Ah, fall. That time of year when I should be fishing but I’m firmly planted on the couch, wading from football to baseball playoffs and back again. I don’t watch a whole lot of television. Sports are really the only thing that will get me to stop and zone out for a prolonged period of time. Even fishing shows hardly keep my attention. So consequently, every September/October I get exposed to all of these “commercials” everyone keeps talking about.
And, boy, have I learned that I don’t have what I need in life! I’ve been living this whole time – content with my family, functional cars, and little fly fishing hobby – completely unaware that my cell phone carrier, financial institution, and fast food taco/cheese ratio are all woefully inadequate! Good thing I’ve got a credit card handy… but is it the right one?!?
Another thing I’ve (re)learned is that fly fishing is for people in the twilight of life. “The olds,” as some might call them. Why? Because every third life insurance, mutual fund, and *ahem* male pharmaceutical advertisement features a quasi-masculine gent of about 55-65 whipping some poor fly line about a river out west.
First off, let me get one thing perfectly clear: I’m jealous of them. I’d gladly dress like a caricature of a fly fisherman and cast poorly with a stupid grin on my face for a few hours of shooting if I got to fish afterwards. But I digress.
What is this communicating about the sport? Fly fishing is the in-between-times pursuit of those who have to get their affairs in order prior to departing this mortal coil? Wide-brim hats, wicker creels, and galvanized rubber waders are still a thing? (The Unaccomplished Angler has a breakdown of this phenomenon.) Oh, and why are we saying that it is a disproportionate number of fly fishers need *ahem* help in that category?
Aren’t we past such stereotypes? Haven’t we progressed as a people and a culture to the point where we can readily and happily live inclusively? Women fly fish too! So too do males outside of the Just For Men and IcyHot demographic. Is that the best we can get for commercials? Is this the only time I get to see me (you know, a middle-class white male) represented on the television?
I refuse. Doritos needs to partner with RepYourWater (state-flavored, fish-shaped chips… or vice-versa). Get some beautiful 20-something hipsters to “explore their world” through angling in some abstract commercial for Fiat. Heck, put Hank Patterson in a beer ad. That dude can sell.
We’re better than that, fly fishers. You’re better than that, ad agencies who are trying to communicate serenity, contentment, and well-deserved leisure.
So enough with the funeral home, last will and testament, hip replacement, denture cream, reverse mortgage, adult diaper commercials featuring guys wandering around some creek with their reel on backwards, pulling in dead rainbow trout from the local Kroger. Enough!
But seriously, I’ll shill any or all of those things if you represent a company that markets such wonderful products and/or services if you fly me out west and let me fish. My contact info is on this website.