Recently I posted the image you see below on my Facebook page with the simple comment "Enchantment...". Why? Because I like it. But in all honesty I posted it to prompt a reaction. There was almost none. It's not like I didn't expect it. Enchantment went south with the last of the grayling and passenger pigeons and about the same time as this magazine cover was published. Today, enchantment has been subjugated...seemingly conquered by bubble-gum addiction, flatulence, materialism and, sadly, focused on neo-adolescent glitz and glory.
Above the door to Charles Cotton's former fishing hut in the UK is a stone with the inscription that reads 'Piscatoribus Sacrum'.
Fly fishing, my passion of passions, suffers from asphyxiation and much of that comes from its modern idioglossia. Today pussle-gutted trout are called 'pigs', steelhead are 'hogs', smallmouth bass tagged river 'donkeys'. You get the idea. Tarpon are 'poons'. Photo's are fish porn.
Once lovely but painstakingly tied English/Scottish salmon flies - tied with exotic feathers like tragopan, golden pheasant, blue chattered and Lady Amherst's - have been replaced with uninspired mara-and-flashabou "big meat" lures with names homely enough to sour milk: Junk Yard Dog, Sex Dungeon and Drunk & Disorderly. Simplistic, mundane creations, and anyone that can tie his own shoelaces can learn to tie flies like these. That's an assumption though.
American Carrie Stevens' enduring streamer patterns will awe you (note: she never used a vise), and she created 93 different patterns.
This really isn't about nostalgia and I'm not trying to be a retro hero. But many of the values of fly fishing were established in the past. In 1873 Canadian Charles Hallock wrote, "Define me a gentleman and I will define you a "game" fish; "which the same" is known by the company he keeps, and recognized by his dress and address, features, habits, intelligence, haunts, food, and manner of eating." Above the door to Charles Cotton's former fishing hut in the UK is a stone with the inscription that reads 'Piscatoribus Sacrum'. This journal entry is written for those that most likely don't know who Charles Cotton was or what the words mean. The very same words will be seen over the entrance to the Angler’s Club of New York, the 109-year-old fishing club that once boasted members Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and Eisenhower and some fifty club members that have authored close to 200 different books on fishing.
Qwest Existere hopes to re-inject the bleeding body of fly fishing and fly tying with a sense of honor, scholarly inquisition, a sense of enchantment, beauty, and, yes, Piscatoribus Sacrum, which by-the-way translates as 'Sacred to Fishermen'. - WES:::