Lighter Side

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January 1st, 2001

The Lady's Fishing Ettiquette Guide

By Abigail Fisher-Price, Sutterland, UK

On a recent trip to America, I was witness to an utterly atrotious practice by the so-called "women" of the regions. It seems our Colonial sisters, brazen hussies that they are, have dared to intrude upon yet another sport that we true women regard as the field of men. This despicable act caused me such distress upon witnessing it that I dare say my husband of many years was forced to put a moist towel on my forehead and allow me to lie down for nearly two hours. Why any woman would want to fly fish is far beyond me. Fly fishing is the sport of kings and men, and though I made that fact perfectly clear to many of them, they were rude and belligerent to my admonitions, as all Americans are wont to be, but, being the lady I am, I smiled in the face of their barbaric insults and walked proudly away to have a bit of a lie down.

That being said, and I do hope you pardon my semi-heretical outburst, I have, as a lady should, decided to grant a bit of tolerance to these back-woods barbarians. If they must fly fish, then at the very least, they should learn to do it like ladies. Therefore, I embark upon enlightening our Colonial sisters in proper lady-like behavior whilst attending this sport called fly fishing.

Allow me to start things off by thanking my husband, William, for his enlightening pointers. Since I have never actually witnessed fly fishing as it would intrude on gentlemanly time to themselves, I rely heavily and gratefully upon all the advice he has lavished upon me for this article.

These rules of etiquette should be easily followed, even by Colonials.

    1. If you must wear pants in public, the last thing a lady should wear are the kind men wear. They make your figure look atrocious, and the dull, natural colours wash out the complexion so that it looks waxy and greenish. Please do try to find something a bit less form-fitting and in bright, cheery colors. Perhaps some lovely white with tiny flower bunches, or perhaps Easter Colours. And do try to allow your blouses to match the entire ensemble. It isn't that difficult. A bit of lace would merely add a bit of feminine joviality to the look, and is perfectly acceptable to bring out your feminine delicacy.

    2. Personally, I think the clunkish, manly boots are anathema. If a lady must wear boots -- though no lady should unless it is snowing -- they should be of a more feminine nature. Something with a low heel and a zipper up the side would be graciousness at its best. And no excuses about being in water. A true lady would never submerge herself in public. If one stays upon the rocks, a nice low heel is wonderful when crossing the legs. (Though I will admit the Colonial women I encountered seemed adamantly against this lady-like practice. In fact, they used wording at me that I dare not write down here as it was heartily indelicate and utterly barbaric in nature.)

    3. A woman should look her finest, even in a "woodsy" environment. Ladies, simply because you believe no one can see you is no excuse not to put on your finest "face." After all, one never knows who is watching, and even a female fly fisher might catch the eye of a true man who will allow you to be the lady you are aching to be. My husband Willliam believes American men think along the lines of a "silk purse can be made out of a pig's ear." A man will be more attracted to someone who does not have a long list of failings to correct, so do apply a touch of lipstick, a tiny bit of rouge, and for God's sake, be sure your false eyelashes are applied with some sort of waterproofed glue. A nice hairstyle also goes a long way, so doff those silly baseball hats and horrendous knitted things and approach the river well coiffed. And now that I think of it, would it actually kill you heathen women to wear some perfume and some nice pearl earrings? Small diamond earring are acceptable, but no larger than a half carat.

    4. A rule that simply cannot be dismissed is to never shout victoriously when you do accidentally catch a fish. William says women never purposely catch them, and a mistake is nothing to crow about! Drawing attention to one's self is unwomanly and morally wrong. If you must catch a fish, draw it in quickly and without fuss, then release it quietly. Make sure no one is watching you, lest they think you are there to ruin their day of fishing. I personally witnessed many a man on the terrace after a day of fishing frowning and having a not at all good time with his fellows when their women were loudly bragging about the huge fish that were caught that day by these uncouth women. And, as if I should have to say it, a lady whose husband allows them to travel along on a day of outing should never, ever, out-fish her man! If you have to, lie about how many fish you accidentally caught that day. A lady is allowed her tiny little lies as to make her man prouder of himself and his abilities.

I truly wish I could add to this list, and it might be possible in the future, but for the moment, I am exhausted and need a good lie down with a cold towel against my forehead. I hope these few bits of common lady-like knowledge helps a few women in their searches to become better women, better wives, and better companions. In fact, I hope that a few of you actually find husbands and settle down from this Annie Oakley behavior! Thank you for your kind attentions. ~ Abigail Fisher-Price, Sutterland, UK

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