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Five Insufferable Fishing Phrases

Fishing quotes. Angling maxims. Phrases you are tired of seeing printed on the kitschy doodads that friends and family “saw and thought of you!”

But even worse than a knick-knack emblazoned with these tiresome sayings is actually having someone speak them to you. With serious intent in heart. That, my friends, can be too much to bear.

Maybe I’m jaded. Perhaps I’m a bad person. But I thought I’d lay out some of the most infamous quips that have ever offended the sensibilities of a fly fisher.

Editorial note: I’ve formatted each quote in bold, and emphasized all with an exclamation point. Hopefully this construes the tone and smarminess that usually accompanies the utterance of such obnoxious idioms.

“A bad day fishing is better than a good day working!”

False. There isn’t anything inherently bad about work. I’ve had plenty of fishless, sweaty, freezing, or otherwise disastrous days out on the water to call this one’s bluff. If you don’t fish a lot, then a bad day fishing seems like a waste. If you fish hundreds of days every year, then a bad day is most definitely a squandered opportunity to do something else. Can’t see the sense in this? Get your priorities in order.

“There is a reason they call it fishing and not catching!”

Yes, because the entire goal is to catch fish. I’ve said this innumerable times in an ironic fashion, but if a friend, guide, or onlooker ever said this to me on a day when I was getting skunked I might snap. “Hey, do you want to go catching?” That sounds like some weird thing teenagers do that 20/20 has to do a special on to inform otherwise oblivious parents. No one in their right mind thinks about fishing in any way that divorces the activity from catching fish. People.

“All fishermen are liars!”

Maybe… if your perception of “fishermen” is the greasy, overalls type that hangs out at diners in the afternoon looking to recount their morning’s exploits. But here is the secret: all people are liars. Fishermen, if they do lie, are lying about catching/not catching a fish of a certain size. Lying isn’t good, but I’d rather deal with someone lying about a few inches difference on a trout then about their marriage, taxes, or criminal history. More like, “all hyperbolic statements are stupid.”

“You can never have too much gear!”

“Yes, good evening sir. This is Monica with your Bank of America Visa. We’re calling to notify you that your line of credit has been temporarily suspended due to lack of payment on the balance. I see here that you have maxed out your card at… is that Cabela’s? And there are a number of charges on here with the word ‘tackle’ in the description. Could someone be using your card fraudulently? Sometimes, such repetitive usage is indicative of Chinese hackers.” Or people with no self-control.

“Fishing is a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other!”

Okay, this is funny. Cheesy and corny, but funny.


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