Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
January 8th, 2001

You Give Me Fever

By ~ Ol' Red, Aurora, Colorado

All right. I've had it. I'm packing my bags, my cats, my kid and heading somewhere - anywhere - where Bill isn't!

I'm sure I'm not the only "other" in a relationship that's ready to pull stakes and leave. After all, it's winter. According to mythology, the world slows down, the sun doesn't shine much, and everything gets covered in ice and snow and dies. All because Persephone ate a couple of damned pomegranate seeds and has to stay underground with her hellish lord, and so Gaea throws down a "time of dying" so all of us will be as miserable about her loss as she is herself. While she was busy cursing the world, she should have thrown in something about smiting fanatical fly fisherman.

Let me tell you something, Gaea and Persephone both know diddly about hellish lords and suffering because they don't live with a fly fisher.

So far, I've heard tales told about fanatics braving sub-zero temperatures and either catching no fish at all, or claims to the fantastical about fish numbers. I would like to say the smart anglers are honestly claiming it's just too cold to fish, so they've chosen to hole up until things melt, keeping busy by tying flies, building new rods, cleaning equipment in preparation, etc., etc., etc.

What they're actually doing is driving whomever they live with nuts! Even if that other person fly fishes. I'll probably be tied to a healthy stand of willows or old rods and set on fire for saying this, but there are things in life that don't involve, revolve or have anything to do at all with fly fishing. Winter was made to be a breather; a time of rest for whatever part of the world its in at the time. It's time to live off what crops you grew (or finish off all that stuff that's been in the freezer the entire year and the expiration dates are swiftly approaching.) It's time to read. Time to knit. Time to think things over without the excuse that the sun's still up so there's plenty of time to plant more bulbs or drive a little longer.

As a race, we've lost touch with the natural flow and purpose of seasons. And some of us had better start touching her again or else there's going to be mass mayhem and injury!

There are movies I'd like to watch. In silence while the fire's crackling and everything's quiet. I do not want every movie I watch to be some hellish mnemonic recall instrument of some long-ago incident that happened on a river, and has absolutely nothing to do with why that Corvette is jumping across the bridge and catching on fire when it lands. I like to read. I like diversified genres. One night it's horror, the next, something funny and useless, maybe followed up by some juicy science fiction followed by something realistic, like, "How To Retune Your Car On Less Than $20" or "Why Cats Hack Up Furballs - The Psychology Of Your Pet's Behavior." So why am I being forced to endure 30 minute or more dissertations about something that happened on a river 20 years ago? I personally don't think a book entitled, "Catmen On Mars" has any correlation to, "Oh! That reminds me! When I was traveling though California about eight years back ..." Followed by some tale about catching some fish in some lake that, frankly, I give half a damn about.

We have a choice about dealing with fanatics. One, we can adapt Texas' "He needed a killin' " law to one suited to our needs. Maybe a "He needed a shuttin' up" kind of thing. Or "He was driving me nuts with fish talk" and therefore, needed a whack to the head with a heavy frying pan, your honor.

Listen, you want to keep busy Mr. Fisherman? Tie flies. Do not go into great detail over and over about how many of them you intend to tie (because you don't, you give up halfway), or how this hatch or that hatch is going to happen in these particular months, and, quite probably, on these particular days (because they aren't, and we both know that as I've personally never even seen a hatch, ever!). Oh, and if you show us one more catalogue with something in it we either can't figure out what it would be used for or holds absolutely no interest to us, see how fast we can pack, move and settle into a nice life somewhere far, far away from you. And it won't be anywhere near a river, so don't bother calling us for a little visit either.

If you want to fish, go fish. Freeze to death. At this point, we don't care. If you want to talk fish, go to a fly shop. Drive them crazy for a while. Do not take the sun coming out and a sudden yet fleeting 10 degree change in temperature as a sign from the Fishing God that it's "time to head to the river!" By the time you get your stuff in the car, you'll come back inside all grumpy -- and long-windedly so - about how you can't get a break and how the nymphing would have been perfect, and ... yatta yatta yatta.

Spring will come. Things will unfreeze. It will no longer be necessary to pull seim-frozen fish off of rocks, revive them and throw them back in while hurrying to slam your nymph rig right in front of them while they're still dazed. There will be less need for amputations due to frostbite. Birds will sing again, water will flow without sounding like a bag full of broken glass, and you'll get to fish. I promise! But, in the meantime, do not take any references to fishing, rivers, where we should go this summer, or Catmen From Mars as an indication that we want to spend the next eight days constantly talking about fly fishing.

Remember, when it comes to homicide, The Law is changed through precedence, not by voting. ~ Ol' Red

Publishers Note: Some things never change - check out this Webster Cartoon!

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