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

by Deanna L. Birkholm

September 28tht, 1998

Uh oh

Uh oh. That is usually the sound we utter when something has gone wrong - or when we expect something is about to head south. Maybe it is part of the built in warning system running full time in our heads.

For the past several weeks, the 'Uh oh' system has been working every time we turn on the Tv, or the radio. Seems you just can't escape the problems from Washington, D.C. - all which appear to be caused by a lack of morals and ethics.

Rather than further beat that mess into ever smaller bits, it occurs to me there is a way to prevent the problem in the future.

No one should be elected to serve in the Congress, the Cabinet, or the Presidency who is not an avid, dedicated fly fisher.

I'm serious! Think about it.

It has long been my belief fly fishers are the finest people in the world. That said, it follows those fly fishers have some outstanding qualities enabling them to solve problems, follow through, pay attention to large and small details, have the forethought to plan, are able to remember what works and what doesn't, have the courage to buck the trends and try something new, have a sense of history and tradition, know instinctively they are part of something larger than themselves, have their priorities straight, care about their fellow fly anglers, are willing to share information and techniques, are very willing to learn, conserve the fish, and are rather proprietary about the waters they fish.

Sounds like proper campaign strategy to me. More than that - it is an attitude. One sadly lacking in the political world.

To be fair, there have been some U.S. Presidents who have indeed been fly fishermen. Teddy Roosevelt, Ike and Carter come to mind. I'm sure there were more. But at least those three did not embarrass the country, and make us the laughing stock of the world. And by the way, all three believed in a strong military to defend this country.

Maybe instead of asking what political party a political hopeful belongs to, or what his stand on any of a thousand programs is, we should be asking if he fly fishes? How is his casting? How long has he been a fly fisherman? Does he tie his own flies? Where is his home water?

We could learn more about the man than any of the silly campaign slogans and canned speeches provide.

And you know what? Once elected, he would probably do the right thing.

~ Deanna Birkholm

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