Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Maid in the Living Room, a Cook in the Kitchen ...

In the darkest corners of the darkest places there is whispered an old, politically-incorrect adage about marriage. Such colorful anecdotes have passed out of vogue; we're told that men belittle both women and themselves when using such devisive language. Here goes. "Men want a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom." In our age of metrosexual, emotionally tempered, gender-neutral and enlightened speech, such aphorisms are ignorant and insulting. Besides ...

Do men really want a maid in the living room?

You betcha' we do, but who doesn't? I know my wife does. As a graduate of a local women's college (don't make the mistake of calling it a girl's school), my wife would undoubtedly go on to say that our maid deserves to be paid on a scale commensurate with men of similar skill and experience. I would reply by suggesting we pay said maid more than her male counterpart if she chooses to sport one of those undoubtedly drafty French maid outfits while scrubbing the baseboards or vacuuming the living room. Marriage is all about compromise.

How about a cook in the kitchen?

Yep. Here too, it would be nice, wouldn't it? If my wife were to derive a particular joy from cooking a New York strip or a well marbled rib eye, then I certainly would not deny her. And again, if she chose to wear one of those frilly French maid outfits then I might happily consider an adjustment to her compensation. Of course, we need to bear in mind that my wife cooks about as well as she changes out head gaskets on '71 Cougar convertibles. It just doesn't happen (it's a joke honey ... love you lamb chop ... I'm going to starve now).

A whore in the bedroom?

I'm already going to be in the doghouse after the cooking comment. A whore in the bedroom? There is just no way I'm going there. I haven't that kind of courage. My wife is pure as the driven snow; my three children were all immaculately conceived. As I am simultaneously blinded by my wife's beauty and incapable of remembering those women who came before her (if in fact there were any), I do not feel qualified to offer an opinion. Instead ...

Let's talk about river bound whores or whorefish as my partners and I call them. I love, desperately and truly love, whorefish. Surely, you've a taste for whorefish as well? What's a whorefish? Come on. I refuse to believe that in a sport largely dominated by a catch-and-release ethic you haven't had a whorefish. Whorefish have been known, in the biblical sense, by other anglers. Many anglers. Many times over.

The Madison River in Montana is filled with whores. This is especially true of the short section in between Quake and Hebgen lakes. So many fish. So many fishermen. Cross the river at the campground below Beaver Creek, fish downstream to the head of Quake, and nearly every rainbow you catch will have scars up and down either side of their jaws. Many will be missing a mandible on one side. Scarred as they are, they are some of the most powerful fish you've ever had tethered to your rod. They're fast and they are easy. They make men feel like men.

My local trench also has its share of harlots. One of my favorite runs, a flat of 100 yards or so, has been dubbed "The Brothel" because it houses any number of these fish. Caught time and again, year after year, the brothel's piscatorial prostitutes never fail to disappoint. They arrive in time for the hendricksons, and they've vanished when the sulphurs appear. I spend each winter dreaming of the coming spring, fantasizing about the whores I've had and those I'll have again. I've caught one particular brothel fish, every year for three successive years. I've the pictures and streaming video to prove it.

And that's what catch-and-release is all about. Isn't it? As flyflingers we're in the business of deflowering our rivers' virgins. We put our marks on them, and then we put them back. We catch for our own sake. We release for the sake of both fish and other fishermen.

Untouched fish are special. This much is true, but ...

I love whorefish too.

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