Just a few short centuries ago things were better.
There were very distinct lines drawn between the
classes. And that included those who fished too.
Times were hard and most hunted, fished or stole
for a grubbing existence. Some were better at it,
got lots of stuff and left things to their heirs;
money, land, guns and fishing rods. These recipients
became to be known as rich people. The idea caught
on and soon many chose it as a life style, only to
find it harder to obtain than one might have thought.
Grouping together seemed to have some advantages
and was tried too. Such arrangements were called
'Manors,' and would be ruled over by the guy with
the broadest shoulders. As culture had not yet
been invented, the women of the castles were often
nasty creatures and any excuse to absent the building
was snatched upon. The Lords fished often.
From this miserable, malingering malaproptodisml
condition fate stepped in and dealt a fickle
finger. Separationists emerged.
From there it all went downhill. Fishing became
divided into all sorts of units and methods. Thence
was born the variations which still linger about
today. The nymphers, emergers, dunkers, the gentlests
(those who held maggots-baits in their lower lip in
the winter lest they freeze) and commoners. Holding
high above the squirming multitudes though was the
'Lord of the Manor' and to maintain his status he
would select the best and purest of materials and
fishing gear. This was of course during the
evolution of the 'Dry Fly.'
And how to fish it. For centuries sneaking up from
below a fish was always the smarter method and
became reserved for the 'Dry Fly.' Sneak up from
below and spear the slippery things. Of course
the invention of the Dry Fly inspired other
inventions too. The 'Dry Fly' itself, the
center-pinned reel, nice cork handles and bubinga
wood inserts. Expensive silk fly lines, cat-gut
leaders (sorry peta) and Humvies. So, where are
we today? In trouble, I tell you, deep do-do!
The masses have found good fly-rods, usable lines,
cheap reels and information. The days of the
"Upper crust" have dwindled. Hardly any of them left.
Our sport is becoming homogeneous and in fear of
becoming once again just fishing. We must put a
stop to this insanity now, to view this calamity
with alacrity is to be insignificant and dawdling
as well. We've got trouble now and must commence
immediately to persevere.
It is with great aplomb and sanctimoniousness that
I forthwith suggest the formation of yet another
National, hell, let 'er rip, International
organization of like minded fly-fishers. Those
stalwart, pure of mind and soul, stout of heart,
keen of eye, loyal of oath and general good fellows
who will gladly attempt to join in the most prestigious
of all fly-fishing organizations, the "Squires of the
This will be for those who genuinely do look down on
nymphers and other vermin who clutter up the countryside
with their mannerisms and trash. This is for the
'High-minded' of our brotherhood. The ones who
really are far superior to anyone met upon stream
or edge thereof and know it. There are such
individuals and once again we shall redeem for
them a place of honor, "high above the smell of
the crowds and the roar of the greasepaint," as
A few details now for those desiring some. It will
cost you a mere five hundred bucks to apply for membership;
however few will be accepted, we're picky. We keep
the money. If you are accepted, it will be another
five hundred per year. Again, we keep the money. You have
lots, now we will lots too. A limited number of
members will exist at any one time, depending on
how much money we need. You can not sell yours,
but we can kick you out at any time for any
reason, and re-sell it. Again, we keep the money.
If you die, we win again. Pompous outfit? For sure,
but just that's the point. The more the better.
Just your kind of organization.
No women need apply, not a chance, not even close.
Acceptance is decided by a ten member black-ball dias.
One black-ball and you are out. Those being born to
members have no special standing whatsoever. Any
member caught with any fly other than a dry will
be at any time, other than for historical collecting,
drummed out of the corps.
All casting will be upstream, only to trout, and
only to those which are rising. All fish will be
killed as they will never be caught again after
having been subdued by one of our stalwarts. Fishing
will be done in steams only, preferably very well
known, private, expensive and much written about.
All rods shall be of cane, reels of the highest
value, lines of purest silk and the gut tapered.
Clothing shall be of traditional tweeds, box-back,
plaids and knicker-bockers as are appropriate to
each circumstance. Ties and ascots when required.
Large feathered hats are advised at all times, no
The creel of wicker to complete the ensemble and
hip flask should be mandatory of course. Stay away
from frog-water and let the world know once and
again that yes, there are some fly-fishing guys
who think they are damned good and look down on
the new guy and spinners. Trash fish and course
fish have no place in their world.
True quality can always be seen and will stand
out every time. Let the world see who you really
are. Sigh up today.
Become one of the S.O.T.S. ~ JC