Very old friends mine had invited me to dinner which; the dinner had been perfect. The Foie Gras of Duck in Papillote and the panade of Truffles on a bed of Potatoes Burnoise, followed by Linguini al Pesto de Portofino had us all in a festive humor.
A little man with round glasses and a severe look, my neighbor at the table, finally relaxed and entered the conversation.
He opened: “Judging by your tan, I expect that you have returned from vacation. I would imagine in the tropics?”
“Indeed, you imagine correctly” I replied. “I have just returned from a fishing trip in the Bahamas.”
“Then you’re a fisherman? What a coincidence, I also, adore that distraction. Or to be more precise, especially the magnificent technique of fly fishing.”
“Ah! Sir, we think alike. Effectively, fly fishing is to fishing what caviar is to lumpfish. What’s more, I actually participate in the celebrated blog dedicated to this sport, it’s called le MOUCHING.”
“My dear sir, how delighted I am to learn that. Le MOUCHING is by far my preferred reading material. After the works of Freud, of course!”
“Freud? Are you a Freudian?”
“Exactly, I am a psychiatrist. In fact I am compelled to tell you that in “le MOUCHING”, in my humble opinion, you are guilty of failing to talk about a baneful malady to which fly fishermen fall victim.”
“Malady, you say? Do you mean simple accidents, like planting a hook in your spinal cord?”
“No, no… not at all!”
“Then, it is about broken bones when falling from precipices.
“Well then, is it the brutal drownings that occur when our waders get brutally filled with water?”
“Absolutely not. I am only talking about the maladies related to fly fishing of the psychiatric order.”
“I find that hard to believe dear fellow! There is nothing in the world of leisure activities more peaceful than fly fishing, of that I am fully convinced.”
“In that case I invite you to the clinic tomorrow morning where I am Head Doctor for “the May Fly Hysteria”. It will be my pleasure to show you a few typical cases.”
And the next day, dear readers, you can be sure I was at the door of the establishment of my new friend; in his white coat he opened the door and took me by the arm to visit the clinic.
In the first room I discovered a small group of individuals screaming in cadence: “line number five, rod number eight!. They all showed their teeth like enraged dogs.”
“That’s not so bad” I whispered to the Doctor. If you care to, let us continue.”
“In the second room the patients were tied to boards, white foam escaped their lips and they chanted in choir: “New Zealand, Cuba, Patagonie, New Zeland, Cuba, Patagonie…” and they continued in this manner.
“These here are treated with electro-shock. The results, while positive are unfortunately quite mediocre. But let’s continue on, follow me.”
The third room was filled with individuals had an appearance barely human. An appalling odor that sickened me.
The Doctor explained: “As you can smell, these poor buggers obstinately refuse to leave their waders, not night nor day, and they do their business in their waders. Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do to cure them. We shorten their sufference ( and ours!) using the method that we call: the “KILL” method.
“It’s radical. But they don’t suffer at all and their families can return to their normal lives.”
I left the clinic shortly after that, more than a little shaken, as you would be in my place. The visit was entirely instructive, if troubling. And even if a great number among you refuse to believe me, I feel obligated, to render these facts public.
In small doses, fly fishing remains inoffensive. Today I am convinced that, in great doses, it is a danger to our fellow citizens.