.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
We Have A Fly-Fishing Friend That Can Help Us
A few years ago, Angie and I were fishing the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park. Angie was fishing this particular morning and I was running camera. A man walked up and asked what the video was going to be used for. I replied that I produced instructional fly-fishing videos. He then remarked angrily that “we didn’t need any more blank, blank, fly-fisherman - that there were already far too blank, blank many of them. Let the blank, blanks learn it themselves”. He also insinuated that all I only wanted was their money anyway. He then asked how much I paid my model. I replied, “I pay her a lot - she is my wife”. Our conversation got rather heated and went on for several minutes. In thirty years of producing fishing videos, that was a first for me.
When I asked him what he did for a living, he replied that he taught high school. I asked why he didn’t let the kids learn everything for themselves. I asked him if he contributed his time for free or did the school pay him for it. He then said “Your are probably one of those rednecks that carry a rebel flag and believe in God”. At that point, I almost swung at him but I stopped short of breaking his nose because his statement reminded me that wouldn’t be the Godly thing to do. When he proudly announced he was an atheist, the look on my face alone was enough to run him off.
You would think a school teacher and fly-fisherman (he was all decked out with waders/vest and a was holding a fly rod) would be intelligent enough to know that if he was concerned about being able to fish without being bothered by other anglers, or for that matter even having a place where he could fish, that he would be smart enough to know that right isn’t guaranteed for anyone. Every day I read news articles about a trout stream that has the potential of becoming exploited and even destroyed as a fishery by those who prefer to use it for commercial or manufacturing uses. Pebble Mine, for example, threatens the entire Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska. Water bottling companies and several other things threaten the trout in the Upper Sacramento River in Northern California. The Trout Unlimited website will remind you of other threatened and/or already devastated streams needing reclamation work. What did this guy think the World owed him? No one likes being crowded, which by the way, wasn’t even the case that day on the Lamar River. What the idiot obviously didn’t recognize is the fact that the more trout anglers there are, the better our chances are of having uncrowded places to fish. Success in protecting our trout streams, wildlife and other natural resources will not be achieved as a result of a select few angler’s demands. A few atheist, teachers or not, will not be able to stop giant industries and commercial entities from polluting our trout streams, purchasing all the land with trout streams for private use, or building condos on your favorite stretch of water. I suppose that idiot thinks National Parks are only for the use of atheist teachers.
In reality, the situation is far worse and becoming an even greater concern at an accelerated rate. Young kids are fishing and hunting less and less as the days go by. Fishing license sales are down. There are fewer anglers and hunters each year. Some blame the video games. I blame several things but most particularly the parents. Most fathers and mothers are too busy and too concerned about their own selfish needs to take their children fishing, camping, and hunting as my father and grandfathers did. In fact, it is possible that future generations may not even be able to afford to go fishing or hunting. Most of their money may go to our government in the form of taxes necessary to repay the huge debt we are creating for them.
The Fly Fishing Friend Who Can Help Us: When I expressed my concern about the huge national debt we were handing our children and grandchildren, a problem created by both political parties, and a problem that currently appears to be rapidly accelerating, Dr. Paul Broun confirmed my concern was real. He explained that he has two young grandchildren of his own and that he too was worried that our children and grandchildren are not going to have the things we had when we were growing up. He also exclaimed that they might not get to do the things we did when we were growing up. He continued to tell me how he stopped his career as a physician and ran for the U.S. Congress because of those and other concerns he had about the direction our country was headed. He explained how he put everything he had on the line in order to make a difference. I know now for a fact that indeed that was the case. It couldn’t have been an easy thing to do. It took a tremendous amount of courage, confidence and a lot of determination to do that. Dr. Broun sacrificed most of his worldly possessions including his own home in order to get elected. He was victorious even against those that had over ten times the amount of campaign funds that he did. Congressman Broun was elected in July of 2007.
Dr. Broun represents the people of the 10th Congressional District of Georgia in the United State Congress. His district is the home of several North Georgia wild trout streams. He is on the House Homeland Security Committee where he is Vice Ranking Member of Intelligence. He is on the House committee on Science and Technology where he is Ranking Member of Investigations and Oversight. He is also on the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Like Alan Jackson claims in his song “Where Were You When the World Stop Turning”, I am not a very political man either. But, the older I get the more worried I become about the future of my grandchildren. I want my grandson to be able to hunt and fish. (At age twelve he is already consumed with it) I want my two granddaughters to have at least as much opportunity as I had when I was growing up. All of you probably feel exactly the same way. If you haven’t ever thought about it, I’m guessing it is simply because you are young and you just haven’t got to that point in your life yet. Like it or not, it is a fact that those people we send to Washington are going to be the ones that determine the future of our children and grandchildren.
Our friend in Congress, Dr. Paul Broun, is an avid fly fisherman and a lifetime angler and hunter. He is not just another politician that takes an occasional photo to make it look like he is an outdoorsman. He fly-fishes the streams of North Georgia and North Carolina often and has done so for several years. He travels to Montana to hunt big game, fly-fish and ski on a regular basis. Dr. Broun told me that his dream is to be able to retire and live in North Georgia for about half the year and in Montana the other half where he could enjoy the outdoors everyday. He could have easily accomplished that by continuing his successful medical practice. He gave up the sure way to go about acheving his dream in order to help get our country headed in the right direction.
How do I know that? Congressman Broun was a customer of mine before I had a clue as to his title. He made several purchases including fly-fishing DVDs as well as some our new “Perfect Flies”. I never knew that Paul Broun was a congressman. If you ever have the opportunity to talk to Dr. Broun, it won’t take you but a few minutes to realize “You have a friend in Congress”. He is an avid fly-fisherman but more importantly, a man that believes in God and a Congressman that is not a part of the Washington politics as usual crowd.
I don’t care if you are a democrat, a republican, independent or even if you have any political preferences, all of us should be well aware that the beautiful trout streams we have available to us now are not guaranteed forever. If you hunt, then rest assured that the right to hunt isn’t guaranteed at all. In fact, it is threatened.
I don’t want to preach to you any more than I probably already have. Most of you realize these things just as well or better than I do. I just ask one thing of you. I ask that you “consider” supporting Dr. Broun. Please review his websites and become familiar with him.
If you believe in him as a person like I do, not as a politician, then I ask you to help him as much as you can by contributing to his campaign. He got where he is by putting everything he had at stake. I know that for a fact. Of all the other U. S. Congressman, how many of them do you think are avid fly anglers? If you agree with his beliefs and believe in him as I do, please help support his future campaign effort by contributing. We really do have a friend in the United States Congress that can make a difference for all of us. Lets make sure he stays there long enough to help as much as he can.