November 3rd, 2003

Troops of Our Own!
By James Castwell

It seems the war continues. No, not that one, the one between us fly-fishers and those slime-bags who want to shut us down. It looks like they are now going to use some fish cartoons to try to convince kids that fish have buddies, like each other, do not like to be caught, are 'friends not food' and a whole host of other ridiculous claims. What a load of crap.

We are out here, all of us, darn near every day trying to instill ethics of conservation and stewardship into the younger generations and these jerks are trying to tear down all we do.

Why is it now considered very proper to lie like hell about your cause, just because you think your goal is so superior? Is that it? The ends justify the means, any means, so long as you're successful? "Friends, not food?" Great, just what we need. Stuff like this seems to be going on at a constant measure. They won't back off, and for sure we will not quit.

Lately we have had another fine gentleman added to a notable hall of fame. Wonderful, always inspirational and nice to see these guys receive notoriety. I'm sure the non-fish eaters are impressed. I hope a few others will achieve recognition in the coming years.

But, right now we need soldiers, not generals. We need the 'guys in the trenches' and 'boots on the ground.' And we have them. T.U. and F.F.F. and the countless hometown fly-fishing groups and clubs. Those are our troops and from those ranks will come our heros. Those are the groups we need to continue to support and help grow. They are the future of fly-fishing period. They are the ones who will be cleaning the creeks, fighting the fights, casting the votes and monitoring the managers of the future.

The only way to survive the attack from these non-fishing jerks is not to rest on our laurels and yell about them, it's to go on a counter attack of our own. Ask if there is a group you can help out within your area, go to a meeting, help out at a function of some sort, offer to teach a class on some part of fly-fishing you might be qualified to teach. Volunteer at a local sporting goods store to teach casting in the parking lot. Get involved. No time for this right now? Time spent now may produce large rewards in the future, yours or the next generations.

Someone in years past spent a lot of time and effort to help us have and enjoy what we have now; this is not a one-way road. It is 'pay-to-play'; no matter how you look at it. There is no free lunch. Never was, never will be. Fly fishing is not free. But we are free to enjoy it. Let's all help to pass that same freedom down to those who will eventually have all the enjoyment and yes the responsibilities to do the same. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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