My brother Shawn recently teased me about being addicted to fly-fishing (See Shawn’s recent post at http://www.birddogdocschronicles.blogspot.com). I must admit that his accusation is entirely true . . . I am a hopeless addict! Not an hour goes by, where I do not think about rivers and fishing. The sickness is called “Trout Madness.” How many of you suffer from this desirable disease?
In Trout Madness, the late Robert Travers (John Voelker), the famous author of the best-selling novel, The Anatomy of a Murder, described this incurable affliction:
The true trout fisherman is like a drug addict; he dwells in a tight little dream world all his own, and the men about him, who he observes obliviously spending their days pursuing money and power, genuinely puzzle him, as he doubtless does them. He prides himself on being an unbribed soul. So he is by way of being a philosopher, too, and sometimes he fishes not because he regards fishing as being so terribly important but because he suspects that so many other concerns of men are equally unimportant. Under his smiling coat of tan there often lurks a layer of melancholy and disillusion, a quiet awareness– and acceptance– of the fugitive quality of man and all his enterprises. If he must chase of will-o’-the-wisp he prefers that it be a trout. And so the fisherman fishes. It is at once an act of humility and small rebellion. And it is something more. To him his fishing is an island of reality in a world of dream and shadow . . . .
For those afflicted with Trout Madness, I’m sure that you would agree that Mr. Travers hit the nail right on the head. Who cares about money and power when there are fish to be caught? Fortunately for us, there is no cure.