February 10th, 2003

The Five-Percentors
By James Castwell


Those are not us (you and I are in the other 95 percent).

I have heard for years that five-percent (hereafter referred to as 'they') of the fly-fishers catch ninety-five percent of the fish. Now, simple math leads me to this: that leaves just five-percent of the fish for me (and you) to catch, since 'they' have already caught the other ninety-five percent. Secondly, since 'they' failed to catch the five-percent which is left now to me (and you by the way, generous of 'they,' huh?) why is it 'they' could not catch said five-percent anyway?

Logic leads me to this conclusion. Most fish are rather stupid, except a small percent, say, perhaps a slim percent, about five-percent maybe. Therefore, 'they' have caught all the dumb ones and have (thank you very much) left the only really interesting (smart) ones for me (and you too).

Yes, 'they' have left for us the smart ones, figuratively speaking of course, but the one big problem with all of this is that I (and you too) are forced to share this smart five-percent with the other ninety-five percent of the fly-fishers. Woe is me... Let's hope we are not all on the same stream at the same time.

So, what to do. Well, lets try algebra here, an equation of sorts. If it takes 5 percent of the fly-fishers to catch ninety-five percent of the fish, that can be stated as 5 over 95. Now then, that leaves the inverse. We (the other ninety-five percent of fly-fishers) catching the left-over smart five-percent of fish, that will be 95 over 5. You with me so far? Good.

We here can do some math. The result is of course almost anything you want; 95 x 5 (475) over 5 x 95 (475) which equals one, or if you prefer 95 x 95 (9025) divided by 5 x 5 (25) which equals 361. Since that seems to make no sense at all, let's try something else.

Just think of how tired 'they' will be, each one of the 'they' having to catch nearly twenty-percent of the fish all by 'theyselves'. That could bring you a bit of comfort. And the obtuse, each one of us will only have to catch such a tiny fraction of the remaining (five-percent) (dividing up the remaining five-percent of the fish by all of us ninety-five percenters is a really small number) fish that it may not always even be a whole fish, just a part or at times, none at all. I have many times held up my end of this by returning with absolutely nothing after a complete day astream, and feeling I had a rather splendid time of it. As a '95% er' I can now see where I most certainly was within my allotted status.

The reality of this all becomes crystal clear as one peruses it. 'They' catch a lot of (rather dim-witted) fish and leave the (smart) ones for (you and me) us. Now just how bright does one have to be to catch a (dullard) trout? Right, and does not one have to be respectably sharper to catch the (smartest) of the remainder? Of course one does, (that is me and you again here).

So, my fine-finned-fellow-fly-flingers who have a propensity for perusing pleasure piscatorially, we ('they' have left it for us) have the cream of the crop, so to speak. We get all the fun, they get all the work. Remember, 'they' are hung up on (like I was above) numbers; fish caught, fish landed, fish lost, fish released, fish killed, and fish lied about to each other. We have none of these things to interfere with our recreation. Just keep going out there, catch a real small fish, or even none at all (as detailed above) and know in your heart that you have outdone all the fish-hogging-five-precentors and you have had a great time doing it. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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