I was looking in through the window of a neighbors house
one evening when I was about ten or so. It was six p.m.
and the evening news was on TV. We didn't have a TV and
they did; that made peeking ok, at least in my book.
For those of you who have never known of a time when there
wasn't TV, you missed something. It was big, very big indeed.
The picture was in black and white, about half mixed with 'snow'
as it was called then and the 'reception' was poor but gladly
accepted by all. Some loved to watch hockey, I didn't because
I could never find the puck in all of the 'snow'.
Huntley and Brinkley did the news. Of all the things which
impressed me, it was those guys 'doing' the news. Now, of
course, they were not at the location of the news. They read
it from sheets of paper they held in their hands. They were
very good at it. They could glance down at the page, look up
at me, tell me what they had just read, then glance back down
quickly for more of the printed word. I believed every word.
Every single word they said, I took for Gospel. Even to the
ad for the Timex watch that 'kept on ticking.'
For several decades I watched and believed. They were older
of course than I and I had no reason to ever doubt anything
they said. This was America and we did not screw with the
press here like they did in Communist Russia. That was one
of the things which I detested about that stuff, government
control of the news. How awful...
As I grew older, those reading the news became more of my age
and finally, now, I am older than the guys on TV reading it.
And something else has happened too. It seems that over the
years the 'believability' factor has gone to hell. How else
can I describe it. They lie. You know it and I know it. I am
not going into the reasons here, but I no longer believe what
they read to me. Do I have to mention even one name? Ok, Rather,
and you know he was not the only one who admitted to it. How
So, who can I trust for my news? Well, if a guy is standing in
a hurricane and tells me it is blowing and raining, I guess I
can trust that. And more and more, it seems that the folks
bringing me 'the news' are trying to be part of it, not just
have an ability to read without moving their eyes. The problem
that can happen is they sometimes become part or the main element
of the news.
So what does this have to do with fly fishing, you might ask.
It really does have a connection and one which bothers me,
sometimes it bothers me a lot. Folks in our country these
days are learning to trust those who bring them the news
from the scene of the news, not just read it off a Teleprompter.
Now, I bring you a column each week and I would like you to
believe me. Here is my problem. You have learned to distrust
any old guy telling you stuff. Yes you have and I have too.
So when I write about things, you have been trained to figure
I am lying or at least have some personal hidden agenda or
other reason to B.S. you. How awful...
When I write these things for you I am offering you my opinion
often based on things I have read in the past and trust or
actually have done myself. Sometimes because of my relationships
with some companies I have some hard facts about things and can
try to bring them to you. Often I have some fellow all but call
me a liar, either on the BB or in email, and he should know, he
has been fly-fishing for almost two years.
I suppose I am sometimes bias toward a certain company, one of
our sponsors perhaps. If so, it is not because they are a sponsor,
but because I happen to know something about them or the product;
I know that it is better, faster, smaller, whatever it might be.
I try not to have it look like I am predigest but sometimes I
think it looks like it. I sure do not mean it to.
My very hardest job here on FAOL is to bring you information
which I thoroughly believe to be the most accurate possible.
You have no idea how much time and expense we go through to
do that. There are companies we have turned down that didn't
seem to have all the qualities I want for you. If a sponsor
should prove to be defective I feel that it would directly
reflect on all of the sponsors. Do I get it right all the
time? Probably not, but that will not stop me from trying
So, can you now trust some old guy (me?) telling you stuff?
I hope you can. I'm not reading this off a Teleprompter and
my eyes move when I type.
It's a new day in the communication world. Things are changing
way too fast for me to keep up with. All I can do is try to
bring you the most accurate and entertaining fly fishing
material every week and hope it is of some help or interest.
If you don't believe me, that would be just... awful.
"Goodnight David." ~ JC