Saturday, February 3, 2007

Where the fish are


Art directors in ad agencies think fly fishermen are higher up on the socio economic totem pole than bait fishermen. So if they want to flog anything pricey or lofty, they show guys fly fishing in TV ads. Trouble is, the green art directors think fly fishing is fishing for flies, so they show Orvis-festooned models waving their arms and fishing lines in the air, rather than dropping the fly in the water where the fish are.

The point about fly fishing is it gets you into the water. Water is the best exchange medium between us and the rest of the natural world - with which we have such an on-again off-again relationship. In the water you can feel the moist collision of intellect and instinct. And just as the fish takes the fly you feel a liquid pull and it's the tug of your evolutionary umbilical cord. What a moment. Fly fishermen will beat the water with their lines until sky and river become the same in the dark, just on the off chance of a repeat.

I would buy anything the art directors were flogging if they could capture that.