The evenings were warm in Michigan back then, about
1940, summertime. Outside twilights for a youngster
like me were adventures, sometimes producing a small
mason jar of fire-flies. Bugs are guy things, part
of who we are I guess. Snakes too, but messing with
bugs and making things go boom, that's our style
from the day were are born.
A little experience and age and I was up to bees,
honey bees I think. More adventure, what with the
hint of danger and all, but rewarding and occasionally
I could impress a girl with a nasty growling jug of
bugs. Grade School offered more enticement. "Start a
project" she said. A 'Bug Box' came to mind. I was on
my way. Got a bug net on a four foot stick and preceded
to capture anything within that range. I stuck them
in a cigar box using some of my moms pins. As I recalled
she was thrilled I had done such a nice job, at least
that was my impression back then. Mom never did approve
of the snake I lost in the cold air pipes of our furnace
heated home. That I was very sure of.
High school advanced my realm. Ninth grade Biology!
Now it was not only socially acceptable, it was an
assignment. I made a special tool in class, a killing
jar. Cyanide. Deadly. Wonderful. Bug Heaven. Drop
anything in there and it was past history right now.
I ignored puberty and went straight to hunting and
fishing, but the bug thing persisted. Bugs it had
been and bugs it would always be. Even today, I sit
here writing about the damn things.
I must admit here and now, I like bugs!
And that is why I fly fish!
I like the bugs!
You see, for many years I hunted and killed things.
I fished and killed things. I usually ate most of
what I killed. Hunting is nice, things go boom! I
like that. Fishing is fun, they taste good. I like
Face it! You fish because you like bugs too! No?
How many books do you have on 'What does a Trout
look like?' Compare that to the stacks of material
you have on bugs, flies and tying information. Right,
you're hooked on bugs. We don't fly fish because we
like the fish; it ain't the fish, it's the bugs.
Observing them in all of the various stages. From
cute little sketches on bar napkins of nymphs to
signed editions worth hundreds of bucks on flies
or insects. You can't deny it, hell, some of you
guys even taste the creepy little creatures.
(Ants are sour.) (I have heard.)
I spent several years collecting bugs in all stages.
From the nymphs to the imago, I think I did it
all. Cages, aquariums, jars, jugs and bottles.
Extended hours photographing them. Squandering
reckless dollars on creative lighting arrangements
for better pictures. Who wanted the pictures? Me,
of course. Why? I don't have a clue. But, I
wanted them and by golly, I got them.
So here's the kicker, the reason most girls do not
fly fish. Most would rather watch a sunset. Bugs
do not rank high on their dance-card. Mention a
trout, they visualize it in a flying pan or on a
pretty little plate with a lemon wedge. So, sorry
to drop this bomb on you guys, but, you who would
entice your lady friend to join you on a pleasant
day a stream, snatching bugs from the air, frantically
tying up stream side replicas, lashing the water to
a rolling boil, and hoping to rip the lips from some
poor damn fish may have a bit of a tough go.
Learn to cook on your camping trips and take along
an extra blanket to keep warm, leave the little
lady at home. When it comes to flies; she may zip
them, un-zip them, swat them, spray them, curse
them, but fish one or tie one? Probably not.
Remember the difference; you like to kill things
and blow stuff up. She's cuddly; that's nice,
leave it that way. ~ JC