Riddle me this ... the Dalai Lama, the county fair, and fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. What have they in common?
Here's a hint. T-rex is a CARNivore. The fair is a CARNival. The the Dalai Lama claims to be the reinCARNation of thirteen previous Dalai Lamas.
Still aren't following me?
Carnival. Carnivore. Reincarnation. Each word shares the Latin root "Carn," meaning flesh. In a purely linguistic sense, a carnival is a festival of the flesh. A carnivore like T-rex is a devourer of flesh, and the exiled leader of Tibet is reanimated flesh.
To have carnal knowledge of someone or something is to have knowledge of the flesh.
So it goes with men and women. So it goes with trout.
It was Lee Wulff who suggested that a game fish was too valuable to be caught only once. This is almost cliche, but it couldn't be more true. Please consider the following photographs.
The fish in the first photo was caught last year on my favorite stretch of my favorite river. It taped 21" long, took an emerger at the height of the hendrickson hatch, and fought like its life depended upon it - it did not. The fish in the second photo was caught two years ago on my favorite stretch of my favorite river. It taped 20" long, took a dun at the height of the hendrickson hatch, and fought like its life depended upon it - it did not.
Notice the similarities?
The spot patterns are identical. Each fish has a broken gill plate - look just ahead of the pectoral fin. Each fish has some sort of wound or infection on its lower jaw. These photographs - taken one year apart almost to the day - depict the same fish. This animal, which was caught and released several times, survived year to year relatively no worse for wear.
Catch and release works. Catch and release provides anglers with the opportunity to set free a good, solid fish one day, and admire a genuine trophy the next. Catch and release helps to ensure that our children - sons and daughters - will know their fish not for a fleeting moment, but on a first name basis.