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Why Fishing is America's Cultural Compass

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June 26, 2009

Why Fishing is America's Cultural Compass

By Kirk Deeter

Times change, and with them so do trends, attitudes, and even cultural stereotypes.

But the principles of fishing are as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.  Steady like magnetic north.  Sure, we find new tricks and techniques, and we use new materials.  But, by and large, what was good advice in Field & Stream 50 or more years ago is still good advice.

Which cannot be said for all magazine advice.  To wit, I bring you these excerpts sent to us from the Fly Talk Cutlural Institute in Grawn, Michigan, from Housekeeping Monthly from May 13, 1955.  The story is called "The Good Wife's Guide," and I swear I am not making this stuff up (I'm not that brave)...

On preparing to meet the man of the house after work."Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him." (Sounds reasonable to me... but read on.)

"Let him talk first--remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours." (Yeah, right...)

"Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you." (Mere suggestion of this type in my house would significantly raise the odds of my waking up under a pile of graphite fishing rod fragments...)

"Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or intergrity.  Remember, he is the master of the house..." (At this point, I'm laughing too hard to think of anything witty to say.)

By contrast, consider the advice of Raymond Camp from his book All Seasons Afield with Rod & Gun, written in 1939: 

"A properly tapered leader is just as essential to good casting and successful fishing as the rod, reel, line and the angler..."  (Interestingly, he notes that good silkworm-gut leaders are hard to get because of the Spanish Civil War).

"The novice should avoid extremes in his first rod, both in the matter of action and price." (He notes that for a beginner, a $12-$15 rod is good enough).

"Water often wears a hollow in the lee of a large rock or boulder, and such a hollow often contains a nice fish."  (True indeed.)

So there you have it.  From the Ray Camp, good advice then; good advice now.

From the housekeeping magazine, perhaps good advice then; advice that if even remotely similar words came from my mouth in my wife's presence now, would produce a reaction only slightly better than self-immolation.

The moral of the story: Read more outdoor books and magazines, because fishing, and writing about fishing, are, when all is said and done, America's most reliable cultural compass.

Deeter

 

Comments (19)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Is that why it's so hard to do your job? Just thumb through old boxes of your dads outdoor mags and pick something that sounds good? Kidding of course.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Deeter-
I'm trying to get "lucky" tonight,it being "Freaky Friday!"

I'm sure my beautiful and loving wife will express her displeasure with the fine print.

Read the tiny print in the lower left hand corner of the "Housekeeping Monthly"..."A good woman always knows her place."

Oh well...the fish are bitin'!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I actually saw this a couple of years back and gave it to my wife. She didn't take it seriously for some reason. I even told her it was from a "women's" magazine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I had this emailed to me several years back, to only live back then, thanks for letting the women out of the kitchen Dad and Grandpa, wrecked it for us...Lol.........

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from senglund wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm glad my wife likes to fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

You KNOW if you tried to bring up that Houskeeping Monthly NOW the "wife" would beat you to death with it and find a "ism" for "justifiable homicide".(LOL).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Great story Deeter. Ahhhh, to be married in the 50's!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm not sure if I want that kind of wife. She's taking away all the reasons for me to drink too much.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

To Buckhunter: YOU ARE TO FUNNY ! ! !(LOL/LMAO)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I have read a similar article and it just goes to show how much times have changed. I actually like the fact my wife has an opinion and is not afraid to express it.

She also loves to hunt and fish, so when I say I am going to spend some money she just says, bring me something back as well!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from curmudgeon wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

And the divorce rate way back when was ...?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

dwaynez, I think you wrote that when your wife was watching.

as for me, I'd show this to my wife but I'm afraid she'll shoot the messenger!

as for my brother's wife, her being the complete opposite and in fact would love to end his hunting [something she already did to his fishing] ... yeah, she is getting a copy in the mail ... anonymous sender.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

NOW WAIT A MINUTE

I started to get suspicious. For those of us who were alive back in 1955, well, that was 1955 and not 1895 or something.

check out:
http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

haha oh the good ol days, just wished I had been alive then

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from madtrapper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

something tells me i should not give this article to my wife (of only 6 days). i am however pleased to share that i have tought her to point, retreive, and thanks to four years of culinary school she already knows how to cook, haha!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That exert from the housekeeping magazine is hilarious... too funny. Something like that would not even be taken seriously now-a-days. Hell, it will be used as a form of entertainment like now. But, fishing tactics never really change or stop working... the only thing that really changes in fishing and hunting is the gear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

READ!!!

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp

EXCERPTS:

Snopes became suspicious of internet circulation in 1999. Although they are careful to say they don't know for sure it is fake, they do say no one can authenticate it. Come on! We are talking internet urban legend here!

Furthermore:
"The graphic is a fabrication"
"As for the text itself, nobody has turned [it] up..."
"The list is often attributed to [xyz's book] but no such list appears."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I had the marriage counselor (our Pastor) bring this out at one of our pre-marital counseling sessions. My then fiance' was laughing so hard that I thought she was going to pass out. She actually started going cyanic. We got through the session alright, but I never had the heart to tell her that it wasn't a joke. Kind of backfired though- alas, she takes good care of the jar with my "boys" in them. I even get to go fishing once in a while if she is feeling generous.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

what was the suicide rate among women back then?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm not sure if I want that kind of wife. She's taking away all the reasons for me to drink too much.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from curmudgeon wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

And the divorce rate way back when was ...?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

dwaynez, I think you wrote that when your wife was watching.

as for me, I'd show this to my wife but I'm afraid she'll shoot the messenger!

as for my brother's wife, her being the complete opposite and in fact would love to end his hunting [something she already did to his fishing] ... yeah, she is getting a copy in the mail ... anonymous sender.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Deeter-
I'm trying to get "lucky" tonight,it being "Freaky Friday!"

I'm sure my beautiful and loving wife will express her displeasure with the fine print.

Read the tiny print in the lower left hand corner of the "Housekeeping Monthly"..."A good woman always knows her place."

Oh well...the fish are bitin'!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I actually saw this a couple of years back and gave it to my wife. She didn't take it seriously for some reason. I even told her it was from a "women's" magazine.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I had this emailed to me several years back, to only live back then, thanks for letting the women out of the kitchen Dad and Grandpa, wrecked it for us...Lol.........

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from senglund wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm glad my wife likes to fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

You KNOW if you tried to bring up that Houskeeping Monthly NOW the "wife" would beat you to death with it and find a "ism" for "justifiable homicide".(LOL).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Great story Deeter. Ahhhh, to be married in the 50's!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

NOW WAIT A MINUTE

I started to get suspicious. For those of us who were alive back in 1955, well, that was 1955 and not 1895 or something.

check out:
http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

READ!!!

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.asp

EXCERPTS:

Snopes became suspicious of internet circulation in 1999. Although they are careful to say they don't know for sure it is fake, they do say no one can authenticate it. Come on! We are talking internet urban legend here!

Furthermore:
"The graphic is a fabrication"
"As for the text itself, nobody has turned [it] up..."
"The list is often attributed to [xyz's book] but no such list appears."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Is that why it's so hard to do your job? Just thumb through old boxes of your dads outdoor mags and pick something that sounds good? Kidding of course.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

To Buckhunter: YOU ARE TO FUNNY ! ! !(LOL/LMAO)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I have read a similar article and it just goes to show how much times have changed. I actually like the fact my wife has an opinion and is not afraid to express it.

She also loves to hunt and fish, so when I say I am going to spend some money she just says, bring me something back as well!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

haha oh the good ol days, just wished I had been alive then

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from madtrapper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

something tells me i should not give this article to my wife (of only 6 days). i am however pleased to share that i have tought her to point, retreive, and thanks to four years of culinary school she already knows how to cook, haha!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

That exert from the housekeeping magazine is hilarious... too funny. Something like that would not even be taken seriously now-a-days. Hell, it will be used as a form of entertainment like now. But, fishing tactics never really change or stop working... the only thing that really changes in fishing and hunting is the gear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I had the marriage counselor (our Pastor) bring this out at one of our pre-marital counseling sessions. My then fiance' was laughing so hard that I thought she was going to pass out. She actually started going cyanic. We got through the session alright, but I never had the heart to tell her that it wasn't a joke. Kind of backfired though- alas, she takes good care of the jar with my "boys" in them. I even get to go fishing once in a while if she is feeling generous.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

what was the suicide rate among women back then?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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