Tag Archives: fishing humor

Flavor being secondary to function

PBJLike all weighty discussions between anglers, the notion of what sandwich makes the best accompaniment to fishing is the source of both ire and amusement.

Anglers aren’t likely to pay  attention to expiration dates, certainly the talented ones don’t, and given our propensity to wad leftovers between two sodden slices of Wonder bread, we’re not known for our palate or presentation skills either.

Most admit that, “…does it go with beer?” serves as the only reasonable criteria, but there are the dissenting opinions  …

Mobile anglers will insist the resultant meal should transport well and shouldn’t leak – which effectively eliminates anything with tomato slices, BBQ sauce, or sauerkraut.  Fly fishermen dominate  this category given how the dimensions of the pocket dictates what fills it, and the condition of the foodstuff when deployed.

Boat anglers are most likely to compile the “Dagwood” variant, combining wondrous towers of cheese, veggies, and meat – knowing it will lie undisturbed in the cooler until needed. While known for their ability to transport delicacies into the thick of the fishing, boat anglers are paragons of lunchtime generosity, often sharing their architectural marvel with their quarry when the swells get rough.

Anglers unsure of their success afield will insist whatever it’s made from should have a significant layer of cheese, giving them the dairy-feather double threat.  If the fish ignore your feathered offering, perhaps Pautske’s “Balls O’ Sharp Cheddar” may be the reversal of fortune the trip requires.

Yet with all the careful planning and ritual, most anglers dine on disappointment come mealtime. Most miss the mark when they produce the shapeless lump from pack or vest pocket, whose condiments were buttressed via the fly floatant and DEET that osmosis drew from an adjoining pocket.

Recently I’ve pondered this self same issue, and after considering the various camps,  and the merits of Roast Beef and Sprouts versus Corned Beef with Swiss, I can tell most anglers are missing the Big Picture …

… the greatest angling meal of all time is the venerable Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, and for the obvious reason – it being the only sandwich found in your vest from last month that you can consume with guilty pleasure on this trip.

No need to scrape the Green Stuff, that’s pure Penicillin, which is right up there with “juice cleanse” on the Wellness scale .

A Colonoscopy is Better than Fly Fishing

ColonI was shocked by the violence of the outburst. How us “fly fishing guys were NUTS”, and how the speaker – a largemouth Bass devotee – would rather submit to a colonoscopy before EVER learning to fly fish.

I’m staring at an extended digit, which I assume to be the exclamation point for some hideous crime dealt by some pompous flyfisher …and the victims, the aforementioned gear-wielding bass fiends, being horribly traumatized as a result.

I could understand the vitriol if my fate was the company of fellows I didn’t care for – or the required fly fishing livery and mandatory smoking jacket were unsavory, but as I’m unsure what the source of the angst is – and whether the conversation will end in blows,  I’m  struggling  to envision what horrid crime would anger a fellow fisherman to the point of apoplexy.

I understand it better now.

As a reward for spending the weekend waist deep in cold water with not even a single bite, I was coaxed into a pilgrimage to “Mecca”, a.k.a. the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World Boating and Tackle Megamall.

To suggest I was intimidated would be an understatement. No sooner had I broke the plane of the entry than I was hailed by a “Walmart Greeter” in store livery, and promptly herded past the acres of checkout aisles, test kitchen tidbits hawked by sweaty fat guys, and into the throng of people headed for the Big Aquarium of Tapped Glass – which was home to numerous large (and sonically deaf) fish whose fate it was to endure children banging on the glass – hoping to startle a resident into activity.

While I’m slowing to take it all in, I realize I’m that Old Lady blocking the soup aisle while poring over the sodium levels of Bean & Bacon versus the Chicken and Rice.  I am blocking the path to the Test Kitchen and the free samples of “Gut Shot Elk Butt” being foisted on the unwary. Those same folks that wrinkle their nose at laying a lip on fish from the Wild, now squealing in pleasure as Mother Nature dipped in sugar and deep fried makes the sumbitch tastes like a Twinkie ..

I managed to find refuge in an side aisle featuring a mixture of “my organ is bigger because I kill stuff” fluorescent tees, (which all the kids were in a tizzy over) mixed with the more staid earth tones of Sherpa gear that just came off the Matterhorn, whose drab sophistication Mom and Pop found enchanting.

I found a side eddy that took me past more glittering silver and gold spinner-baits than King Croesus’s treasury, and as I slow I begin to see price tags and comprehend where I am. I’m in “SevenDollarLand” where everything large or small, glittery or drab, wiggly or inflexible – cost seven dollars each.

Like Walmart, bins of merchandise dominated by sale banners and bold typefaces ensuring us old guys don’t have to squint before pantomiming our displeasure. Suddenly that tasteful bit of tackle we’re fondling is the “dipped toe” into many hundred’s of dollars in liability, and we find ourselves cornered by an angry spouse with no path to the hordes of squeezables in the Rubber Worm Garden.

I’m a fish out of water – uncomfortable in what should have been a religious experience. Organ music and choir warble gives way to announcements of lost children, debtor’s prison, and the screams of kids no longer interested in Dad’s pending decision between Deep Fuggin Craw and Yum Yum Yello Crankbait.

I’m cheek to jowl with many thousands of folks who have no interest in any of this other than the spectacle.

The fly fishing section was framed in dark wood and dim lighting, a welcome contrast to the bustle and garish colors of the Crankbait aisle.  Large price stickers announced the fly tying section as “Threedollarland”  – where spools of tying thread were $3.19, as were the tiny bits of duck’s arse, deer fetlock, and turkey down.

I hadn’t  thought the price tag mounted on the rear of a glassine envelope to be the fly fishing equivalent of “demure”, but I understand better now.

The shock of how much a new fly tier pays for materials  caused my eyes to water. Hackle has never recovered from the heady days of hair inserts, and the White River shop brand for Bass Pro was a small (and useless) handful of neck hackle reminiscent of India capes. At $13.00 per packet, a fellow could go broke tying a dozen dries.

I was more fortunate, given it was Shad season. I picked up a few fetching colors of pink and chartreuse tinsel, a packet of pink beads, a couple 10lb tippet spools (mono not flouro) and two spools of heavy white thread – and I was out the door at $31.00.

Nine flies later I wasn’t so impressed at my acumen …

Pricing a Royal Wulff was an eye opener. $14.00 for a packet of brown hackle, $5 for the calf tail, $4.79 for the Peacock, another $3.19 for red floss, and $3.19 for the thread, closely followed by $7 for a 25 pack of hooks, meant I was into the fly about $38 by the time I had everything.

Considering the hackle as the delimiter, maybe I could tie 9 good flies .. making the cost per fly about Four Dollars Each. As Bass Pro sells the damn flies for $12/dozen, we’re not likely to see the fly tying ranks swell much …

Ditto for the Thousand Dollar Fly Rod. As Momma and the kids stroll past the fly fishing section (with prices visible from the closest three aisles) we’re sending a powerful message to our recruit pool.

Tying flies as a means of defraying the cost of buying store-bought has always been one of the reasons for fly shop visitation and our continued support even during non fishing season. Like tippet, it’s one of the most common reasons for us to visit and toy with that new rod, or try on those new zipper front waders.

One megamall does not a trend make … but as our numbers are dwindling quite rapidly, and these “foreign” venues present our craft to thousands of potential recruits, far in excess of anything our small stores can muster, I was a bit surprised at my own reaction …

… and was an eloquent depiction of why my hardware mongering bass pals won’t even consider the long rod. A lesson punctuated by airborne spittle and much finger pointing.

Exciting New Ways to Extinct Fish

While some had a premonition and some knew, the fact that it’s here suggests a great deal of magazine fodder will be spent gnashing teeth over what constitutes angling privacy, what’s the radius around the angler considered acceptable “air rights”, and whether “low holing” the SOB next to you with a drone carries the same censure as doing it in person.

dronetuna

… I’m not even going to mention whether it’s polite to zoom in on the fly he’s using, or whether you’ll simply make a fast pass to snip his fly line in mid-air …

Drones used to scout for visible fish – humming up and downstream, colliding with your cast – and whose owner operator is faceless and distant, and only appears if you disable his “pet” with a rock.

Learn about the IoT, the Internet of Things, and ask yourself would a small solar camera and IP address ever get cheap enough to mount over all the best holes ? Why wouldn’t the “Wall Of Rising Fish” at your fly shop be a source of wonderment? Instead of asking the fellow behind the counter whether there’s any action on the Creek, why wouldn’t you just check the camera at the Powerhouse?

Bold New World, and if you don’t the Warden will – as budget cuts means he’s driving less , and likely orbiting in an agency Predator instead … and the first sumbitch over limit gets a Hellfire up his tail pipe …

Roger Blue Leader, it’s Fox One on the Red Honda in the Parking Lot.”

Seduction of the Innocent

WARNING: There are no dripping fish depicted below

It’s every Poppa’s fervent wish, and every Significant Other’s deepest desire, to instill the love of the Out of Doors in their spouse or children.

Unfortunately, we are in such a rush to do so we tend to be heavy handed, insensitive, and miserable about instruction, as we’re so heavily invested in the outcome that we have no patience for anything less than superlatives.

I know,  as  I was asked (and often paid) by both parents and boyfriends to assist in training their latest “squeeze” or grandchild to shrug off mosquitoes, ignore thousand pound bovines blocking trail, sharp hooks, balky loops and unforgiving breezes, and how to bask in the afterglow of a harsh sunburn … All those Badges of Courage that mature the initiate into the hardened angler.

For me, it was akin to curing Cancer,  the Impossible Task, yet the lure of certain defeat was always a goad to try different approaches with each new candidate, hoping to find that singular lure that would draw them into the sport just as we had been.

The “Father-Son Bonding Trip” was always the easiest, as any gathering of Maleness begat competition. Once the kid had six or seven more fish than Dad, they were pliable and giggling … as, “I whipped Poppa” tales were great things to relate to Ma upon their return.

Gals – on the other hand – have always been a tough sale. Bug repellant smells like hydraulic fluid (and stains clothing), and the lack of a bathroom (with all necessary locks,  shutters, and blinds) never truly warmed the participants to the outdoorsy venue.

Girls are sturdy and can put up with all manner of hardships, but most don’t care for suffering like guys do. Steel wadded through fish lips as well as their own discomfort (icy cold, blistering heat, blood sucking insects, etc.) does not motivate them to relay these tales with pounding of chest – something male members of the species relish as proof of courage.

The “Red Breasted Warbling Splatterer” option always resonated. Where the guide takes the client’s minds off their own misery and points out Mother Nature’s finest visual spectacles. Flowers and songbirds are as big a hit as air conditioning and white wine – and I never missed an opportunity to trot out all four … often simultaneously.

… and in all those outings I realized that one day it would be my slack-jawed offspring that I’d be instructing – or my gal that I’d have to introduce to the Woods – and how would I do so differently?

I call it “Seduction of the Innocent”  – named after the great Comic Book trial of the 1950’s, wherein the angler introduces his hobby in a non-threatening manner, hopefully linked with something known and friendly …

Actual gripping a rod or fishing comes many trips later – once they’ve been lured close to the rocks by the Siren’s sweet song …

Bassflower1

In this case the subject has a consuming passion for wildflowers and breakfast – that she doesn’t have to cook herself.

Note that she is warmly dressed and waterproofed (with my new Columbia rain jacket), shows no signs of suffering whatsoever, and the vehicle is within spitting distance should she need rescue …

Bassflower2

Now the panorama expands to show the fishing angle. There are no rods or tackle visible, as she’s being treated to flowers and food absent any agenda on my part  … (blush). This hour of absolute awesomeness is solely for her, as her pleasure is the main event and the proximity to water is merely chance.

There is no mud on her clothing, no ice chests spilling ice and beer, no overly loud Rap music to compete with the calls of Quail, Goose, or Pheasant … nothing to interrupt the Majesty of Nature.

… and yes, for a few short moments I have to duck into the brush and bite on my forefinger – knowing that I am missing out on some spectacular fishing – all for the promise of future blessings and possible companionship …

bassflower3

While I understand the flowers look stunning, yet so would a massive swirl engulfing my deer hair popper. In this careful rehersal I recognize it is our impatience that is our undoing, and this brief gesture will go a long way to many more hours afield.

Impatience is the Enemy.

Us guys are always in such a hurry to hook our quarry within a single weekend that we lose sight of the endgame. Keep her fed, dry, and within shower distance … admire a few posies and gasp in admiration at the perennials – promising to till the backyard accordingly, and then lie in wait in the center of the web until she suggests, “it wasn’t so bad…”

A Man in Search of a Verb

The only crime in fishing worse than being caught with live earthworms in your vest by your pals, is telling a fishing story poorly.

The formula is fairly simple. There must be some hardship introduced by the environment, there must be some inadequacy of your tackle overcome, and the fish must be large enough to predate unwary children or small pets, and only your unflinching heroics saves the day.

Which is why I’m in such a quandary, as I lack a proper verb.

fish_stories

Sunrise was just illuminating the lake when the hound and I stopped at an area known for morning bait activity.  The precipitous angle of the bank and depth of water made fly fishing uncertain, so I pitched a drop shot rig into the deep water and was rewarded with the unmistakable thump of a bass.

It was small bass to be sure – no more than nine or ten inches, but  it rocketed from twenty feet deep to the surface in a single frantic burst of energy. As I reeled to take up the slack, I thought it odd that a fish known for fighting the angler for every inch was suddenly a foot and a half in the air, and appeared to want to stay that way …

… re-entering the water, the bass skittered toward me and then vanished in a bathtub sized swirl.  Having had the same once-in-a-lifetime experience in saltwater, I flipped the bail open and started the methodical … One Mississippi, Two Mississippi …

…anyone that’s fished for Stripers knows that bait with spiny fins or sharp gill plates are typically swallowed head first, and the squeal of the drag is them taking the bait and mashing it into submission, before swapping ends and swallowing the result.

… so I continued to count as I watched the line move deeper into the lake.

Reaching sixty-five, I re-engaged the bail and hoped for the best. The rod doubled over and the line started making those wonderful harp chords that greet a peel with the drag set properly. I assumed the fish was larger than the 10lb mono my spool was crammed with – but with ample light tackle experience and luck, and patience, I had a slim chance to bring this cannibalistic leviathan to hand.

Six minutes later I had the fish turned and I wasn’t losing any more line, but we’d only fought to an uneasy draw. The fish showed no signs of tiring as it attempted to wrap me around anything nearby, alternating with simply sounding and sulking.

My heroics were short lived, as the line suddenly went limp and I assumed I’d been heavy handed at an inopportune moment and It had broken me off. Instead, I reeled in a 10 inch bass much the worse off for the fun had at its expense.

… and so lies my conundrum. I never put steel to the fish so I can’t claim to have hooked a 10 lb bass, played sounds weak and will beg the follow on question, fought is technically correct but is akin to starting a story in the middle – rather than the beginning, and dallied with sounds vaguely feminine and has little place in such a outdoorsy epic …

A great tale without an active verb is merely a whimper. I’ll think on it more before attempting to enthrall coworkers with the retelling  …

The Achilles Heel to any modern marvel

As I read through the latest ICAST summary on how technology is improving fishing, my initial reaction was very predictable … like all codgers before me I snorted and swore mighty oaths as to how the Planet was going to Hell …

image… then I remembered doing that same dance when they elected “Gee-Dubya” the second time, and as the Planet hadn’t ended abruptly then – I started seeing some of the humor in all of this.

The lure of Technology has always been our passion of what it might mean rather than what it actually does well. While it may have obsolesced Bobby Fischer and the Abacus, it certainly hasn’t yielded the Paperless Office – nor has it stopped AT&T from sending me a bill for one penny, when the cost to mail it was 43 cents.

I suppose my generation, and those before me, sought the Great Outdoors and the Manly Pursuits as a means of “unplugging” from kids, spouses, and careers, so it’s not surprising that I sputter and flirt with the apoplectic at the thought of requiring a cell phone to catch a trout.

Whether it’s Elon Musk and his LEO’s (low earth orbit satellites) or Google and their stratospheric balloons, it won’t be too much longer until every crevasse and canyon has tolerable reception.  Flexible solar cells are commonplace already, so SIMM’s and Columbia will jump at the opportunity to add some thick, hot, layer of silica into our vest and hat,  so we can perspire profusely while looking fetchingly urbane …

We’ll have drones with GoPro’s scanning the surface for working fish,  and lures that make noises like trout copulating

image

… and with all this technology and water-resistant innovation, we’ll get to look forward to interruption from timewasting buddies, political action groups, census takers, and our asshole pal that said he was going to go … and then flaked when his wife reminded him of his familial responsibilities.

“Hey Bob, catch any?”

“Ted – hey, can you call back later, man … the hatch is in full swing and I … fuck, missed one … “

“I knew it. I knew you weren’t going to catch anything, glad I stayed home – Oh, later Man … wife’s calling … [click]”

Rather than being incensed at the notion of having an “electronic leash” tying me to the mundane, the source of my mirth being  despite all the advances in technology and aerospace materials that enable this modern communication miracle, the incredibly important message that interrupts your evening hatch remains unchanged for codgers and millennials alike :

“What’s up?”

Nada. What’re you doing?”

Nothing. Hey you got any dope?”

Technology may well revolutionize fishing and life in general, but human nature and timewasting pals are impervious to both megabits and megabytes, and are Kryptonite to any technological Superman.

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.

fishmore

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.

It’ll take More than fries and a smile

The title appeared innocent enough, but its import sent a chill down my spine.

Inference and Science are never mixed without trouble, as inference is the opposite of scientific rigor. While I instinctively understood that my “connecting the dots” was a leap of faith, the conclusion was so hellish as to ensure our beloved pastime is threatened …

“ Female bats are fussier than males when it comes choosing where to eat in urban areas …”

Knowing that Mother Nature often shares her constructs across species, and buttressed by my personal experiences that Human Females share the same tendencies as  bats, suggest this behavior is present in  fish as well.

Make_Trout_Want

For most this will be a yawner, but knowing most of the freshwater fish in the world live in environments rich in Estrogen and are steeped in female hormones, and noting Science has indicted the water treatment folks with their callous extermination of gonads of all types, suggests the bulk of our quarry are at minimum transgender … or are already female.

As such they’ll develop the rarified palate and be doubly difficult to catch.

What Science has yet to explain is whether a “sale” tag on the fly will make them eat more often, or whether they’ll simply browse your fly box without touching anything.

For those scoffing at my reach of the available facts, note that like Human males, male bats settle …

Males, on the other hand, seem to be less particular and are just as likely to be found settling for poorer-quality woodland patches next to built-up areas. (Via Physorg)

Both species having low self esteem in common, and don’t pay much attention to the quality of what they stuff in their gob …

In male cuttlefish, mated behaviour was not affected by female receptivity; however, familiarity with the female did affect male mating behaviour. Males exerted a strong preference for unfamiliar females ..  (Via Physorg)

Males settle … and in females, prefer some “Strange” …

I don’t make this stuff up, I infer it, which is way better.

Harry Potter’s wand would be hexagonal or quadrate

magicI called it “selective accreditation,” as it is frequently employed by parents to point out despite paying for your college education, next to their life-long accumulation of wisdom – you are still an infant.

Fishing, thankfully, is loaded with similar magics and credentials of convenience.

While fishing at Lake Berryessa, before my ill fated rib mash, I found myself pondering how fishing, science, and magic shared an uneasy relationship, how credentials are granted and just as quickly taken away, and like the movies, a contemporary angler must suspend disbelief to ply his craft with a straight face …

… and as I scuttled around the edges of the lake watching for fish and snagged lures, I encountered the familiar five ounce tuna cans – all of which met their fate at the hands of a knife wielding sadist.

Tuna being an easy chum agent, given its ready availability and oily nature. When stabbed repeatedly with a knife and thrown into the lake will dribble its oily goodness and purportedly draw fish to the area.

At least that’s the scientific reasoning. The movie-magic-disbelief relied on gelatinous ground, as if scent of the oily Tuna is the draw, and tuna being a blue water fish found only in the ocean, and this being fresh water, how is anyone sure it’s attractive to freshwater fish?

An average trip to a supermarket can produce a half dozen edible items that smell to us like rotting something-or-other, gym socks, or much worse. Considering neither chum nor quarry has crossed paths with one another, who’s to say we didn’t accidentally pick the Limburger of oily scents?

… and if five ounces of chum is able to draw fish, what about the gallon of fuel leaking out of your bilge, the cigarette butt you flung idly into your wake, or the ounce and a half of room temperature beer you poured into the water prior to cracking something colder?

Toss in all the asphalt-fossil-fuel scent that washes into the lake when the roadway above is rained on – the oils from transmissions and crankcases, the little bits of humanity jettisoned out of car windows that with each downpour edge closer to the lake, and scent … suddenly gets really muddy.

Five ounces being enough to draw fish closer, but how does that compare with a couple hundred pounds of brake dust, powdered radial tire, and a thousand other manmade scents entering the lake via the rivulet behind you?

I’d like to buy into the science, but I think even the science depends on magic.

I’ve never seen a saltwater fisherman filch a big knot of Powerbait onto a 3/0 stainless and fling the combination into a school of stripers, nor have I seen the pier fishing crowd use salmon eggs for perch, so why isn’t the converse true? …

… and if the pier fisherman chuckles, insisting “ … that’s silly, perch ain’t ever seen a salmon egg …” can’t we make the same case for a landlocked pen-raised trout?

Historians agree that science and magic play a role in the maturation of society, which is why both are found in every society on every continent, however remote. Science is the ability to explain natural phenomena, and magic (often called religion) explains all else.

For anglers, science is boring and egg headed – which is why we skipped Biology in High School, and why should the pendulum swing too far towards the explainable, we flock to the indefinable. We know our sport is steeped in magic, and we know it to be the true source of fishing’s awesomeness.

Anglers use the term “luck” to describe that which cannot be explained, for us “luck” and magic are the same.

Magic is why we believe fiberglass is better than cane, as the science can’t give us a convincing rationale. Why graphite is better than glass, boron is better than both, and if it’s ribbed with titanium, or the blank has unsanded scrim, or is light, heavy, long, or short, has raised the performance bar yet again …

Unfortunately even with rods that cast themselves we fail to let the rod practice during the off season and tie the same wind knots regardless of the boons of technology.

Science follows along obligingly and reminds us that Boron is a metal filament (and what idiot would wave that in a lightning storm), and we skip  those pages in the Fly Shop catalog to find the next unfounded rumor – GMO modified cane that excretes carbon filaments as a byproduct of photosynthesis.

Eco-friendly awesome, until we realize Monsanto holds the patent …

Fishing stores have pandered equally to science and wizardry. They delight in selling us snake oil in as many flavors as colors, and do so with the same rhetoric used by drug dealers; merely providing a service to a clientele that would buy from someone else if not them. While many items will prove unfounded and silly a few years from now, retail’s role is simple pimpage, and as sales and “hotness” are proportional, science provides them empty spots on shelves to stock some new eye-scorching magical goodness.

Science suggests that were you able to devote adequate resources to research and were able to explain all phenomena each angler would be successful on every outing. Anglers know should science gain an ascendancy over magic and we were consistently successful we’d despise the sport, as our successes were now ordinary and no longer a testament to suffering and Manhood.

“Matching the Hatch” gains a brief upper hand for a couple of decades, until mottled and natural becomes ordinary, and the pendulum swings back to married snippets of swan and Indian Crow, and iridescent opalescent, and the colorful magics take over.

Thankfully.

And when the latest periodical insists I dump everything for its Ultra-Violet imbued equivalent, and I confirm that scientists have yet to decide whether my quarry has rods or cones, semi-receptors, or is blind as a bat, my thoughts turn to eBAY and how I’ll slurp your castoffs as if by magic.

Ensuring that despite Sirens attempting to lure me to one camp or the other, I trod the path of the balance and avarice, ensuring my hoard of laughables are buried under a stack of recent purchases and no longer visible.