I find that fly-fishing is a greatly rewarding activity, and I certainly don’t want to give the wrong impression here, but let’s face it: fishing can be work at times, no matter what society may think of recreational louts extolling the virtues of their craft.
There are no free lunches on this mortal coil, and I doubt that fly guys are granted any major exceptions. Most of my fishing is a solitary business, so that any loathsome utterances issued from my lips are likely to be heard only by the willow trees and warblers and are not likely to assault an innocent ear. That said, here’s my Top Five fly-fishing problems and vexations that are likely to get me in a vocal dander…
#5– Leaky waders. You’d think that a decent pair would last me for a couple of years at least before inviting the stream to come inside. I suppose, though, if you’re rough on the equipment and you fish a hundred times a year, then a two-year life span on a pair of hotshot breathables might not be so bad at all.
#4– Timothy. I’m not sure of the genus and species of this tall streamside grass, but it’s common through the summer and, damn it all, catches more than its share of artificial flies and leader tippets for a meal. @&:*! Another one!
#3– Trash. No need for description here. One hates to find it strung out on a willow branch, or tossed out to the edges of a favorite pool. @#%* those idiots!
#2–Yours Truly. Whether by impatience or ineptitude, I often get in the way of myself, which always threatens peace and clarity of mind. @#%* me! Stupid #&&#%$!
#1—Humanity-at-Large. When 4-wheelers cross and recross a favorite stream and wear down the banks, when I find yet another empty beer can or water bottle or disposable diaper stranded in a bush, I take it out on my own species. As much as I love my friends and family and admire some thousands of individuals on this planet, I’ve got to admit there’s just too damned many of us (7 billion and counting rapidly) to sustain the earth and healthy life.
What’s a healthy number for our kind across the planet? I don’t know, but maybe somewhere around the 2 billion mark. That’s just a shot in the dark. I don’t agree with some radicals who insist that, to save our planet, we should live long and voluntarily die out completely as a species. We’re part of nature’s plan; there’s just too many of us for the good of all.
Our ship is sinking, as you probably understand, and the only way I can see for all of us to hit the life-boats is to do the following: go easy on the breeding business (and support adoption), preserve more wilderness, and help to educate another human being or two. With luck, people will eventually come to understand what it is we need to do. Unfortunately, history is not on our side.
If the populations of the U.S. and the world could magically diminish overnight without anyone’s suffering, we dreamers might note that the problems of war and hunger and habitat destruction and climate change and… cursing on the stream… would be a whole lot lighter in the morning (metaphorically speaking).
Do you have a favorite target or two for expletives on the water or in the field? If so, let me know of them. If frustrations seem unbearable at times, if you sometimes feel as though you just Can’t Win, do as I do: get a favorite beverage and a piece of music, kick back and avoid taking out frustrations on a loved one or a nuisance cat.
The following song, “Can’t Win,” is a Richard Thompson favorite, versions of which are said to contain one of the very best electric guitar solos ever. This 12:11 video may cause you to curse, but only in amazement.