We were trying to figure out where the lightswitch was in the bunker when we tripped over a package with Wes’ Coas’ return address. After we ran it through the bomb defuser (DirtBag Bloggers and Steelheaders got no friends), we opened it up to find this little gem from Buster’s friend Deerhawk. As you well know, the regular scalawags haven’t been around much lately – We would like to attribute that more to having real jobs than the more likely reality of us being a bunch of lazy, shiftless good-for-nothings…
Maybe this will shake a few of the regulars out of the woodpile.
As Anglers, why do we gravitate to the Trout? When there are many game fish in the world, why Salmo?…why Oncorhynchus?
Let’s jump right in and consider one of the historical bad-asses;
In Herd’s “A Fly Fishing History”, he references “On The Nature Of Animals” by the Roman scholar AElian (about 200 ad). In it AElian speaks of the Macedonians angling in the river Astraeus (now ID’d as the Arapitsas) that flows in the area of Boroea and Thessalonica for “fish with speckled skins” that rose “upon a fly that is peculiar to the country, which hovers on the river”
2000 years ago, as today, Trout were one of the few species that was easily observed feeding, and their food of choice was something that man could easily imitate… not to mention the fact of Trout being a tasty meal.
Then, of course, there is also a little thing called the “Tug Factor”. Fishing with a net brought home the baco…ah, food value, but there was little if any joy in pulling up that “fish bag”. You were stuck in the boat all day, rain or shine… fish or no fish. Your boss was an idiot and only had the job because he was Tax collector’s nephew. The guy who had the other oar across from you complained about his wife all day. It was no picnic.
But the Trout…oh, the Trout! It was counted pure joy for an able man to work the River. You got to leave early, with little or no guff from the wife. After all, you were a Hunter, in the field counting on skills built over a lifetime…your own boss! You could spend all day chasing the “fish with speckled skin”… and the best part, when the fish fought, the Angler was rewarded with the tug, which ignited inside that most ancient rush, the thrill and experience of the fight, of tricking and capturing another animal.
And the walk back through town… with the prize… priceless!
Through thousands of years of history, the Trout is the one that stands fin and tooth over all other species. It is the answer to the question “why”. Angling for Trout is an honorable sport and pastime. Certainly there are many other game fish, but none as noble as the Trout! Because we are hunters, we seek the prey. When it presents itself, is when we strike!
Put apathy and self-loathing behind, there is no room for those things in an Anglers life. Go Fish, and if it’s to cold or the rivers are blown, then start working on next seasons dance card…’cause in about 6 weeks the days start getting longer.