Outdoor Writers Association of America
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
This Week's View

by Deanna L. Birkholm

January 18th, 1998

Instant Gratification

I've been on my soapbox the past couple of weeks - complaining about how a trade magazine is providing information and advice to the fly fishing shops and manufacturers which in my opinion is very biased and untrue.

Over the years, I have occasionally heard a disparaging word about women fly fishing. But before you get your dander up, most of those comments have been made by OTHER WOMEN! I guess those women who take their fishing seriously, (about 20% of the total numbers by industry accounting) are upset when other women whine, and complain about the way they are treated, or who sells what 'especially' for them.

I suspect, since most of us got here the same way - by doing it - we resent those who feel they should receive some special treatment, or should somehow be able to just go out and fish and all the things they need to know will just magically be transmitted to them. Without effort, or any work on their part.

The name for this seems to be instant gratification. You know the symptoms. They are symptoms of our so-called culture. Mad at or tired of the kids? Send them off somewhere. Or better yet, get a job! Hire a nanny, a sitter, or dump them in Day Care. Life getting you down? Take a pill. Husband not sympathetic enough? The lust has worn off and you're stuck with love? Squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle? Divorce the bum. Find another one.

There are thousands of examples of the same thing - lack of commitment! Our country is going through a Trial of Impeachment now for the same exact reason. In this case our President could not commit to either his Oath of Office or Marriage Vows. His appetite for instant gratification outweighed everything else. How sad.

Fly fishing is a commitment. A challenge. And to many of us, a way of life. Fly fishing has more than flavored our lives. We don't just go fishing. We are fishermen!

The thought processes we develop to solve the challenges in a single fishing trip, become part of our own, personal mental hard drives.

The truths we find in fly fishing are eternal. We embrace the commitment, the challenges and the truths because they enrich our lives. With our lives thus enriched, we resent those who diminish it in any way.

JC and I have taught casting and fly fishing for many years. We don't know it all, gratefully we are still learning. We welcome with open arms the 'newbies' who join the fraternity of fly anglers. But the bottom line is there is no free lunch. Every fish caught is caught with effort, and time expended learning. A commitment.

Mike Croft cartoon

I will fight to continue and enhance that fraternity. I will fight for the rights of those who wish to join it. And the want-to-be's? Those looking for the instant gratification? And those eager to get rich by targeting the wealthy instant gratification junkies?

GO AWAY! ~ Deanna Birkholm

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