I will ask you to stay with me for a little
bit here. (Put up with, rather.) You may not
agree, but I need to lay some ground work.
There has been a change in how fly-fishing
is perceived over the past fifty or so years.
For the good or not? I am not sure.
Our views and attitudes were influenced by
several things back then. Financial ability, our
fly gear, time to spend on the streams, social
standing and job. Many more of course. But, these
and more always influence what we do, including
our recreation. Fewer fly fished then, streams
were less crowded, C&R had not been invented,
fish were kept, many clubs existed on private
sections and many weekend cabin served as a
group hangout. There seemed to exist more of
a fraternalistic mentality. Stories written
back then also reflected it. Writers wishing
to sell, wrote of it and publishers published it.
What? Warm and fuzzy stuff, fiction, tales, yarns.
I detect an attitude today more of a leaning
toward publishing 'how to' books and even in
the magazines, there needs to be some 'sex
and suggestions.' Today's writers who want to
get paid know this and are feeding the grist
to the appropriate mills. The 'warm and fuzzy'
style has slipped away. Any of the old stories
are compilations now reprinted in a collection
form. What has happened is our society has changed
and with it our attitudes and therefore our writers
have had to make the change as well or starve.
And I miss them. The old writers. The old yarns,
tales and stories of fly fishing lore. Yes, lore.
The lore is missing, perhaps gone forever, who
knows. A writer in today's market would have a
tough time selling lore. You know why? Because
lore had a lot of base in fiction. Yes, that
worthless stuff, fiction. Sometimes I worry I
shall run out of good fly-fishing fiction. As
far as actual fly fishing goes I have learned
about all I need to know. Not that I know it all,
far from it, just all I really want or need to
All of which brings me to my main point. I have
attended many meetings, dinner and otherwise,
where there was some guest. Over the years more
and more showed up with slide projectors, and
now approaching Cinemascope. But, let's assume
you just got home from a local evenings doings,
sat back in your big chair and your wife asked
you how was it honey?
Would you rather have a speaker who simply
recounts a few of his trials and tribulations,
tells a few little jokes on himself and in
general provides a warm and fuzzy evening? Or
a guru who sets up some elaborate display of
stuff designed to inform you of how smart he
is and you aren't? But, if he talks real slow
you might learn from him? Which would you rather
have, a seminar or a speaker? Let your club know,
attend a few meetings and get the ball rolling.
If you want a speaker, say so. I know, I know,
where is the new guy going to learn all he needs.
Well, there is the Internet for one thing. Plenty
of stuff there.
Let's hear from some new writers. Lore writers
and some publisher willing to print it. Where
will we find these writers? Not an easy question.
And I don't have the answer. But, I know of a
couple, good talented writers. But, we need to
stop all of this 'how to do it' and get back to
why we do it. Guys, give me some good fly-fishing
fiction, dripping with lore. I've got just the
place. ~ JC