This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

October 21st, 2002

Rites of Passage

Fly fishers have their own rites of passage - just the decision to become a fly fisher is the first one. Catching the first fish on a fly rod, losing the first big fish, landing the first big fish, catching the first fish on a fly you tied, being able to read the water, recognizing which insect is relevant, becoming a hunter of fish, selecting which fish you wish to fish for, instead of just fishing. . . and there are more of course, but these are some of the things which mark our progress.

As our abilities expand, we also become more aware of the plight of the fisheries, watersheds, water quality, regulation or lack of same, the things which influence our ability to enjoy a particular way of life we have come to enjoy as fly fishers. We feel a sense of responsibility.

There are other rites of passage throughout our lives. Going to school, getting the first driver's license, becoming drinking age, voting age, perhaps college, military duty, job, marriage, children - and many more all mark a transition into another part of our lives.

Again, each of those passages also signify more personal responsibility.

How responsible are you?

Do you remember the first Presidential election in which you voted? Do you remember who was on the ticket? Would you vote the same way today? Are you a registered voter? Do you know where your voting precinct is? If you aren't registered, do you know where you can do it?

We're a couple of weeks from what are usually very dull, boring mid-term elections. A few weeks ago I wrote a column here Politics and Fly Fishing asking you to get involved in the upcoming elections because there are local issues which are important to us as fly anglers.

All of us are still smarting from last years attack on New York and Washington D.C. We now have some deranged murders singling out random victims on the East Coast. Congress is about to recess so they can go home and campaign. We don't have a Home-Land Security Bill or budget. Our courts are jammed with overload because Congress won't fill the empty judge positions. This is just plain ludicrous. It is a huge disservice to all of us as Americans.

Ok folks, here's the bottom line. If you are happy with how things are in your local community, if you don't care what happens at the Federal level, and the inaction of Congress is just dandy with you, if you feel safe and secure stay home.

If not, get our your voters pamphlet, read the bloody thing, and if you can't find the answers you need, pick up a phone and call the local candidates and ask. Congress got you knickers twisted?

Get out and vote. Maybe someone will get the message.

Our country is a risk and we've got politicos thinking they are gods in their own minds. In my opinion Congress draws its salary for doing a job. They refuse to do their job. This crap has to stop. Many of them need to be fired. Remember, they work for you!

Vote! ~ LadyFisher

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