Count me as a dissenter. I recall the good old days before it was politically correct and fashionable to be a flyfisher, when it was more a "fringe" activity. It was a whole heck of a lot more peaceful out there on the water than it is today. If this sport is dying, you could not tell it from the people I see wherever I go. It is CROWDED out there on waters that used to be remote and wild. How does increasing the number of people make that better?

As a consumptive blood sport (and it is, regardless of how gentle you may be), the more people who do it, the less resource per person there is to go around. I feel that it is sort of counterproductive to bring new people into this sport to, basically, compete for space on the river and the fish that are there.

Making more of us gives a louder political voice, and frankly that is something I avoid at all costs. I am an anarchist, and prefer to be disorganized and solitary in my pursuits. I prefer to be back on the fringe, with historical reenactors and professional English majors and the like. I have never understood the "I do it, so more people should be doing it" philosophy.

So I do not go out of my way to encourage newcomers to the sport. I do not dissuade people, and those who read my rantings here on FAOL know I espouse inexpensive equipment and simplification of the sport so it is more of a populist endeavor and less of an elite undertaking. I will help out people where I can, but only if they ask nicely.