The time is near when you must take the bull by the tail and face the situation. Your
last fishing trip for the season is in the can. It will be months before you again cast a
fly. Something approaching normal conversation can again resume around the dinner
table, you can take a few minutes and notice the changes in you children, possibly
inquire about little things like school and past broken bones. Be sure to especially
notice if your wife has cut her hair, or possibly let it grow out several inches. Little
things can pay big dividends over the long 'cold' winter nights.
Your days (and evenings) will start to be consumed with meetings (fly club) and
ventures in search of mysterious yak hair and hushed phone conversations about
secret hot spots of the past year. Be warned to not rush into these things with too
much haste. Soon enough you will be found drooling, glassy-eyed and mumbling
about opening day and hatches and PMD's. For now, take control of yourself
and admit it. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is on the way. You can't fish
and you need to buy your wife a gift of some sort or other.
Don't let this dismal prospect dim your countenance, these are the doldrums of fly
fishing and must be dealt with as such. Above all, as you suffer withdrawal, do not
antagonize your wife and give into your frustrations by constantly cleaning your rods
in the livingroom, washing and dressing your lines from the front hall to the bedroom
doorknob and borrowing her make-up light so you can tie flies on the kitchen table.
Additionally, be especially mindful that now that you are in residence for a few months
she may be talking and you may be her object. You may be required to answer. The
answer, or the quality of the answer, is not so important as is the actual act of replying
in itself. Again, it is these minuscule elements that can make for a more compatible
Now on to the main point. The gift. It is not considered proper to gift one's spouse
a can of motor oil for the lawnmower, even if it's a riding one you bought her last spring.
Oil is maintenance stuff and does not count. Generally un-safe also are things that 'plug in.'
They can be misconstrued (admitadely with no justification) as necessities and also do
not count. You can see that as you with all due consideration attempt to procure these
wonderful things for her, one by one, they become inappropriate and therefore
unacceptable. By the simple process of elimination you will end up with the eventual
realization that the only thing you can possibly gift your loved one with is something
which you yourself would find positively wonderful also.
Creativity can be your savior or your undoing at this point. Take for example waders.
You have a choice. You can buy her a new pair or give her your old ones. This of course
would require your purchasing new ones for yourself, but that is not the point here.
The old ones or new ones.
The same holds true of a fly rod, a reel, a landing net, rain jacket, fly vest or some
tying equipment. Remember, women love these things as much as you, they must,
they married you didn't they? If you have not yet introduced her to the joys of fly
fishing, be aware that she may be more comfortable with some tried and true gear,
things that you know work for sure and have already broken in for her. True love
In closing I should mention that the 'Ladyfisher' has pointedly reminded me that
this column is greatly lacking in any real content and some wives indeed do not fly
fish, do not fish at all and darn well do not intend to, and I should recommend
expensive jewelry, perfume or dainty underwear. This is of course absurd.
~ James Castwell