Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
June 11th, 2001

Intruder

By David Hathaway

When a famous flyfishing guide and writer recently admitted in public that he had been unable to locate a steelhead fly pattern known as the "Intruder", I immediately leapt upon my metaphorical horse and galloped off on a quest. I don't know why I do things like that - some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I suppose. To me, a missing bit of trivial knowledge is like a tiny bit of corn husk trapped between the teeth - annoying and potentially hazardous to good dental hygiene.

Naturally, I galloped first to FAOL for the answer. As the young Arthur relied upon the Lady of the Lake to reveal his destiny as King of the Britons, I count on LadyFisher to answer all of life's flyfishing mysteries. But, "Intruder" failed to yield a result on the FAOL search engine. I was astonished. Bewildered. Shocked. Stunned. Chagrined.

Well that's it, I said to myself - if FAOL doesn't know what an Intruder is, there's no point in going on. Dejected, I threw my vest and rod into the car and drove off to my favourite cutthroat stream to reflect. Depression weighed so heavily on my shoulders that I was only able to take a few feeble casts before heading back to shore. To my shame, I sought comfort in a nickel-plated flask of cheap brandy while sadly watching swallows skim the surface of the creek.

What's the point of life, I wondered. I'm a middle-aged man going bald and paunchy. My wife of more than 25-years has found a passion for furniture staining, so I'm rarely able to talk to her without wearing breathing apparatus. My children have grown up to believe that dad is a doddering fool who plays with the remains of dead birds and other animals in order to terrorize fish. My friends are under the absurd impression that flyfishing is a hobby that one engages in during one's spare time. No one understands me.

Oh sure, I have all the toys. When I go fishing, I drive a sporty 1986 Pontiac station wagon that's the envy of every angler from here to the Skagit - it screams "Fishmobile" so loudly that it frightens the horses. My vest has all the appropriate dangly things and a stain to match every known chemical, beverage and food item typically encountered while stream fishing. My waders leak in a most professional way, and in all the right places.

But without the emotional support of a flyfishing website that invariably yields results to obscure search terms, what's the point ? How can my life have meaning if FAOL doesn't know what an Intruder looks like?

With a heavy heart, I went home, packed up my camping gear, and headed off to the interior of BC in search of meaning and Kamloops trout . . . which I've always suspected are synonymous. I found the latter on Dagger Lake, but it wasn't until I stopped at a friend's house in Kelowna for a beer and an email check that meaning returned to my life. LadyFisher's message arrived like a glimpse of blue sky on a November day, and there, shining in the sunlight, was a hyptertext link to a photo of an Intruder.
The Intruder

Suddenly, the pall of gloom lifted, birds began to sing and my buddy got back from the store with a really nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Life was, once again, good.

Now, if only someone would invent a search program that would find words in an image file - and not just a text file - my life would be complete. ~ David

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