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July 24th, 2000

Just Say No to Drugs
By James Castwell


"Aw, you kids got it easy, when I was your age I had to walk two miles to school in the snow." Well, perhaps. But, are things easier today ? No way. Oh, some may be, but other things sure are not. And if I don't write about this I have not done my job. Drugs.

Please don't tune me out yet. Yes, this is mostly for you younger guys, and since I'm sixty-five that covers most of you. I was lucky. I guess I was always in the right place at the wrong time. By that I mean, I have never even seen drugs; coke, crack, whatever the names are of yesterdays and today's stuff is. I was lucky and still am. I am here to write this to you. You see, I want you to have a future, a future of fly fishing. I don't think you can mix the two and get away with it for very long.

Oh sure, we all see the jerks on T.V. in the entertainment and sports game, they use, think have a great time for a while, and then when life goes to heck, get on the road and tell you that you should not do like they did. Why not? Worked for them didn't it? It was just their friends who died. Remember, those guys who died did not plan on doing so. They figured they could use for a while and quit whenever they wanted. They died before they decided to stop. They could be you. I never could see these guys as great roll models. Nope, I think you should look to those who just say 'no' the first time, the next time, and every time thereafter. Period. Nancy was right.

If you watch the old black and white westerns you see the good guy probably drink milk or soda. Ok, that may be a bit 'hokey,' but in the later colored versions even the good guys drink beer or something harder as a regular habit. That is not a good idea in my opinion either. Life sure goes better without that stuff too.

But, it is the constant 'in your face' of drugs these days that worries me, and you are the market. How can you take over the job of managing our streams, water-sheds, fish, hatcheries, game laws; all that and more. How can you do it stoned? Or dead? It's just plain stupid. It does not work and you know it. I know you know someone who did not get away with it and you will know others too, that's the hard part. Like I said, a few do for a while, but you know the truth. It's like playing 'Russian-roulette' with an automatic.

Now, a lot of us guys have given our lives to promoting and improving our planet for fishing recreation. We did this for you. Not at first, but we soon realized that if we wanted to continue we had to do it ourselves. Now it's your turn. What are you going to do with it? I agree that we did alright on some things and messed up on others. Yes, the streams are too crowded, the lakes are not as clean as we would like to have them, some fish have been grossly mismanaged, and I could go on, but you get the message. We did the best we could with what we had to work with, now the rest is up to you. You are the future of fly fishing and a heck of a lot of other things as well. No, it is not going to be easy. I don't think you can do it stoned.

So there you have it. Please don't mess with that crap. Say No to drugs. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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