hair extensions and hippie chicks should be mutually exclusive, and though both are taking a considerable beating, the unthinkable occurs to me …

Fly tiers and dry fly fishermen are the only folks complaining over the loss of Grizzly hackle. Dry flies being tougher to tie than bead-headed-anything suggests my loyalties could be purchased …

Is it possible that the dry fly, and the idolaters and devil worshipers that exalt them above all else, are the source of angling’s bad press and should be cast out so they can lie with snakes and vermin of like (base) nature?

Sure it’s archaic and harsh, but there’s considerable evidence to support such a fanciful conclusion.

Think of all those distant relatives gazing at you in hushed expectation as you open your Christmas gifts, and how you’re forced to gush superlatives over; cut glass highballs featuring Cahills and Adams, ties festooned with March Brown and Fanwing Coachman, and cute but useless leather coasters featuring Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, and the Rat Faced McDougal.

… most of which will never grace your fly box, you’ll never fish nor recognize, other than it’s something lacking the familiar bead head, and therefore sinks like crap …

All you really wanted was a slot car set, a new rod, a subscription to the Drake, or an AK-47 –  but Grandma is a couple of time zones away and the nice man sold her them drink coasters instead …

Think snooty old guys and their down-the-nose grimace when shown newly purchased composite rods, synthetic flies, and plastic creels. Think clubhouse shunning and the coldest of shoulders should you mistake the lowly Caddis as a viable food group – equal perhaps, even to Mayflies …

Think chickens raised in isolated airless closets, their only companion being the curses of Mr. Whiting, and the promise of dismemberment in a  cloud of downy agony…

“We are informed that you visited the conditions in which the roosters are confined and killed for their feathers,” wrote PETA Foundation General Counsel Jeffrey S. Kerr. These conditions include confining roosters to solitary cages stacked one on top of the other in noisy, windowless sheds until the birds are finally gassed and skinned. Mr. Whiting admits that he and his workers abuse the birds, even hurling them across the barn.

via PETA

Surely it’s rarified turf belonging to ancient Field & Stream issues, pipe tobacco, rough hewn porches, toddies, and Ben Gay, none of which has survived to present day – being the yuppie Outdoor accoutrements of your Dad, not the 5 Hour Energy crowd of today.

As we’ve been dismantling the equally sacred “Match the Hatch” mantra for some time, I’m thinking it may be time to purge the fedora, aromatic pipe, Mr. Aberchrombie and Mr. Fitch, and the notion that visible is more cultured – when it’s merely suited for those whose reflexes rival a Mastadon …

I remember reading of Milk Fed Veal, never again was I able to look a calf in the eye.

Times change, and the old ways are rethought or simply discarded. Now, I simply idle in the parking lot while Ronald McDonald stares at them soft brown eyes before clubbing the little prick senseless.

Risk public ridicule and earn a hat in the doing

The Singlebarbed Grease Magnet

At one point both of them were black. The one on the left is what I’ve been wearing the last couple of years; fragrant with stale human, pomade, and insect repellant – the one on the right is clean, sterile, and looking for a home …

Them as has commented plenty are to be admired, given their penchant to lead chin first into the public space with wit, insults, and factual detail that corrects me when I get hasty or sloppy.

Ed Stephens, John Peipon, Jim Batsel, JP2, and Peter Vroedeweij – drop me a note with a mailing address, you’ve all earned a new brim.

… and yes, in polite company I’ll wear a clean one, maybe …

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