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Wednesday November 22nd, 2006
Versión en español

This is the second part of an article written by Aitor Coterón.

There is a number of devoted fly-anglers who sustain that fly casting is a pretty useless pursuit. Putting aside that in the eyes of “normal” no-fishing people fly-fishing is a useless pursuit too -and that I will only know the real utility of fly casting when someone explains to me the utility of fly fishing in the first place- what puzzles me the more is that some no-casters sustain that the bad side of fly casting practice is that it elevates the means at the ends category.

And it confuses me a lot cause, if we apply universally this maxim establishing not to mix means and ends, the world of, for instance, spectator sports would be totally unrecognizeable to say the least.
Imagine those F-1 races ¿what are those guys doing with a car, a means intended at transportation? a machine invented to get you from one place to another used only for going back, time after time, lap after lap, to where you departed, and the more you speed the sooner you get back home. Not my idea of travelling.
And what about those skippers cruising the seas on their small sail boats? They don't carry any cargo aboard nor dream of reaching any idyllic island to get lost, far from it their only goal is to get back home as soon as possible. Glorifying the means and disregarding the ends.
In the villages bordering the Bay of Biscay there is a peculiar form of regatta. It is held with long slender row boats with a crew of eleven guys. In ancient times these were fishing boats that tried to beat each other in getting their fish first into the market. Of course, nowadays nobody uses them for fishing, they row like crazies just for the joy of it. Means glorified again.
And what to say about marathon races? Or javelin throw? I think that Olympic Games would have a hard time if we decide that every activity is only justified as long as it pursues its primary goal.

Well, I am not very fond of spectator sports so no problem if the strict application of that wise maxim establishing that you should never confuse means and goals plays havoc with that kind of spectacles. What the hell! We have fly fishing for enjoying ourselves yet! Though… shit! The primary goal of fishing is to catch fish in the more efficient way, so what happens when in any given conditions -early season, for instance- the use of a juicy worm is clearly more suitable for catching a significant number of fish? Should we put aside the fly rod and grab the long pole?

Thanks god for letting us glorify the means and putting them before the goals. What a boring world this would be without the pleasure of doing so many marvellous useless things.

Aitor


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