In what has to be the most alarming research paper ever, students in the physics department at the University of Leicester determined that, in a real zombie pandemic, humanity wouldn’t last longer than 20 days.

That’s not enough time to establish relationships or build safe zones or have several years of struggle between surviving group leaders.

Which means all those zombie movies and TV shows are pure fiction.

What bothers me more is that I was a physics major, and we never covered zombies in any of my classes. That raises so many questions.

Speaking of questions, you folks have some. Let’s get to them — while there’s still time.

Q. What knot do you recommend for building leaders? (Brian M of West Monroe.)

A. Depends on the application. For trout fishing, where many sections of tippet material are tied together, knot size is important. Trout tend to notice knots, so the smaller, the better. Most trout anglers use the blood knot, but the improved blood knot is stronger.

For saltwater applications, where hard mono and/or fluorocarbon leaders are common, the double uni knot makes clean, reliable connections.

For bream and bass fishing, where leaders aren’t as critical, I most often use the surgeon’s knot. It’s simple and it works.

Instructions for these knots, and others, can be found online at LouisianaSportsman.com. Search for “get all knotted up.”

Q. Why don’t they commercially produce flies with spinner blades like they had in the past? (Fred D. of Mountain Home, Ark.)

A. There are still a few commercial flies that have spinner blades. The Pistol Pete is one. Although it comes in several variations, the one I use on occasion is their Trout No. 6 fly. It’s great for sac-a-lait.

Most newcomers to our sport today are being taught traditional concepts. Shops recognize this. While they do carry and promote cutting-edge flies, most draw the line when it comes to “hardware” such as flies with jigheads, flies with spinners and even types of spoon flies.

My feeling is this: If it’s not regulated, cast whatever you want.

Q. Why are most fly rods 9 feet long? (Marie P., Alexandria)

A. Excellent question. Honestly, I don’t know that there’s an exact answer, but I know why rods of that length have appeal.

Very long rods — such as European rods that can go to 18 feet — are capable of making very long casts and mending line on the water like no short rod can. They also are great for roll casting. 

On the other hand, they are heavy, require two hands to cast, aren’t very accurate and are totally useless in heavy cover.

Short rods — such as 6-foot or 7-foot models — can work tight cover or small water, are very accurate and very light in the hand. But they’re not the rod you want if distance is important.

For this reason, rods ranging from 8-feet to 9-feet seem to be the best compromise for distance, accuracy, mending, swing weight and a variety of fishing environments. 

Q. Where can I catch smallmouth bass in Louisiana? (Mike C., Alexandria)

A. Sadly, nowhere. This is a cool-water species that prefers clear, rocky waters — three strikes on our part.

Smallmouth love to eat flies. And when you hook one — well, as my friend Jeff Guerin says, fighting a smallmouth is like fighting a wet cat.

I’ve never asked how he knows that. 

Let’s just say it’s worth a trip to Arkansas or Tennessee to discover for yourself. 

We might not have smallmouth in our state, but we do have streams full of spotted bass and they’re almost as much fun. Pick up a copy of Pete Cooper’s book, “The Fine Art of Stream Fishing.” It has everything you need to know to chase spots.

Q. Can we make fly fishing great again? (Sean G., New Orleans)

A. Yes, and we can make it bigly.

Honestly, there’s a misconception that fly fishing isn’t as popular as it once was. Truth is, our sport has been growing at a slow but steady pace. Much of the growth can be attributed to the internet, and to numerous shows and events.

But probably what you’re hoping for — and a lot of folks are, too — is the kind of explosion in interest that took place following “The Movie,” otherwise known to regular folks as “A River Runs Through It.” It’s been 25 years now since Brad Pitt hit the big screen casting to rising trout.

There’s no fly-fishing movie in the works, but I’ve got an idea. Zombies are real popular. How about, “A River Runs Through Zombieland?”