They say you can judge the character of a man by the company he keeps. (I’ll assume that principle applies to woman as well) I know I gravitate to those I would consider like minded individuals who enjoy the same things I do. So basically that means I hang out with fisher types who consider a day on the water superior to just about any other entertainment possibilities out there.
It also means the company I keep is well versed in the fine art of fraudulent behavior. The way I see it, we fisherman lean so heavily on the fraud front we all could be pinned as the masters of deception. Ask any fish and I have no doubt they could confirm.
We are all participants of fraud, lies, deceit, misrepresentations, shams and scams, i.e., flies, lures, bait, casting, presentation etc…Throw in a bucket of fishing tales and erroneous fishing advice and we’ve got a solid case of fraudulent characteristics for the whole lot of us.
I don’t believe any of us need to visit a confessional over our acts of deception against fish. They are fish and we are the humans who work so hard at fooling them. Clearly we are the superior species that need not explain or justify our counterfeit efforts. We only need to observe one fisherman standing in partially frozen water with blue lips and icicles hanging out his nose to appreciate his repeated act of deception as pure brilliance. The whole scenario makes logical sense and only a non-fisher would question the rationale of it all……..
I think the deception of fish as a general human habit shouldn’t count against our personalities. However, I’m not so sure about the behavior we occasionally display towards the other fisherman out thrashing water with us. The little white lies that tend to slip out fall into a new level of fraud. Is it really so bad to add an inch to a fish no one actually saw? Is it a crime of the moral compass to imply you caught those 5 great big submarine fish on a #12 stonefly when in reality you caught them on #18 disco midge? Are such misrepresentations significant enough to blemish a persons wholesome demeanor?
There is of course the unavoidable question on the waterway, “Have you caught anything today?” Answering this question truthfully or shrouded in deception falls into the case by case scenerio with sublevels, exceptions, iron clad rules and subjective interpretations.
You’ve caught 3 fish. Your friend sloshes up the river looking defeated and asks, “Catch anything yet?”
Possible levels of truth:
1)You drove, but friend didn’t chip in for gas: Answer “Couple of bites”
2) Last fishing trip, friend caught 15 and you were skunked: Answer “Hell Ya, 5 so far!”
3) Friend still hasn’t replaced the 5 flies he borrowed and lost on the last trip: Answer “Nope.”
4) Friend brought coffee and an extra granola bar for you: Answer “3 fish on a Caddis Larva.”
And so on…….Strangers encountered can be answered on the sliding scale of personal mood. Just smile while you answer and anything will sound peachy.
I don’t mean to imply we are all liars and of low character, not at all. I happen to think fisher souls are some of the best quality people around. I’m just merely remarking today on the fine art of fraudulent behavior fishing requires in all of us. On the whole, I surround myself with people who know a little sumthin about trickery and I’m good with that fact.
Disclaimer 1: Any ideas I may have expressed in the above paragraphs should fall into the acceptable guidelines of deceptive fishing practices when applied properly.
Disclaimer 2:…..just in case anyone is thinking it, I promise to always tell the fishing truth on these web pages. On my Fisherman’s honor……