November 30th, 1998
Trent Roberson
From the Trashpiles of Ruffled Feathers
The background behind the pages of Rx F Fish

by Trent Roberson

Publishers Note: I surfed across Rx F Fish looking for other fly fishing websites with a perspective similar to FAOL. I was encourged to find Rx F Fish! Trent Roberson is the publisher, and the following editorial from his site gives his view of where fly fishing is, and what he is doing with his site.

THREE things more than anything else still get my quickest attention; they are sex, bacon, and Fly Fishing! At my age, the order of importance no longer really matters; I take whichever comes along and, with gratitude.

Like many men, the good things never seem to come in great enough abundance, and we always keep searching for some sort of elusive spark that our minds tell us is missing. The older I get, the more I realize that one of man's failing human traits is the awareness of things left undone. In my case, messages to be sent, thoughts to be conveyed, goals to be met, rivers (literally and figuratively) to be crossed.

I encountered one of those profound moments some years ago when it dawned on me that I was about to pass my fortieth anniversary in the fishing tackle industry. The thought made me shudder that I hadn't put my legacy in place. Though I had come to realize that the industry was already showing major signs of fatigue failing in its quest for consumer growth, I still felt a sense of obligation to leave it something that would benefit newcomers to the sport. After all, it had done me well for those nearly forty years. Why not give it something back that would benefit newcomers who have yet to experience the pleasures of fly fishing?

Forty years in the fishing tackle industry brought a lot of insights about the business world over the years. Couple that with an astute awareness that mankind seems forever bent on a continual course of self destruction and you have some very unfortunate ingredients that have contributed towards an eroding environment, both the real earth one and the social one as well. In many ways, the fly fishing opportunity has suffered along with lots of other things.

Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I began to notice how thoroughly our fishing tackle establishments were disappearing. In the same instance, those who once perpetuated them were absent too. Even the industry that I had been a part of for so many years had become a prisoner to this movement, its only salvation being, as of late, to make more products for a mass market that was already over saturated by its own glut. The fishing tackle industry's inability to step up to the line and be a leader started surfacing sometime in the early 70s.

Long gone were the visionaries who believed more in the premise that the customer has a need, let's fill it! Instead, they were looking for more and more ways to out-produce and out-market their competitors. Their continual development of new products for a market already deluged with non-profitable entities seemed destined to follow the footsteps of many other industries who had failed with similar approaches.

In the midst of all of this, fly fishing somehow managed to maintain its lofty status as both an art form and also, a viable tool for attaining outdoors enjoyment and an appreciation for and an understanding of nature. Those within its industry kept a strong vigil to protect its product ethic and at the same time, promote its sport's worthy qualities. Not a bad concept when you stop to think about it. On that issue, they were right on!

If, on the other hand, you're one of the many who are far removed from products and environments normally associated with fly fishing, it's not so easy to find a way into the sport at your local hardware store. Besides, if your past experiences in fishing have molded a mind set that is focused more on Walleye, Bass, or Panfish, your basic makeup is far more likely to be different than one who has spent years learning and understanding midges, sub-imagos, mending lines, and double hauling, terms associated with the intricacies of fly fishing. In your case, you're probably one who is more focused towards structure fishing, crank baits, flippin' rods, and so on. The language barrier! Right?

Until, one day, it dawned on me! The problem of bringing more anglers over from sport fishing to fly fishing was really a very simple issue. The language was wrong! Fly fishing was always presented in fly fishing terms. And for reasons I have already eluded to earlier, the sport fisherman wasn't receptive to the terminology. Sometimes, the angler wasn't even comfortable in the environment of a fly fishing shop though he aspired to be a part of it. It was intriguing; it was frustrating and intimidating. It was difficult to step up to the line in such a place and show a lack of savvy about a topic the shop owner would have assumed the individual already knew.

Ever since the early 40s when my late father first taught me how to fly fish, I have developed a passion for the sport that has grown throughout my life. He was an excellent outdoorsman and fisherman; he was not, however, a very good fly caster, at least from a technical point of view. As a teacher, he was even less proficient. He was, however, patient and dedicated to teaching me everything he knew about fly fishing. It goes without saying but, I think he must have had a marvelous sense of humor to have endured such a tedious process.

Whether from fly fishing itself or from my father, the positive influence from a day on the stream has shown itself as a surefire way to soothe the soul. The late A.J. McClane referred to it as "The Liquid Language of Water". It is both mystical and spiritual in some basic way. Whatever fly fishing's claims on the spirit, I feel that it is worth preserving for others to enjoy. However, if one becomes too wrapped up in it from a technical point of view, the more subtle and meaningful lessons of fly fishing and its endless virtues will often be overlooked. Unfortunately, in today's society, there is already too much of that characteristic in many of the things that we do. There is an increasing void of "the simple truths" from our lives that we need to spend more time dealing with instead.

Simple truths like the passion of feeling the clean air pressing around one's face; the smell of the wilderness itself; the sounds of water, wind, and creatures underscoring their free and natural messages as though to remind us that this is how it used to be………and, how it should be. In a more straightforward way, nature's own poetic alarm clock ringing loudly within our conscience as if to tell us we must examine and repair our own environment before it is too late. In a very humbling way, nature itself is telling us to become the stewards once again that, hypocritically, we still profess to be. Strange as it might seem to you now, fly fishing and many of the streams you will likely encounter along its way are, in reality, gateways to some of these simple truths.

Whatever it is about fly fishing that is so captivating, I feel a sense of obligation to perpetuate it in whatever ways I can. It is that premise that leads me back to why I have elected to spend time creating my own set of Web pages about the sport. Some of the information in these pages falls under the category of classic examples of redundant lists of things you have perhaps already seen. When you come upon this information, I hope you'll be patient and remember that not everyone out in cyberspace may have attained your level of knowledge about fly fishing.

I also hope that even for the most seasoned angler, this Web Site will hold enchantment, offering from time to time a new perspective to enhance your own enjoyment of the sport. This web site will be an on-going process that evolves through time as more and more of you add your own thoughts and ideas about fly fishing. I hope these pages will help to impart a deeper perspective into fly fishing and its endless virtues.

Most of all, I wish to convey that fly fishing is, all too often, highly misrepresented by its lofty high priced, high tech look. True, there are times when flawless equipment and precise presentation have no substitutes. However, it is the more basic of terminologies and purposes that I feel one should examine first. After all, the main purpose in fly fishing is to have fun. It's even better when you can share it with a friend or friends. If you master the basics within your financial wherewithal, while getting some good human experiences along the way, you will find many rewards from having taken the time to learn fly fishing from its deepest aspects. In that way, not only will it serve you well for many years to come but, it also may even bring you face to face with some of the simple truths when you might least expect them.

The whole purpose of my campaign is to become a clearing house of sorts, one that deals strictly with fly fishing issues. And, if you're new to the sport, I hope to be able to provide the necessary barometers to help you navigate through the countless pages that will literally multiply before your eyes thus making your choices more confusing.

It is in that spirit that Rx F Fish steps forward; to make the sport more accessible and more understandable. Especially, that it affords fun, entertainment, and personal reward. As these pages evolve, they will make every attempt to provide answers to help close the gap in the language barrier.
~ Trent Roberson"

* This article is the sole property of Trent Roberson and Rx F Fish and is pending Copyright Protection. Except for viewing in a different format, this article may not be reproduced and/or used without the author's written permission.

Archive of Readers Casts

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice