June 24th, 2002

By James Castwell

We all know the 'tell-tale' signs; the bleary eyes, the unexplained absence of money in the wallet, the 'lame' excuses as to, "where have you been, what did you do, and why are you home at this hour?" The smelly, rumpled, un-kempt disheveled appearance, the un-shaven jowls, slouching, shuffling, half dragging, faltering foot steps. Yes, we have all seen it and far too often. It is time we all did something to put a stop to this insanity. And if the government won't do anything, then we must do it ourselves. We must 'police' our own ranks, so to speak.

How often have our wives seen us this way I ask you? All too often, that's what. The way we squander our spare dollars, we fritter our time away, spent far from home, deserting the very ones who we claim to love and cherish. Yes, my friends, it is high time we did some thing to curb this tragedy. The F.F.A. is the answer.

An organization for our fellows who suffer from 'Fly-Fishing-ism.' The Sunday nights we come dragging back home, beat, exhausted, look like a reject from the ash heap, no fish, no excuses, claiming we had a 'wonderful time' and "I'll tell you all about it tomorrow."

Yes, "Fly Fishers Anonymous' (FFA) is needed, desperately needed. Many of us are out of control, and don't even know it. We catch one trout on a fly and it is nothing but, 'one more cast, then another, and yet another,' all the tell-tale signs of an uncontrollable obsession are present. It's not like it is a religion, or a cult; no, there are no laws, no by-laws, no top guy sort of, unless you count the likes of Lefty, Gary, Steve or such. No, this is an addiction, plain and simple.

But, there may be hope. We shall start an organization for those of us who are so afflicted, those poor souls who have lost all rational control, those who can no longer be trusted to catch even 'one tiny fish.' We can have get-together's at locations scattered all over, a few in each city, where ever they are needed. Meetings where we can try to comfort and console each other, drink a lot of coffee for a change, tell the truth, be brutally honest with each other no matter how hard it may seem to be.

How wonderful it can be. Be to be free of the 'Fixation of the finesse,' to not dream of damselflies, to no longer envy those of the long rod, to go through life without noticing the exact color of the insects stuck to our windshield and wondering exactly where it hatched. Yes, my friends, we can have our lives back if only we will give up and give in, admit we are licked, we can not handle this by ourselves, we need help. We once again can have money, time, the love and understanding and respect of our families, get to know our children's birthdays and even some of their names. Hold down regular jobs with real companies, be respected members of our communities.

Next week I will start the organization for all of us, oh, how grand it will be, I can hardly wait. I will take a few days off this week to think this all through. Someplace quiet and serene with the sound of babbling waters, the cool shade of over-hanging cedars, the peace of a place far removed from the beaten path. Yes, I do know of such a place, in fact, perhaps I should take my three weight with me, the sulphurs may be on. . . ~ ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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