Some Do's and Don'ts
By Ol' Red, Aurora, Colorado
I'm not sure why, but there seems to be some differences between men who fly fish and
women who fly fish. There shouldn't be, but there are. I guess fly-fishing isn't any
different from life. I also think it's because there are set rules, and eventually, everyone
knows them, but there's people involved, so there's a pack of unwritten rules that no
one knows anything about. Especially when it comes to us women.
I'm the first to admit, we ain't easy. Even the ones who are aren't. That's probably Rule
One there. Yes, we take offense at stuff you guys think are nuts to take offense at. We
react differently than you do about certain things. Those "certain things" vary from
woman to woman as well as varying even more depending on age, weight, dye color,
estrogen levels, humor levels and so on.
I wish it were as easy to be a woman as it is to be a man, but it's not. It would be a
whole lot easier if we could go through life hearing only our own thoughts unless
someone elbows us and demands our attentions. It would be easy to wander home
from a fishing trip after being gone for three unexpected days and say, "Uh . . . I got lost.
And the fish were biting." It would be even easier if the person we said that to had
exactly the same understanding as we did about it and just accepted it and went on
their merry way. But it ain't so. I guess women are just pickier.
So, going on the premise that men are dullards and women are picky, we should really
set a few rules that, while not exactly pertaining to fly fishing, should be learned and
regarded anyway while fly fishing. Okay, maybe not "rules" exactly. Maybe just Do's and
Do NOT's. That leaves a bit of room for variation and therefore can't be used in a court
of law to collect money from the offender or as a valid reason for divorce. These can
only be used if both parties are involved in the same sport and or hobby. See? We can
so be reasonable!
Men: Do - Offer to go along with your woman to pick out new waders
or any type of equipment needed.
I am gathering information from fellow fly-fishing folk about what really grinds them
about the opposite sex. Mostly, they sneak up on my car in the dead of night and leave
Post-It notes with hysterically scrawled screams for help plastered all over the poor
thing. Listen, an email works, and it doesn't take what little paint is left on my Subaru.
Your anonymity will be kept under all conditions including torture and threats
of my never being allowed to hold a fly rod again. Listen, I'm no flighty optimist with
dreams that we will all one day get along. We're people, and we ain't that smart. But, if
we can get along in a river well enough not to scare the fish away and save the fistfights
for dry ground, hey, it's all worth it.
~ Ol' Red
Men: Do NOT - Add, "You'll need somebody who knows what they're doing." This is not
only condescending, it's just rude and stupid and likely to get a car "accidentally" rolled
Women: Do - Ask your man to go along with you when you're picking out equipment.
Feel free to add, "I'd really like your advice/input," but only if you really, really mean it.
You are not allowed to roll your eyes later if he does give you decent input but you're
unwilling to accept it. This makes a man feel needed and if you really mean it, it kinda
makes him glow, which is cute.
Men: Do NOT - when asked for an opinion, do the "guy thing" and go into a lecture
and/or recitation of some long-winded and stupid tale from your past. A simple "yes" or
"no" or a shake of the head in either direction is sufficient. You may also point out
alternatives and the reasons why, but the explanations must be kept to 30 seconds or
less. There is no leeway on this unless you are directly asked specific questions by your
woman that force you to expound on the headshake. If you are a woman and the roles
here are reversed, do NOT say things like, "that color brings out your eyes," or "that
makes you look a little puffy around the hips." You may use things like, "that'll blend in
better than the gray one when the fall colors hit," or "the other ones look like they give
you more room to move around in." If either of you cannot speak on a purely hunter-
intelligence level, then shut up and let each other make their own mistakes and live with
Women: Do NOT - Ever, ever, EVER ask a man, "Does this make me look fat?" If you
can't look in the mirror yourself and know if it does or does not, do not try to throw your
lack of confidence off on some poor schmuck. If all you worry about is how a pair of
insulated rubber pants makes your butt look, maybe you wandered into the great
outdoors by mistake. Personally, I could care less if I looked like a rotund yet fuzzy
fireplug from Northern Alaska. As long as I'm warm and can still cast, I'm okay.
Men: Do NOT - Ever, ever EVER offer the opinion, "Man, your butt looks HUGE in
those!" when you've been asked. This statement is just wrong. Wrong and bad and evil.
Lighter Side Archive