April 19th, 2004

"How'd Ya Do?"
or, Always Ask First!
By James Castwell


You may think it is by accident that you get into the trap so often, "Hey, how did ya do out there?" That's the voice of your buddy. The trap has been sprung. You lose again. No matter how the situation is set up; fish caught, fish released, number of rises, how many hits or fish jumped. So goes the old saying, "He who hesitates...loses!" (Every time!)

If you answer that you got six hits, he got eight. You released five, he released seven. There is now way out. One solution to this is to always be the first one to ask the question, that way you can lie and win every time, until, of course, he smartens up. But that has drawbacks too. Let's say you actually did catch five fish, not a hard thing to probably remember. But, if you have to lie about it and claim seven, now that could back-fire at some time in the future. Something to consider.

You might be able to pull it off if you are real good but chances you will fail at least once and that could cast doubts on everything said before and after you get found out. I used to surf-cast alongside a guy who had a great answer, "I just got 'hammered' out there tonight!" Drove me darn near nuts, no way to beat that type of report, he didn't quote any numbers. I got around it finally by just not fishing with him; drastic, but solved the problem.

Now I don't want you to think I have painted an impossible situation for you there is one way to rise above the situation. It is a lot to consider, but give it a little time to sink in. How about the truth? I know, we have a reputation to hold up, we fish therefore, we lie. But, it does not have to be that way. It started years ago and no one has dared to break the chain, all it takes is one guy, why not you? Here is how you start off.

If you catch five fish, answer, "Five!" That, of course, will be doubted, some will figure you only got perhaps three or so, but in time will find out that you actually did get five. Yikes, you have broken the string, lies are out, truth is in. I know, I know, this could upset the whole of fly-fishing, but so what, time for a little heresy anyhow.

You know, in fact, none of us really do care if you got five or six or seven or whatever amount. We are so wrapped up in our own numbers we just are not interested. You see we have been at the game for so long we may not be able to adapt to any new set of rules of honesty. But, you on the other hand, you may yet be able to go for it, there may yet be time. Only you can make that call.

Consider too this. Let's say you go plodding through forty or fifty years of fishing and telling lies that we don't believe anyhow. What has that gained you? Nothing good I will imagine. And you have had to live in fear of being found out (by others who lie anyhow, so it won't be too bad, really) and you have had the burden of guilt gnawing at what's left of your conscience.

Come clean my man, fess up while there is still time. Avoid the awful torments of guilt and despair! Smell the coffee, get on the bus, be the first one on your block, lead the parade and "Tell the Truth!"

Forgive me... what have I done...? ~ James Castwell


Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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