The winners of the 'How I Got Off Flyfishing' ContestPROSE How I got off flyfishing by Phillip BlairI didn't. I blame it on Rachmaninov, that's not to say that he was there at the time. Oh no, Sergei has more than enough on his plate with being dead to be nipping round my house and getting me off flyfishing. Did you ever hear his Third Piano Concerto? Massive, but quiet for the most part. It doesn't have the big tunes like his Second, nor the loud and bangy bits, it's more, sort of flyfishing. I listen to a lot of old Sergei which is why I don't give up flyfishing, or maybe the flyfishing attracts me to the Rachmaninov? I suppose it's not easy to tell and it's probably best not to dwell on it here, the world is full of people who argue points without fully understanding the issues. I don't understand the 3rd, very difficult, but when I stand out there on the hill, fly rod in hand, then sometimes I can see. It's not that eventful the 3rd, not flashy or anything but, despite appearances, it's not that easy to do either. In fact not everyone can do it. There is a certain technical requirement and some degree of physical endurance is required. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a physical sport in the way that the big Beethoven Piano Sonata is. The 3rd depends on being technically physical, not "work out in the gym 17 times per week" physical. You know when you are out there having a little fish and if you put just too much effort into the cast things go really badly wrong? Well, I saw Nikolai Demidenko do the big Beethoven. It was wonderful, 45 minutes of Piano fireworks which seemed compressed into 2 minutes. The whole experience was over nearly before I'd realised it had started. Ah you say, just like hooking the big one? You are missing the point here! I told you, flyfishing isn't like Beethoven. Maybe it's like Beethoven for you? Not for me. Nikolai can do a bit of Rachmaninov too, oh yes indeed. However his Beethoven was just right but very hard work. Flyfishing is an art form, The Incredible Hulk would be no good at all at that flyfishing lark. He'd be no good at the 3rd Piano Concerto. You see flyfishing isn't about fishing at all, it is meditation. Everytime you gently land that cast on the water you know that this could be the cast, this could catch you the big one. On the other hand you might not catch anything at all today. That's not like anything else in the world really, no not really. There are people who shoot at targets but they can always see the target and they strive to hit it. In March, out on the wild hill loughs, you can't see the fish and, in fact, they are not there. Now I don't know where they go, Spain perhaps, but they are not in the lough until about May. I still go there to fish mind you, out on the hill in the wind and rain with my little flask of hot water for tea and my selection of wet flies. I splash the wet flies about in the water for a few hours and not one fish do I see, in fact I know that they are not there, but I have a good time. It also breaks me in for the meditation. Later in the year the fish will come back from Spain and each cast will have to be watched with care, the slightest movement in the water, a change in the wave, could mean a fish. These fish are fast, it requires great concentration to hook one, but on some days I might only connect with one or two in many hours of fishing. I'll play Rachmaninov in the car on the way home. Sometimes it's nice to get into the calm of the car after the gale force winds, sometimes it takes a few minutes to stop the pattern of the waves from bouncing about in my eyes. Sometimes, even, I catch a fish or two. So here I am, just over a week into the Irish trout season and I've been fishing 4 times already. Despite the long winter break it would appear that for yet another year I haven't got off flyfishing at all. I wonder which flies I'll try tomorrow? All day on Dungonnell tomorrow while the fish are in Spain. All the usual stuff I suppose, Blue Zulus, Black Pennells, a Butcher or two, a Doobry if there is a bit of sun and then some Rachmaninov on the way home, you know that Mozart is a bit fussy for flyfishing. I like the Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto but we can't have that for flyfishing, that would get you off flyfishing, much too stern and people don't go flyfishing in silent movies. Flyfishing doesn't play by the rules, Stalin can't boss me about out there on the lough. The Tax Man can arrive at my lough in his Ford Mondeo with optional sun roof but, like Stalin, he is ill equiped to cross several miles of sodden moor to get to me. The retreat of such undesirable elements without any need on my part to repell them is one of the great things about flyfishing out there in the bog. There's that Rachmaninov tune again, it's all his fault you know. Regards, Philip Blair How I got off Flyfishing by Stephen Di Cerbotap, tap, tap Is this thing on? ...hurumph,hurmphh!... My name is Keven Lox.... < HIII KEVEN!!! > and I, .. I am a flyfisherman. < unhmmmm! > Thats right, I've been doing it for twenty years now. Started out innocent enough. One day, when I was spin fishing in the creek, I saw trout eatin suptim from the top o da watar. So I went to the Bait store and got one of those "Plastic Bubbles" and a, you know, a fly. I snuck it past my parents, back to the stream, where I rigged it up and caught 16 trout, em threaded onto a stick, and told my Dad I got em wid redworms. But I started doing it more and mo, and catching more and mo trout,and soon it wasn't enuff. I stole some money from Dad's sock drawer, crossed over the tracks and bought , 'sniff, sighh, a flyrod flyline, wooley buggers (at first) and just went to town. Hid the rod at night so the folks wouldn't know. i thiank they suspected, ya know, me coming home with trout all the time. sometimes the looked at me with sad eyes. Well, I left home as soon as I could, resorted to tying and selling flies to support my habits. started going around the country, from one stream, to another, always just one step ahead of the law .... flyfishing and flyfishing again and again......vest, gadgets hang' offen me, big boots, funny hat...flyfishing maillists, even started puttin the fish BACK in the stream....Aughh...snif,sob,sob. They found me one day, sittin 'ganst a tree next to a stream, cross-legged, flyrod in hand, sun just shinin', birds singing, trout risin' up, fly dressin' chewed off'en hook in my hand, and a fish print in the sand next to me 24,36,maybe 45 inches long. Me, just sittin' there, glazed eyes,smilin, smilin. That what they told me.... I woke up strapped to a bed, watching some Suga-Bugga kissin' a carp on TV on some tape they kept showin' me over,and over.... Every day to the fishin' trough in the rec hall, first with spinners (they still had a little feather on them) then a gob o worms.... ...sigh.... But I'm OK now, I got new freinds, Bubba, Juddadiah, and Quincey; and I got you folks.. aaandd I got this here token, and its says 30 onit cause it been thirty days without flyfishing, and with ...snif,snif sob... help from all of you, I can do this, one day at a time, just one day at a time, right...right?? The Aliens Have Landed, Marge! Open Another Can of Spam! (Subtitled: How I Got Off Fly-Fishing) a play by Richard FrankCast Lem Kreuger: Flyfisher extraordinaire, and world-class sausage maker. Marge Krueger-Kreuger: His wife and sister, and world-class spinfisher. Glem Kreuger-Kreuger-Kreuger: Son and world-class Kreuger. Ken: Leader of the aliens. Barbie: Ken's friend and confidant. Bill Clinton: Leader of the Free World and potential world-class sausage. Pigs: as themselves and as various kinds of sausage (Aside: I hope you don't think this drama was easy to cast. It's hard to get good pigs these days.) Scene: [Lem and Marge and Glem live in a three room dwelling that also serves as a barn, slaughterhouse, and butcher shop. A beautiful mountain stream, teaming with bright trout, flows just beyond the front porch. In the corner of the porch three fishing rods lean at the ready. Len can be seen at the window stuffing bright red meat into a casing. Several pigs stand outside and look on in horror and disgust.] [Voice from within] Marge: Lem! Lem! The president is on T.V! Lem: Burp! Ah! S'that, dearest? President has V.D.? Marge: Lem! The President IS ON T.V. Lem: Brrrrp!! Oh! That's nice. Marge: This is serious, Lem! President Clinton says we're being invaded by Allens! Lem: Allens? Which Allens? Marge: Listen, Lem! (She turns up the volume on the T.V.) President's Clinton: ...nothing to be alarmed about. Alien ships have landed in sixteen states. Their emissaries have been in touch with high officials in all of those states and have assured us that they come in peace. At this time, I want to reassure all of you that I have never taken any campaign contributions from any of these...people. (Pigs gather around the building, listening in horror and disbelief.) Glem: [Emerging from behind the house.] Dad! Dad, can we go fishin'? Lem: [Running his hands through his hair] Anything rising, son?" Glem: Yep! Lem: Com'on Marge. We're go'ng fishin! [The three of them grab their poles and head down to the stream. Lem misquotes several lengthy passsages from "A River Runs Through It" Glenn asks repeatedly what "It" is. The three take up their positions on the water and begin casting. Marge catches ten trout on ten casts. Lem casts his Pork Pie Special #12 dry without success. Glem: climbs a tree and grunts. Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light, the ground begins to shake and the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind begins to swell in the background. BAA, BEE, BEEEE, UUUUU, BEEEEE. A large space craft shaped like a smelt settles down in the field behind the Kreugers (ah?), Krueger-Kreugers, ...nevermind. The mouth of the smelt craft opens and two of the moosssst gorrrgeeeous people that anyone has ever seen emerge and approach Lem, Marge, and Glem. Ken: We come in peace! I am Ken and this is my friend and confidant, Barbie. We are from the planet Vacuous in the distant Mattel galaxy. We seek your help. Barbie: Yes. Ken is right. We need your help. Lem: [Mouth agape - not unusual. Looks from Ken to Barbie. Never looks back at Ken.] Ah! Gosh HOW can we help? Ken: Fish! We need fish, and we need your seed. Marge: All we gots is a few carrots, beans and a little corn, but you is welcome to them. Ken: Thank you, kind human creature, but we do not want your grain. We want to procreate with you. Do IT, I think you say. Glem: Aw no. Will someone please tell me what "it" is? Lem: [Drooling profusely] We'd be glad to help ANY way we can!! Marge: Wait a minute, Lem. [Turns to Ken:] Why don't you boink her, big guy? Ken: Because, sweet lady, she is my friend and confidant. On the planet Vacuous we have risen above such things. We don't do "it" with each other. We're much happier that way. Isn't that right. Barbie: [Brushing back her long, long blond hair] You're so right, dear. What a thought. Sex with you. Never. Lem: [Wiping his lips with a pig] I'd be more'n happy to help. Lets go set on the porch a spell an' talk. Barbie: Sorry, but I don't sit. With legs like these you don't sit. Ken: Yes, it's so true. Oh, don't forget about the fish. Glem: Fish? You like to eat fish? Ken: Of course not. We don't eat, dear boy. Too messy. We find fish terribly exciting, and the ability to catch fish is a tremendous - what can I say? Turn on!!! [Blushing] Oh, forgive me, please. Marge: Heh! Well, I just caught me a fine mess of fish. Look't these. [Holds up a stringer of trout] Fresh from that stream. Ken: Oh dear! Oh! Be still my heart! Will you be my Queen? Fly off with me now and I will give you the moon, the stars, the sun! Marge: Okay...sure! Why not? Sounds good to me! See you Lem. See you Glem. Glem: Mom! Lem: Marge, you can't do this. [Stares helplessly as she walks away.] Barbie: [breathless] Lem, dear, I yearn to see YOUR fish. I'll bet you have caught some big fish, Lem. Show me, Lem. Please show me your fish. Lem: Well..ah..I C&Rd `em that's what I did - threw `em back. But I can catch some more. I can. You just stay right here'n I'll be back in no time with a big mess'a fish. [Backs down toward the stream. Barbie shakes her head sadly, turns and walks back into the mouth of the smelt craft.] Lem: Wait...wait....wai... [Turns suddenly and heaves his flyrod into the middle of the stream. Picks up Marge's spinning rod and walks slowly back to the cabin followed by Glem and a long line of teary-eyed pigs.] Lem: That's it. I give up fly-fishing. I just give IT up! Glem: It?? Gotta find out about `it'. Soon!!! Pigs: Snort and chuckle. [END] POETRY How I got off flyfishing by Hilary ThompsonI glance back over my shoulder the shore flies away on the wings of my paddles. I am bound over shallow bays where my departure was followed with envious eyes. Now I am free of the shore but bound in a fevered dream that gives me closeness to the sea and her many lives within. The sun is plating with mercury and gold the horizon I head toward. Dark shapes ride the currents beneath my thin hull. On the beach the island is all mine and all of me I am lost in shush shush shush of wave on my shore. I camp and fish the fish catch me and I release them but for one seatrout my meal. My island is flyfishing My escape neither desired nor sought I will not get off flyfishing 'til my whitened bones are ground to sand gleaming in the sun. How I got off flyfishing by Chris KnightCast of seduction green, red, silver flash in sun Slurp. "God save the Queen!" Beautiful torment lashed, beaten, knuckles bleeding No? Yes? Take me now! upstream, downstream, pause. jumps show me her adipose I bear down with rod She strips line madly body-pierced beauty swimming with wild abandon At last relenting. on my knees I reach for her my fly battered, slimed Cradled in my hands spent, but not for long. Tail waves. breath caught, she heads home I light a cigar And step from the stream, content. She gets the wet spot How I got off flyfishing by Claude Freaner"Oh, Honey," my wife says at night, Oh, heck! I think, getting uptight. She wants me to hear I drink too much beer; Shucks, I don't want to have a fight! She says coyly, "Please come up here." "I have something to show you, dear." Prob'ly another bit About why I should quit, Making my own homemade dark beer. Downloading only a few more, Not wanting to open the door, I have unread emails: Trip reports and tall tales! A whole lot of flyfishing lore! "Oh, Honey, where are you?" she cries, As I write of no-hackle dries. "I really need you," "Oh, yes! Please! I do!" Meanwhile, I write two more half-lies. Finally, I just quit anguishing, Over Bahamas bonefishing. My wife's lack of nightgown, Quickly erased my frown. So, that's how I got off Flyfishing!