I've spent a lot of time with anglers who wouldn't keep a fish if their kids were starving to death. These guys, God bless them, think it's an actual sin to chunk a 2-pound bass in the cooler.
They go into spittle-spewing, eye-bulging, red-faced tantrums if the subject is even broached. Sorta like a "quality deer management" proponent when they see a photo of a kid proudly posing with a spike fresh out of its spots.
And I have to confess: I just don't get it. Yeah, I can let fish go, but ain't the real purpose behind fishing to actually keep some for dinner?
This vid shows the difficulty a die-hard catch-and-release angler has explaining the concept to Neaderthals like me.
"In fly fishing, what we typically do is we catch the fish and then we release the fish," the instructor tells a trio of men who, but for the accents, could hail from South Louisiana's horde of anglers who believe falling one fish short of a limit is a bad day.
That statement provoked a reaction to which most of us can relate.
"What the hell are you talking about?" fisherman No. 1 asks.
The resulting dialog is hysterical — and pretty much sums up the polarization of the two camps.
"I know it's a tough thing to sort of wrap your mind around, Aaron, but let me explain it like this: We catch the fish, and then we let the fish go," the instructor says.
"Into a cooler," angler No. 2 says.
"No, no, no, back into the water," the flumoxed fly fisherman says.
"Onto a stringer?" No 1 says, grinning at his buddies.
"No, no," the instructor says. "It's like this: You catch the fish, right? Then you carefully remove the fly from the fish's mouth, get a quick picture of yourself with it, and then you let the fish go back into the river."
And that's when angler No. 3 pipes up, asking the central question we fish-eaters have about the entire catch-and-release concept.
"Then how the hell you eat 'em?" the completely confused fisherman asks.
Be sure and watch the entire video — if you like filling the ice chest, you're sure to get a good laugh.
And if you're one of those who thinks there's a special place in Hell reserved for anyone who hauls home a 5-pounder for supper, well, I apologize in advance.
But you'll still probably laugh.