Today, I'm not talking to my wife. I'm not mad at her
or anything, I'm just not talking to her. I caught one
of those weird virus type things that's doing a number
on my chest and today, my vocal cords. If I try real hard,
I can squeak a little, but that's it.
Have you ever tried to call your dog back into the house
when you can't make a noise? Today I opened the back door
and called for Buford (my basset hound). He didn't hear me.
So, I got closer and tried to yell at him. He just tipped
his head to the side and looked at me as if to say "what?"
He didn't even drink his milk after I managed to coax him
inside the house. I always tell him to check his dish when
I give him milk. Today, it just doesn't sound right.
I can't yell at my wife either. Not that I ever yell at her,
but I couldn't if I wanted to. When I clear my throat real
good I can manage a squeak, but that just gets her laughing.
In fact, she's been laughing way too hard and too often.
I wish I could yell at her for it.
What does this have to do with flyfishing? Well, nothing,
unless you consider where your voice can be heard. Where
can you go to express your feelings as a fly-fisher? Are
you able to get your point across, or are your words as
silent as mine are today?
You could contact your congressman or senator. We have a few
new faces coming up in those ranks soon. They're supposed to
listen to us and represent us, right? Yep, I'm sure you'll
get your point across that way. NOT! If the new crew is
anything like the bunch they replaced, your voice will be
just one in many thousands. Compared to the guys who spread
money around Washington promoting their special interests,
your voice will be as loud as mine is today. Silence isn't
You could join a group. Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Federation
of Fly Fishers (FFF) are always looking for fresh blood and
fresh donations. As a member of a large organization like
one of those, you'll be heard, right? If you all agreed on
everything, maybe, but those groups have a lot of members.
Once again, your voice will be one of many thousands, and
those thousands usually don't fully agree on anything.
Voices to the left of me, voices to the right; here I am,
stuck in the middle again. And, I'm not even on the board
Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in contacting my
congressman and senators with my feelings. If enough
other people feel the same way as I do, maybe they'll
grab the money from a lobbyist who supports the same
ideals. Some conservation groups have lobbyists who
express the desires of the majority of their group. For
that matter, so do the groups who oppose fishing. Make
your voice heard as many ways as possible.
Getting to my point, if you really feel the need to express
yourself, why not make it heard here? If you can put
together a few paragraphs of coherent, grammatically
correct and properly spelled words; and if you can make
a point and keep it clean, honest and civil, you can have
a voice in the "Readers' Casts" column here.
OK, maybe that isn't the type of voice you had in mind.
After all, FAOL doesn't even have lobbyists in Washington,
or anywhere else for that matter. You aren't likely to
get a solid political response from any column you write
here. Heck, more than half the people who bother to read
anything other than the bulletin board forget to
read "Readers' Casts" anyway. Maybe this is just a
hair-brained idea anyway. Forget it.
But wait, maybe it isn't so hair-brained after all.
If I got this figured right, several thousand people
will read your column in that first week. Do you think
it's possible that it might get more exposure than your
opinion expressed to a congressman or senator? If you
yelled your feelings at the top of your voice, how many
people in TU or FFF do you suppose would hear you? How
does it add up to you?
I suppose it isn't the platform you wanted, but it is worth
a thought. If you have something constructive to say, and
you want an audience to hear it, you have a platform to
speak from. On the other hand, you can remain as quiet
as I have been today. In my case, there isn't a choice.
In your case, there is.
I guess it's time to go squeak to my wife for a while.
While I'm away, think about it for a minute. And, if
you haven't read it in a while, click on
and see what you've been missing.