Monday, November 17, 2008

The New Big Game: English Fly Fishing Sportsmen

© By Albert A Rasch

“I am very serious. Non Americans fishing in America are in danger of being killed or of being seriously injured. There are hazards like bears, alligators, stingrays, poison ivy, hunters with guns and monster sharks that can cause you harm if not fatal damage.”

Well, I’ve read it a couple of times now. I’m pretty sure it was written as a legitimate, yet misinformed warning, maybe as an attempt to dissuade English folk from visiting our shores, but I don’t think it was a comedic piece done tongue in cheek.

I think the fellow that owns it is Craig Moore, but I’m not 100% certain so I don’t want to quote him, but the site says,

“Here in Britain there are no dangerous animals to interrupt a great days fishing.”

Yeah, but you guys have soccer hooligans! So there!

Oh by the way, they really have some beautiful flies at The English Fly Fishing Shop. They are all hand tied, and they also hand tie custom flies. So if you’re into the fly fishing hobby, stop by and take a look.

All of the information is certainly valid; you shouldn’t tow fish on a stringer, off your hip, while wade fishing in Florida, and you probably shouldn’t walk around grizzly country unprepared nor unarmed. I suppose that gators might be a concern too, but I have never had any problems with them. Except for the one in that lady’s garage. He was really fat and heavy and no one wanted to help me get him back into the lake he came from. The Mrs. and both the boys finally had to help me out on that one. Mosquitoes, now that’s a different story. I got torn to shreds while in the US Army, but a mosquito did more harm to me, hurt worse, and laid me low for a lot longer!

But I do take exception to the statement about hunters. Yes, it is true that we Americans are frequently well armed during hunting season. (It must be very intimidating to our English friends to know that I and the citizens of this great nation are as heavily armed as we are, yet more than capable of governing ourselves without bloodshed or civil unrest. Must be a lesson in there somewhere…) It is also equally true that rarely does anyone get shot by accident during hunting season. On occasion, people get shot on purpose, that’s true, but usually they got it coming to them. Well… sometimes not, but we have the Law to sort those things out.

Anyway, as far as I know, no fisherman has ever been bagged out of season. That’s if they’re even on the books as legal game. Come to think of it, I don’t even think they have a season on fishing folk, even in the western states. Furthermore, an English fly fishing sportsman would be a transient or migratory species and would require a special and expensive stamp; same for an Irish or French one. Though the French might be considered an invasive or nuisance species and might not have any legal protection from any laws, like the starling, walking catfish, and Norway rat. Don’t quote me on that, I’m no legal expert on game laws outside of Florida. Anyway I figure anyone that lives in such a damp and cool climate as the British Isles is bound to be oily and gamey. I know that sometimes I’m a little gamey on account of the dampness. So no sense in shooting one anyway.

Grizzlies are pretty placid if you give them their space, and anyway you should be fishing with a guide, who likely will carry a Ruger Redhawk in 44 magnum. I personally prefer the 45 Long Colt; more oomph at lower pressure. If they made a 46 Colt I would carry that.

Now mountain lions are little different. They go after the weak and infirm. And they really like people on mountain bikes. Now I don’t have any specifics as to which bikes they prefer, and with the new 29s coming out the whole paradigm may change, so stay tuned. You can figure that unless you’re riding a bike to your fishing spot, you should be ok.

Bull elks and moose in general, don’t usually do the cross species thing. They find it distasteful. Remember what happened to those caribou that ended up hanging out with that fat guy in the red suit? They got funny names and have to haul butt under less than tolerable conditions! Where’s the RSPCA when you need it? That’s why they don’t take any unnecessary chances with us humans.

Shuffle your feet, and stingrays won’t stick you a good one. Though if you do happen to screw up and get stuck, get some meat tenderizer on it as soon as possible.

Ask me what I think the most dangerous thing is and I will tell you what it is:

It is stupidity.

If you’re stupid, don’t go and do stuff that will get you killed. I know that stupid people don’t know any better, but if you have any question, and one of the outcomes can lead to dismemberment or worse, it would probably behoove you not to go that way. Politicians are excluded for obvious reasons. Just a little advice.

So my English friends, believe you me that fishing in the United States is much, much safer than taking a walk through Londonistan. No one is going to take out a fatwah on you because you use a fresh water fly in the briny. Just don’t get mad at us when we ask you if you are from Australia. That’s probably the worse affront we might commit, other than mangling the Queen’s English. And drink beer ice cold.

Seriously, if you really want to worry about something, worry about how contagious American Freedom is. I’ve met a lot of people from around the world. Just recently Jordan Bear made three new friends from South Africa. The thing they most remarked on was how overwhelmed they were at first, by the unbridled freedom they found. The freedom to make choices, along with the responsibility, can be intoxicating.

So don’t sweat the “dangers.” We Americans will see to it that you all don’t get into more trouble than you can handle, and we have proven over and over that we will always come to your aid, even when it hurts. And don't forget the great Winston Churchill said, "Americans will always do the right thing... After they have tried everything else!"

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Anonymous said...

"Though the French might be considered an invasive or nuisance species"

You do have a way with words, Albert. Lovely post.

Albert A Rasch said...

Thanks Kristine.

I think SBW's kick start got me going again, so I'll be on more often! I'll be posting on OBS pretty regular again.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Great post so much to comment on.
But I'm gonna start with the burning question.
'Just don’t get mad at us when we ask you if you are from Australia.'

What is it with the Australian thing?
Everywhere i go in America I hear 'so you're from Australia'

Just in terms of the numbers, my being from 'down under' is pretty unlikely, there are only about 20 million of them (mostly working in London) and they are a lot further away.
Your perplexedly

Matt said...

Very funny and well-written post.

masterbutcher said...

First of I have to say how pleased I am no see you back in action again.

Okay, I lived in jolly good old England for many years and believe me there are other things to worry about when out fishing and hunting. Extremely violent animal rights are a good start. A fisher or hunter in England carries a considerable risk of been hurt or have his property damaged should he/she encounter an animal rights activist.

I hunt and fish all over America for the past 15 years and if it were as dangerous as the writer of that comic relief article says, I should be dead a long time ago. Here in Canada we have bears lurking behind every tree I have yet to encounter any of them as violent and aggressive as an English animal rights terrorist or a Londoner taxi driver suffering, like all of them, from road rage.

What I really wonder though. Has that writer actually been to America to feel justified to make such claims?


Albert A Rasch said...


Good point! I wondered the same thing.

I pretty sure it wasn't done with malicious intent, but it shouldn't have been titled the way it was. "Things to be careful of..." or something like that might have been better.

I think I'm going to e-mail him...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Phillip said...

Man, it's good to see you back... and in fine form, no less!

That was a blast to read!

Keep 'em coming!

Albert A Rasch said...


Thanks for all the feed back! I'm really pleased to be back, and thrilled that my brain is working too.

Though if you were to ask the Mrs., you'ld probably get a different answer...