August 16th, 2004

Innocent
By James Castwell


I am, I tell you! My column last week was just my views on fly fishing and those who do it. All this past week I have been pummeled about the head and shoulders with everything from a TCR to an Ibis. Dreadful week and wholly unearned. Not guilty!

Some progress, however, may have been made. I shall try to rationalize that it was. I have seen and heard from a few of the ladies who lurk about on the BB and mostly know their places. And I have also heard from many of my old gang as they have attempted to come to my aid. It is nice to know that some still read me and even a few actually care.

I think there are only two types of peoples in the world; those who have to win and those do not have to. As that should not need to be explained, I will attempt to do so anyway. I seems some do not understand me right off, but I shall strive to maintain. A bit like verbs and nouns; actions and stuff.

The winners. And yes, bless them, we are mostly born with a degree of that. Yell loud enough and you get fed, changed, rocked or whatever. You won. Coming in last when you are a triplet is to be avoided. The lead sled dog has the only changing view all day. Fishing to acquire fish or hunting with a gun or teaching anyone how to play tennis. Good examples of winning.

Then there are the non-winners. They are those who find being fed, rocked, changed, a distraction to their enjoyment of whatever the hell else was going on, "don't interrupt me, thank you very much!" They may indeed be the lead sled dog, but only by way of being the nicest dog in the bunch. Being the last triplet can often be negotiated by a big smile or belch.

Now, hunting and fishing are for the winners, no doubt about that. Hook 'em, shoot 'em, cook 'em. Period. Unless. Here it gets muddy; hunting with a camera, barbless hooks, catch and release; neither fish nor foul, black or white, liquid or solid. All shades of gray and areas I will attempt to avoid for the rest of this discourse. On or off, hot or cold, in or out; let's stick to those.

For instance. 'She' is casting to a well placed trout, twelve inches or so, facing upstream in a gentle seam, mostly visible from where 'She' crouches some twenty-fire feet behind it. With measured precision the rod goes air born, the line assumes its arcs, unrolls the leader and drops the fly expertly above and just to the side of the fish. Perfect cast. "What?" 'She' thinks. "How can that be? I have the right fly, perfect presentation, flawless drift. Why didn't he take it? I know, he must have blinked, not seen the fly. I shall give him another look at it. I am sure he will go for it this time."

We all know what happens next. 'She' does, and does, and does again and again. And the fish does not. Here is where things divide a bit. 'She' now takes it personally. The stupid fish has insulted her, her equipment, fishing hat, car, purse and meal planning ability. (Which may have included fish.)

My good companions, let me tell you right here and now, do not approach this woman. Not in person or even by way of voice. A stalemate is in existence. Do or die. "You have insulted me and I will stay on your tail until you either take this fly or die of old age,"'She' purrs. And 'She' will! That is one of the true signs of a winner, they do not lose! Or if they ever do, it sure was not their fault. I have heard some states may be rethinking game rules and restricting females due to this propensity. Women who fly fish seem to have this characteristic.

The non-winner would have taken a far different approach to the above fish. After a few casts would simply taken what I call the 'Sour-grapes' attitude and moved on to a fish more worthy of his abilities. Maybe the thing was asleep or blind, who cares. Onward, ever onward to the next adventure. Enjoy it all, the mind numbs with exhilaration. These are the slight nuances I was trying to convey in my previous column and seemed to have failed so miserably in doing.

Environmental and parental conditions probably have played to some degree in these abnormalities. Those of you gentlemen who have found such creatures should treasure them above all else, lest they leave you for someone who will. Those of long tooth and grey whiskers already know that but it is to the younger I address the idea. Think not that all are like yours. They most assuredly are not. If she can cast, tie flies, knots, land a fish with the proper decorum, and still fulfill all of the nominal skills required of her kind, treat her as the gem she in fact is.

If she is not as described, well, refer to my last column.

And, in closing, to those of you who have yet to find the object which you pursue. Look not in the gin-mills and swank joints of our world, but rather in the nooks and crannies of our blue-ribbon trout streams and along the banks of our tree lined farm ponds and tanks. The places where your game is most likely to be found, frolicking nymphet-like amongst the bevies of bowers and fluttering flowers of our grand outdoors. ~ JC


Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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