For us old-fashioned fogies who are frustrated and intimidated with the endless array of devices that provide instant and never-ending messages, there is another means of communication more to our liking.
That form of communication – slogans about fly-fishing printed on signs, bumper stickers, cocktail napkins and any other product that will let printing ink dry on it. I find this medium to be much more enjoyable than a screen that flashes words, in really small letters, at me.
Of the various signs I have seen, my least favorite is the one that said, “No trespassing, don’t even think about asking to fly-fish. Go away.”
Now, I understand all about private-property rights. I know this litigious society of ours can turn the most kindhearted landowner into an ogre.
But instead of a go-away sign, why not put a high voltage sign on your fence, string a 1,000-volt wire in the fence and be done with it?
That seems more civilized and neighborly to me.
I have a small tin of breath mints that says, “Don’t get caught with fish breath.” I admit I have done some really stupid and controversial things when fly-fishing. However, I challenge anyone to produce proof that I have ever had a deep and passionate kiss with a trout that was long enough to produce trout breath.
In fact, since many men who fly-fish also smoke cigars, it seems more likely the trout would want mints protesting cigar breath.
Several of the articles I have read about fly-fishing take on a religious tone. I think that’s fine. People are entitled to derive their religion from whatever source they choose.
With that thought in mind, I really liked the bumper sticker that said, “It’s better to go fishing and think of God than to go to church and think about fishing.”
Along the lines of self-improvement, my wife from time to time has had me read a plaque that says, “Even a fish wouldn’t get caught if it kept its mouth shut.”
I get to read this after I’ve been on my soapbox ranting about something insignificant.
The new fad in fly-fishing is spey rods. A spey rod is 10-12 feet in length and takes two hands to cast. When done properly an 85-foot long cast is an everyday occurrence. Because of the long cast, steelhead fly-fishermen have taken to the rod.
Hence, “Have your steelhead speyed” is a popular bumper sticker in the Northwest.
My all-time favorite sign is one I saw while fly-fishing on a pond in a state park in Alabama.
The sign said, “Please don’t feed or agitate the alligators.”
After the first reading, I took it at face value and just watched where I was stepping. But then, I got to thinking most signs are erected because someone has done something to cause the sign to be placed in said location.
I can only imagine a park ranger watching a young man, with no brains, standing waist deep in the pond with alligators, noodling for catfish. (I should mention this is not an acceptable form of fishing for those that fly-fish.)
I further envisioned the park ranger as he watched this young lad try to entice an alligator with the catfish, hoping the gator would follow him home as his new pet.
When the alligator, showing more brains than this young fishermen, refused to follow him home, the young man whacked him upside his head.
And so this is where my favorite sign stands, like a tombstone. The alligator, obviously, became hungry and agitated.
Reach Don Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.