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I've Never Been Fishing


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 27th May, 2009

I've never been fishing.

Every time I utter these words, people look at me with mild surprise, disbelief, or total shock. How could this outdoorsy, adventure-loving, fish-eating woman not have put a worm, fly, or whatever else on a hook and cast off into promising waters?

Ok, to tell the whole truth, I did have an orange plastic rod and matching plastic fish when I was little, which I vaguely remember trying to put to use in my kiddie pool. And just last summer, to entertain my friend’s little girl, I attached some old macaroni to some discarded fishing line and tied it to a stick. We shrieked when the fish tugged at the mac and took it away. But, alas, we were missing that one little thing essential to actually hooking a fish! That much even I figured out. Anyway, with 32 years of life behind me, that is the extent of my fishing experience.

So, why does this pastime continue to elude me? It’s not as if I haven’t tried. I’ve been in countless watercrafts…canoes, sailboats, kayaks, rowboats, small motorboats, whale- and dolphin-watching boats, inner tubes, even a huge trimaran. The rods never come out, for one reason or another. I’ve suggested to more than a few boyfriends that they take me out on a maiden fishing voyage, an idea which they seem to find exciting. Somehow, it never happens, and then we go our separate ways, and I’m still fishless in Seattle. But many other potential fishing buddies surround me, even more so since I started working at this environmental firm a few years ago. In the hallways and on the email group list dedicated to fly-fishing enthusiasts, I am constantly hearing about so-and-so’s catch on this river or that. “You forgot to call me,” I say. “There wasn’t room in the boat.” “We left at 4am.” “That river would have been too challenging for your first time.” “No girls allowed.” I’ve heard it all!

Your favorite Wednesday FP writer (a coworker of mine) continues the tradition of teasing me with promises to cast a line in running water. I’ve seen hundreds of photos, inspected the flies, heard about the emotional and physical rewards/challenges, read some of those archived Sexyloops articles, even played around a bit with a practice rod and yarn line. I am so grateful for all that exposure, but how about some real-life experience? Hey, dear reader, let me know if you’re up for showing me the way while he’s on vacation in the tropics!

So, will it ever happen? With all my boating, camping, hiking, and biking adventures, and with all these fishing folk hanging around, I don’t see how I could avoid it forever, even if I wanted to. Perhaps if I change my attitude and be more direct, my wish will come true. Please make room for me in the boat. I am willing to wake early, and I’m sure I’ll attract some beginner’s luck. Even a simple rewording may help: “I haven’t been fishing…yet!”



Darcey is one of the PNW’s finest backpacking party planners, and has spent months in both Patagonia and New Zealand without ever casting a fly. Many thanks to her for bringing a unique perspective to the FP this week. Now that I’ve been called out publicly, I guess I’ll have to follow through on my promise and take her fishing when I get back.

Fish On,

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