© By Othmar Vohringer
I do visit fishing forums from time to time to read what other fisherman/women talk about and what their opinions are on a variety of topics or simply to share experiences and tell tall tales. Recently though, each time I visit these places it gets my dander up. It seems that there can’t be any half decent conversation anymore that does not end up with folks pointing fingers at each other. Flyfishers squabble with bait and lure fishers and visa versa. Mostly the argument starts by a flyfisherman telling somebody that fishing with fly tackle is what makes a real fisher or that flyfishing is more ethical and noble sport than any other form of fishing.
If you think that only flyfishers turn their noses up at others think again. The boat paddles the other way too. Lure and bait fishers have no hesitation to belittle fly casters as elitist or hobby fishers depending what the mood strikes. Here in British Columbia you’re well advised not to mention the word bass, as in bass fishing. You’re liable to unleash a mighty storm of insults against you. Bass here in salmon heaven is what a rat is in a grain silo don’t you know.
Since this is my blog I am going to tell you honestly what I think about the endless and pointless squabbling. It’s an insult to every fisherman and more than that it is utterly counterproductive to the future of fishing in general.
Many young and novice fishers seek information and advice on Internet forums. Ask yourself, What must newcomers to fishing think if they read all that trashing ad nauseam, page after page on public forum none the less. Do these opinionated people really think that they can educate and promote ethical fishing by slandering others that do not happen to share their views or type of fishing method?
I tell you what it will do. This childish behavior will drive interested people away. Who in their right frame of mind wants to associate with a kindergarten? Nobody.
Everybody that knows me from this, and my other blogs, or in person, knows that I don’t give a rats hairy behind how and for what species or motivation a person fishes as long it is legal and you enjoy it.
I, for one, am pretty tired of all that childish picketing and squabbling that exactly parallels the equally childish and pointless crossbow v. vertical bow controversy.
Does it really matter what motivates a person to fish ? Is it important what tackle and tactics a fisher prefers to use? Is a person stalking a salmon with a fly rod nobler than the fisher fighting a big bass out of a lily pond? Of course none of it matters or makes one dime of a difference. Unless you think that God personally has approved of your fishing method and opinion you formed of it.
Here is how I see it. We’re all fishers. Not one single way of pursuing our activity is superior, nobler or privileged than another one. We’re all equals. No one of us deserves any more or less consideration than any other legal fisherman. Do you all get that? Now I suggest that we all head out to our favorite lake or river and do some fishing, and if we see another fisher say hello and wish him or her luck.
I said my piece on that subject and hope some of it sticks with you and made you think. To that end I leave you with a quote that I wrote in an article about the crossbow controversy. I find the quote equally suitable for this topic. "Wouldn’t it be wise for us to be more tolerant of each other and pick our battles with the ones that really threaten our way of life?"
Tight lines…and don’t forget to have fun!
BC Fishing, Flyfishing, baitfishing, Lurefishing, Fishing Tactics