Welcome to Truchacabra! May this blog be our salon for enlightened conversations about fly fishing, or fishing, or fish. I’d like whatever happens here to be allowed as long as learning takes place. Though I have spent close to four decades on rivers with a rod in hand and two as a fly fishing professional, I expect to get better at fishing from our discourse. I expect to get smarter too, or at least more awake, to be exposed to daily doses of irreverence, originality, and humor. More than anything, I want Truchacabra to be a place where any subject can be twisted into the shape of a fish by whatever means possible.
Fly fishing is how I process the world. Moreover, as I’m strolling up a creek watching slo-mo trout heads taking down bugs amid bird songs and butterflies, I’m at least halfway conscious that humanity, fly fishing’s inventor, is in so many ways still molding my experience. I’m old enough to have seen the dawn of strike indicators, split shot on the line, and the dawn of mashing down hook barbs; I remember when I craved the sweet feel of a yellow Eagle Claw fiberglass rod, the same feeling I now get holding the rocket science stick that, if I hadn’t been working in the fishing industry, I might have found out about from any number of media outlets that modern culture can’t live without.
We’ve heard fishing described as religion. I can certainly relate. In this blog, as regards God, I will draw upon the following three definitions, depending on context:
- God is, as it suits a believer, an anthropomorphic entity to whom one assigns blame or credit for certain cherry-picked events that are either horrific or amazing.
- God is an understanding and hopefully omnipotent being in whom one places faith when there is nothing else to believe in.
- God is time and all that occurs within it, the growth and erosion of mountains as well as the evolution of species, including fish and humans.
Politics are easy. Anyone who takes a surplus and hands it around to buddies to create a deficit deserves to be thrashed until light shines through. This goes for anyone receiving public assistance of any kind, be he rich or poor. I believe honor is due the man to whom bread and shelter for his loved ones stand above beer for himself. I believe that if politicians kept all of this in mind, we would see more people earning exactly what they deserve, to society’s ultimate benefit.
What does any of this have to do with fly fishing? Shouldn’t our beloved sport exist or be practiced in isolation from religion, politics, from culture? Ask yourself this question out loud, consider the impossibility of it. What of the angler whose worldview is made sensible by the logic of nature; isn’t that what religion is? Is your favorite stream immune from the most craven products of your statehouse? Of the White House?
In this (or I would argue any) day and age, religion, culture, and politics provide most of the meaning in the world, a world we fly fishermen believe is composed in large part of fish. There are more species of fish than any class of vertebrates. Fish occupy every place where there is water and a few where there is not, our thoughts, for example, and our dreams.