Fly Fishing needs Dirty Harry

Not long ago I posted a blog entry that essentially regurgitated others’ thoughts about the need for increasing participants in the sport of fly fishing. One idea was for some of the *10,000 fly anglers, who are also writers, to begin pitching articles to non-fishing industry magazines. I heeded that call and am happy to report that I’ve already been snubbed twice by certain publications that felt fly fishing was not a suitable topic. This got me to thinking, so I began to dig around for information on the matter of fly fishing’s declining numbers. (* courtesy Tom Bie, Angling Trade, December 2010)

Somewhere in my investigation I came upon some statistics indicating that participation in the sport of fly fishing is down from 6.7 million to 5.6 million since 2000 (see graph above). Based on these figures I did some math and concluded that there are 1.1 million fewer people fly fishing today than there were ten years ago. That represents a daunting decline in dollars for those who make their living in the fly fishing industry, but for the individual angler who thinks there are already too many people competing for a spot on the riverbank, that number can’t be high enough. We are an industry somewhat divided, and we must find unity if we are to succeed.

Let’s dismiss the latter point of view because that’s just plain selfish.  We were all beginners at one time or another. None of us alive and actively fishing today were the first angler to call a particular piece of water our own, and unless one fish’s private water it’s all public domain. In other words we have to share with others, and those who complain about overcrowding need to get over it. Stop with the territorial mentality already–we need newcomers to the sport. There’s plenty of secluded water out there for those willing to seek it out, so take a hike.

Back to the matter of declining numbers of fly anglers—why is this?  Certainly no single person has a definitive answer, because if they did then the problem would have been solved by now. I’m not going to speculate on all that may be to blame, instead I’d like to propose a solution that doesn’t require any amount of work on the part of the 10,000 writing fly anglers.

One needn’t look too far into the world of fly fishing before coming across mention of the dramatic effect had by a certain movie on the industry. Following the 1992 blockbuster hit based on Norman MacLean’s 1976 novel, A River Runs Through It, the fly fishing world saw a dramatic influx of new people coming to the sport. The movie and book certainly paint a pretty picture of fly fishing in a natural and unspoiled Montana, so there was likely that romantically nostalgic attraction. Brad Pitt’s appeal probably didn’t hurt when it came to recruiting some ladies to the sport either, although I’m not sure what the rationale behind that was. Did the ladies really think they’d meet guys that look like Brad Pitt simply by taking an interest in fly fishing? Whatever the exact reason, there was a rise in the popularity of fly fishing for a period of time following the film’s release.  After realizing that not all or even many any fly fishermen look like Brad Pitt, interest waned and continues to do so today. The river that once ran through it has all but dried up and we’re desperately in need of some serious snow pack in the mountains of the industry.

A River Runs Through It, definitely.

In 2010 another fly fishing-themed-book-turned-movie was released, sort of. The River Why was released in April but only to critics. It made the rounds of the film festivals and reviews have been moderate for the most part (here is one review by Tom Bie of The Drake). There were legal wranglings between the movie producer, the book’s publisher and author David James Duncan before the movie was completed, and while the movie is out (sort of), it does not have the love and support of Duncan. Whether the fly fishing world is sitting on the edge of its seat waiting for the movie, and expecting a dramatic after-effect, remains yet to be seen. In order for the movie to be a mainstream hit and capture the allure of fly fishing like A River Runs Through It did, it needs to be better than just moderate.  As a book, The River Why is excellent, but will the movie, if it is ever released to theaters, offer a shot in the arm for the fly fishing industry? That is an unanswered question.

UPDATE: Since this report was published, the producer of the film stopped by the comment section of this blog (the reach and power of the internet never ceases to amaze). Thanks to Kristi Denton Cohen for chiming in with an update on film.

The River Why, who knows?

Recently there was a flurry of excitement on the internet over Oprah’s fly fishing escapades. While it provided something to talk about briefly, Oprah is probably not going to be the voice that will hook new anglers and keep manufacturers and retailers in the black, while also adding a valuable infusion of new blood to conservation efforts. As far as the fly fishing industry is concerned, the “O” in Oprah is probably just a big “zero”.

The River O, no.

One fateful day while seated quietly in the Lotus position and searching for more answers, I came across this YouTube clip of Clint Eastwood on the David Letterman show in 2006. They were discussing the likelihood, or not, of another Dirty Harry movie. Suddenly it hit me: Fly fishing needs a kick in the pants and Dirty Harry may be just the man for the job. Please take a minute to view this short clip – pay close attention at 1:12.

If we go back in cinematic history, we see that unlike A River Runs Through It, Eastwood’s Dirty Harry was no one-hit wonder. On the contrary, it was the first of five successful films featuring detective Harry Callahan: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and The Dead Pool (1988). The span of years between the movies is indicative that the public waited eagerly to embrace the next adventure of Dirty Harry, so we have every reason to believe that after 23 years the public is waiting with outstretched arms for the return of Inspector Callahan. Absence only makes the box office grow fonder—heck, even Brad Pitt’s wife, Angelina Jolie, seems to think Dirty Harry is a hot ticket.

So, why Dirty Harry? How can he fuel an interest in a sport that seems to be in a tailspin? The reasons are many. Here are just a few:

1.  Callahan is not some rich guy. For example in Dirty Harry, rather than allow doctors to use scissors to cut off his trousers in order to treat a wound to the leg, Harry insists on removing the pants himself even though doing so will hurt. The pants cost him $29.50: “Let it hurt,” he demands. This dispels the notion that fly fishing is for the wealthy elite. If Harry were a rich man, he’d not have thought twice about ruining his trousers.

2. Dirty Harry is a real man. Men respect him in ways they could never respect, say, Brad Pitt. Gear chuckers and bait fishermen may even make the transition to fly fishing because of Dirty Harry: he’s a guy everyone can rally behind. Women like a real man, too, though for obvious reasons I personally wouldn’t know about that.

3. Detective Callahan is memorable. Several quotes that came from the character of Dirty Harry can be still be found in use today. For example, everyone has heard and perhaps even borrowed the famous call to action, “Make my day.” Name one memorable quote from A River Runs Through It, besides “I am haunted by waters.”

4. He’s straight-talking and authoritative.  When Dirty Harry speaks, people tend to sit up straight and listen, or get their butts kicked (or worse). A perfect spokesman for the industry, right there: anglers would wait with baited breath for Harry as the keynote speaker at a Fly Fishing Show, or as the emcee for the Fly Fishing Film Tour! Spey claves across the country would welcome Dirty Harry as a featured presenter and one can easily envision crowds of attendees raucously chanting, “Make my Spey!” as Eastwood takes the stage. Anglers and non-anglers alike would flock in droves to hear him, and the result will be more anglers. And when the law is laid down by Dirty Harry, those newcomers to the sport will listen up and take note when it comes to proper etiquette. It’s important that the industry not just attract new participants, but educate them properly: enter professor Callahan.

5. Harry is a man of conviction. Always standing up for justice in his movies, he was unfaltering and steady in the face of a chaotic world. That type of stability is what we all look for in a leader. Beyond attracting newcomers to the sport, Detective Callahan could single-handedly Stop the Pebble Mine, remove dams on the Snake River, and put an end to governmental mis-management of our state and federal fisheries. Hell, Dirty Harry could even reverse the Boldt Decision if wanted to.

6. Dirty Harry is a man for everyone, making him the perfect bridge for the generation gap that many claim exists within the fly fishing arena.  He’s a source of inspiration for people his own age and a beacon of admiration for everyone else. Dirty Harry is the guy who will make old folks get up off their butts, and he’s the guy who will make young people pull their pants up above their butts. Through either intimidation or admiration, Dirty Harry can provide the unity the industry needs.

The list could go on, but with your best interests in mind I’ll stop there.

Obviously, as Eastwood joked about in his interview with Letterman, the Harry Callahan of today is too old to be serving on any police force (except for maybe Twin Bridges, MT). But what about the same man, albeit aged and perhaps a bit mellower, embarking on a retired life of fly fishing with an occasional stint as a game warden? Through his travels he could bring the beauty of fly fishing to the masses, put to rest certain myths and misconceptions about the sport, and send a strong message to wrong-doers, law-breakers and low-holers. Eastwood could pull it off. He’s a man who can make any movie he pleases.

“I know what you’re thinkin…”

Imagine it: Harry Callahan along the edge of a river, clad in waders and wearing his trademark “squint” as he prepares to throw out a cast to a large, wary fish lying behind a distant boulder. He looks down the long graphite shaft of a fly rod and quietly growls:  “I know what you’re thinking—’Did he cast six times, or only five?’ Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Brand X (manufacturers would pay handsomely to insert their brand and model here) fly rod, the most powerful fly rod on the market so you will not snap me clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, fish?”

It’s not difficult to see the potential for a great movie, but the clock is ticking. Yes, Eastwood appears to be in excellent physical health, but the man is 80 years old so we don’t have eternity to waste in getting this movie made.  While time is not endless, the possibilities are:

And if for some reason a new movie starring Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry isn’t in the cards, CGI technology is wildly impressive.  Maybe we can at least hope for a remake of A River Runs Through It starring a young Clint Eastwood, instead of that other guy.

Mr. Eastwood, are you listening?  Fly fishing needs you.  Fly fishing needs Dirty Harry.

Fly anglers, we need to spread the word if we’re going to get Dirty Harry on board. Eventually Mr. Eastwood will see the industry’s cry for help and hopefully come to our aid. Surely he’s got one more movie in him, and this one could be his magnum opus.

Now, we all realize that the above post was merely tongue-in-cheek humor and a fly fishing movie featuring Dirty Harry isn’t likely to be made. However, here is one that stands a very real chance: Olive the Woolly Bugger


  1. David Gibson

    Really made me laugh on a wet friday when I should be Grayling fishing in North Yorkshire but all the rivers are flooded and the colour of coffee.



    • Kirk Werner

      My pleasure, David- glad you enjoyed. I just hope you didn’t spew any coffee through your nose.

  2. Patrick

    Kirk, you may have come up with the only way fly fishing can recover from Oprah’s shenanigans (didn’t hire a local guide, cameramen traipsing through the best riffles). I’m confident that Mr. Eastwood would enjoy one last turn to his roots: For a Few Fish More?

    • Kirk Werner

      Pat, the sky is the limit…I would have done a “movie poster” of others, but I began to realize that perhaps I’d already done too many, indicative of winter-induced insanity.

  3. Harry

    Wow! This took some serious work to put this together. Is this the kind of stuff that happens when cabin fever sets in? All joking aside, a very nice piece and very well done. It may well go down as your “classic post”.

    • Kirk Werner

      Harry? Dirty…Harry? Admittedly I spent way more time on this than a person of sound mind would admit to- working on it since before Christmas. But then I realized something as important as saving the fly fishing industry requires great effort. Cabin fever, sorta like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”? Yeah, that. Glad you enjoyed.

  4. Brett Colvin

    This post gets the Colvin Seal of Excellence, and I only have one recommendation: You should have photoshopped Clint Eastwood’s face into all of the movie posters instead of just using clips of Tom Brokaw appearances from Pirates of the Flats.

    • Kirk Werner

      Brett- I just blew coffee out my nose thanks to your Tom Brokaw comment. You’ll be hearing from my attorney, sir!
      I must say, achieving the Colvin Seal of Excellence is humbling! Do you have an actual seal of approval that I can add to the blog post?

  5. CD

    Brilliant punk….

    • Kirk Werner

      CD, normally I wouldn’t let anyone but my wife get away with calling me punk, but given the theme of the day I’ll let it side this one time.

  6. Derek Young


    This is brilliant. Your artistry and voice have really come through on this entry. Bravo.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Derek- your praise humbles me.

  7. Paul Schmur

    Thanks Kirk, everyone thinks I’m insane for laughing like a maniac in my office. Also thanks for the coffee out my nose and allover my desk.

    • Kirk Werner

      You’re in good company, Paul- insanity is a key theme in this post. The late nights I spent working on it, losing sleep and getting behind on real work are indicative of an irrational compulsion. But if it caused the workplace devastation as you suggested, it was well worth my time. The real indication of insanity is that I wasn’t completely kidding. We need a Dirty Harry movie with a fly fishing theme. It could be huge.

  8. Owl Jones

    Hilarious! 🙂 That said, I rather prefer the number of anglers we have about now that are into fly fishing. Those early 2000’s saw alot of cars along alot of streams in my neck of the woods. Not sayin people shouldn’t get into it, or even that it’s a bad thing when they do for rod companies, fly shops, and blogs…;)….but I sure do like pulling up to the river and seeing only a handful of other anglers, instead of the hordes that flooded the rivers back then. Just sayin’….

    Maybe Eastwood could instead star in “One Shot, One Birdie.” ???


    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Mr. Jones. Admittedly it’s a challenge to find the right balance. I agree that there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of fly angling folks whenever I head out to nearly all the waters I fish. However, as one who has a vested interest in bringing newcomers to the sport, I too want to see newcomers to the sport. Well-known spots will always attract folks, but we can keep our honey holes under lock and key, eh?

      Golf? Hate the game.

  9. Mysticfish

    Well done! I like your theme, imagination and movie posters. I think “High Plains Driftboater” has a real shot at success. Plenty of room for stunning cinematography and plenty of action in crowded boat landings and small town western bars.

    • Kirk Werner

      Mystic, thanks for chiming in and for the good words. I admit, High Plains Drift Boater has great potential, and I very much like your idea for some good action scenes (add a low-holer into the mix as well). If it comes to production perhaps the studio will bring you on as a consultant. Dirty Harry’s voice would be loud in opposition to the damn Pebble Mine as well.

  10. FlyFishMap

    Brilliant! LMAO! I can picture you receiving the Oscar for Best Screenplay 2012! If you get Clint, you could almost certainly pick from a selection of fly fishing supporting actors such as Jake Gyllenhall, Robert Redford, Liam Neeson, Hermione from Harry Potter, Jane Seymour, and either Eric Clapton or Roger Daltrey from the Who could do the soundtrack.

    For what its worth my fave is ‘when dirt harry met yellow sally’.. i nearly had a trouser accident.

    • Kirk Werner

      Fly Fish Map- I’m humbled by your lofty praise, and filled with regret over the near-trouser accident. Thanks for chiming in with your comment. EC composing a bluesy soundtrack would be killer…I can see that I gotta up my game in order to cause a full on trouser accident next time around.

  11. Ivan

    not too sure “the gauntlet” would draw in new anglers, but I am pretty sure “when dirty harry met yellow sally” or “high plains drift boat” would do the trick. brilliant post, kirk.

    • Kirk Werner

      Ivan, you’re right. The editing room floor is always full of mis-guided ideas that never went anywhere! Thanks for the comment.

  12. Wolfy

    I marvel at your creative talent, and envy your apparently endless amount of free time!

    Awesome movie poster assortment


    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Joe…clearly I’m suffering from cabin fever and a lack of getting out and fishing. Idle hands are the unaccomplished angler’s workshop.

  13. JayMorr

    Can you imagine the Oscar Awards? Dude walkin up with his hip boots….

    “Rippin Lips, polic’n mywatahs! Thank you”

    Great stuff!

    • Kirk Werner

      Jay, that’s some good stuff right there. Maybe you and Brett can be directors of cinematography. I believe we have a Blockbuster Hit on our hands…

  14. Barry C. Shrader

    Your article is both entertaining and brilliant. I don’t know if Dirty Harry is the answer however. If there are indeed 10,000 fly fishers who write then the answer may lie within these numbers. I’ve stuck with one river since 1981 and in 2002 started promoting fly fishing on Blue River in southern Oklahoma. In 2002, a fly fisher from Texas and I formed the Blue River Fly Fishers with just the two of us as members. Today, we have had over 570 people join the group. It does get a little crowded at times, but makes this old heart feel pretty darn good. The more fans of fly fishing, the more stewards of our outdoor resources. So… let’s get busy writing and promoting the waters we fish. Long live Blue River.

    • Kirk Werner

      Barry, thanks for chiming in, and for your efforts to promote the sport. I’m banking my kids’ inheritance on the future of fly fishing, trying to get kids involved through my series of children’s books. I’m afraid I’ll leave nothing for my kids unless thousands of kids worldwide discover my books 😉 I’ll admit that a Dirty Harry movie is just a selfish dream of mine, but who knows? Maybe Mr. Eastwood himself will see this parody and find it within himself to make one more great movie! OK, well, back to my delusional thinking…

      Cheers to you, sir.

  15. Kristi Denton Cohen

    This really is hilarious! Really love the posters.

    Do want to give an update on “The River Why”. We’ll have a limited theatrical release of the film toward the middle of the year with DVD, VOD, etc. close behind. A percentage of the profits from the film will be donated to river and fish conservation groups. We’ll also be partnering with some to not only encourage the audience to experience the wonder and beauty of the waters, but also learn how to better take care of them.

    • Kirk Werner

      OK, I gotta say this is quite an accomplishment that my paltry little blog has reached you, Kristi. I’m glad to hear that you’ve got some distribution successes on the horizon, and that you’re going to use the film to benefit the fly fishing community and conservation groups- those of us offering something to the fly fishing industry must have a conscience and give back in some way. I for one will see the movie and/or buy the DVD (trade ya for a set of my kids’ fly fishing books?). I hope for the very best for the team behind the film. Thanks for taking the time to visit the backroom of the Unaccomplished Angler.

      • Kristi Denton Cohen

        I’ll keep you posted on details, Kirk. That trade might be an option. My step-daughters are loading us up with grandkids and I know my husband wants to get them out on the river one of these days!

        • Kirk Werner

          Kristi, I was being facetious about a trade, but I’ll make you a deal instead: I’ll buy The River Why DVD when it’s available if you buy a set of my books. Honor system applies 😉

  16. Capt. Scott Yetter

    Wow… I took that permit pic.. did not rember fishing Clint Eastwood on my skiff… he told me his name was Steve…

    • Kirk Werner

      Scott, are you sure he said his name was Steve? Probably just said that to avoid the attention of the papparazzi 😉
      Credits to you for your great photo.

  17. Brad Melville

    LOL! very funny! but I personally blame orvis for turning flyfishing into a fashion show… nobody wants to feel like the fat kid at school, and its ok to be the fat kid at school.. if your on the Deschutse, Madison, or Rogue and not dressed in $45,000 worth of Orvis and Sims.. its pretty easy to be priced out of the feeling of belonging-

    • Kirk Werner


      We can’t blame Orvis, Simms or any other manufacturers- they’re just feeding a demand.

      Try to look at it this way- if you spend a few thousand bucks and get all the top gear- you’ll feel better about yourself, be more readily accepted by others, and in my case anyway, nobody will even notice how bad your casting is. And if you think you can’t afford it, you’re wrong- that’s what a credit card is for! 😉

      Thanks for chiming in with your comment.

  18. Ken Gortowski

    Paragraph 3 was worth the read by itself. Been preaching that for over 12 years.

    I’ve talked to numerous fly fishing friends about this numerous times. I fly fish, but not much. I enjoy it on rivers for smallies. Ponds for any little fish that will hit. Bigger lakes, again for anything that will hit. No interest in tying, no trout in Illinois, no big budget for items. I have a cheap Korean 3/4 weight I like to use, among a couple of others. But I hand that one to kids hanging out. Let them toss anything that looks like a bug on the water. Don’t care if the bug has a name or if it was inspired by some guy with a name. Fish eats it, they love it. Keep it simple stupid even applies to fly fishing and the fly fishing industry does a good job of not doing that. Turns people off. The industry shoots itself in the foot. I got more, but that’s enough for now. 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      Ken, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree that there’s no need to over-complicate matters when it comes to fly fishing, but in reality the industry has to push the envelope and constantly strive to introduce new things, be they products or concepts. That can take things farther from the K.I.S.S. principle, but the good thing is we can seek out and embrace whatever level of compulsion we want. For every fly fishing minimalist, I believe there are two gear junky/techique geeks. I myself do not tie flies, either. No time, and frankly I’m fiscally conservative (cheap), so I can’t get past the financial practicality of buying flies much cheaper than if I were to tie them. When you lose as many flies as I do, cost per fly matters.

      Keep the thoughts coming!

  19. Howard (cofisher)

    Wonderful post Kirk. You really set the bar high for the blogging world. I think you’ve also hit the nail on the head for the struggling fly fishing industry. I would like to also suggest Mr. Owl Jones (of the famous Fishing the Southern Blue Ridge blog) to play Harry’s sidekick. (You know the partner who always gets killed or maimed?)

    • Kirk Werner

      Howard- thanks for the nice comment, although I believe you’ll find that I am capable of new depths of blogging more often than setting the bar high. I’ll let Mr. Owl Jones address your suggestion of him playing the disposable sidekick. I dare not get in the middle of a quarrel 😉 I’ll be following Wind Knots & Tangled Lines, as well.

  20. Zach

    That is the funniest thing I have seen all day. Just made my day.

    • Kirk Werner

      Glad you enjoyed, Zach. That’s what Dirty Harry is all about- making your day.

  21. Murphy


    Great write up man!!! The industry does seem to be struggling a bit. Hopefully this recent expansion into other aquatic species will help it to regain it’s popularity. And by other i mean carp, smallies, musky, pike, gar…..those “Trash” fish that most of us have been fishing for, for the last 10 years that have come into the film spotlight.

    Tight Lines Brother!!

    • Kirk Werner

      Murphy, I concur with what you said about the alternative species. People get pretty caught up in tradition (trouts) and fail to realize that there are many other willing and in many cases much scrappier combatants waiting to hit a fly. Those toothy fish also offer a bit more of an adrenaline rush and danger factor, which forces an angler to have their wits about them. I’ve recently been fond of the Squawfish I’ve caught on several occasions. Cheers, my angling brethren!

  22. Sal Whitelock

    I can understand the need for those who make a living from the fly fishing industry wanting to expand their businesses. That is the nature of any business. However it is hard for me, living here in Montana, to wish for any more flyfisherman – or fisherman of any type – hitting our rivers. All you have to do is visit the boat launch on the Missouri at Craig, MT some nice day to find out what the impact of heavy marketing and promotion has done. And that is just one of many similar impacts.

    • Kirk Werner

      Sal, you are not alone and in fact represent a good majority of fishermans, I believe. I’ve not fish the MO, but I’ve heard firsthand accounts of the launch, mess. Popular destinations, which are popular for good reason, will always suffer from overcrowding, unfortunately. Fished the Beaverhead last May and there was one section where it was literally like fishing a Gauntlet.

  23. Rebecca

    OH MY…..
    No wonder Joe said, “Put it in the notes!”

    Mr. Unaccomplished Angler, you’ve outdone yourself here and if Clint doesn’t jump all over this I’d say it’s time to ‘right turn Clyde’ him…

    You make me laugh, as always and I’m so glad I took a few minutes out of my day to read greatness.

    • Kirk Werner

      Rebecca, I think you’re over-reacting, but I like the enthusiasm. It must have been at least decent if it was enough to get you to pull yourself away from your busy schedule and leave comments, like you used, to before you got to be a bigshot OBN Executive 😉

      I think I may retire the blog now…go out with a bang. Cause it’s all downhill from here.

      • Rebecca

        Ya, you’re probably toast now. The bar has been set higher than ever with this one. I may not have time for things like commenting at leisure anymore, but I am reading as often as I can and this blog entry will be mentioned in this weeks OBN notes ~ even better than a comment =)

        • Kirk Werner

          Agreed. There’s nothing worse than, say, a professional boxer or football player who retires, only to come out of retirement (sometimes multiple times), only to find that they should have stayed retired the first time. It’s no fun seeing a former great flounder in mediocrity or worse. That’s not to say the Unaccomplished Angler was ever great, but consider the Unaccomplished Angler retired.

  24. chuck

    Well, you are creative! However, I am delighted that unlike tennis the fly fishing industry has not been able to create a fly rod comparable to a racket that is the size of a huge frying pan so that any jamoke can participate!

    AS I have said before; the numbers of anglers declined because all the mopes that started fishing cause they like the romance of it found out it isn’t easy enough for them!

    Shall we dumb down everything in this country?

    There are a lot of people that would tell ya I am a malcontent with a penchant for confrontation . I may be the embodiment of Harry on the water. Nobody has ever wanted me in a movie however!

    All I can say is don’t high hole me – don’t low hole me – don’t get within thirty feet of me unless you want me to come over and introduce you to the my concept of good manners! Go ahead……..make my day! Don’t walk up to me and ask me anything about what I’m doing without introducing yourself first. If you walk up to me and the first words out of your mouth are anything other than , ” my name is ………. how are ya ” I will turn and ignore you!

    Am I ready for my audition?

    • Kirk Werner

      Chuck, I agree it’s liberating that fly fishing still does require some degree of ability that cannot be replaced by some technological breakthrough. We have become a society of instant gratification, where results are expected in short order without good old-fashioned hard work and effort. Luckily for those who find the sport too difficult to be worthy of their time, the used market is chock full of great deals on gently used equipment. For example, a year ago I picked up a Sage XP 8100-4 for chump change. The cork wasn’t even dirty and I could see no signs of the reel ever having been secured to the seat. I almost felt bad taking it off his hands for so cheap. I’d have to say that being a malcontent with a penchant for confrontation sounds like a good way to rupture a vein in your forehead. Brother, you gotta learn to be more like the willow and less like the oak. Dirty Harry, as a retired fly angler, would not go looking for confrontation. In fact, he may even be a student of Tai Chi in this movie. He’ll finish something started by someone else, but he won’t go looking to start anything.

      I think you may be a perfect cast as an ill-fated tough guy in this movie, in which case Dirty Harry will dispatch of you on the big screen, in front of millions of viewers. You up for that?

  25. yuhina

    well done!! really really nice! Kirk
    Evidentally your skills (both photoshopping and writing style) have reached another level!
    This is just awesome! : )

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Mark- glad you enjoyed.

  26. Chuck Atkins

    Ha, good retort!

  27. the Goosemaster

    Well well, Kirk , what a terrific read. Your creativeness is amazing. So I would assume that by the response to this post. You have more than just the usual eight loyal readers.


    • Kirk Werner

      Stan, I believe your praise (thank you, BTW) and assumptions may be somewhat lofty. I believe I had a bunch of one-timers come to the back room party after this entry, but I’m confident that they won’t be back. It’ll be back to the same old group of 8 loyalists. I’m OK with that, and grateful to them.

  28. double happiness

    There are far too many times that a random exploration down the links of the web result in that empty feeling of having once again wasted a forever unrecoverable period of one’s life. Then again, there are times that lead to brilliance like this…………politics, philosophy, economics of flyfishing aside, I have a unexpected smile that is most welcome!

    • Kirk Werner

      Double Happiness,

      While I take issue with having been referred to as “Sir”, I do appreciate the good words and am glad if I was able to contribute to the origins of your screen identity. Thank you for the comment, and I hope your happiness continues to double.

  29. David G

    Kirk, you have outdone yourself and you are officially out of control. You are right, and it is possible that Clint Eastwood could be the Chuck Norris of fly fishing.

    I’m with Stan “The Goosemaster” here. It took me longer to read the comments than it did the article.

    I’m going to share this with my (now 2) fly fishing buddies. Good work Kirk!

    • Kirk Werner

      David, thanks for the good word and hint of cautionary concern over my admittedly borderline sanity. I admit, I need to get out and fish- to regroup and gather my wits about me. Fortunately tomorrow I am doing just that. You’ve almost got as many fly fishing buddies as I have loyal followers of this here blog. Good on ya!

  30. Dave

    Throw in a couple stock market crashes, a huge recession and nearly 10% unemployment that’s not going away anytime soon. That 1.1 million is going to get a lot bigger before it gets smaller regardless of Dirty Harry and his Z-Axis.

    • Kirk Werner

      Dave- you just depressed me, man. I’ve been trying to live in denial, pretending that my IRA didn’t lose over half it’s value and my nest egg didn’t crack and spoil. There’ll be more good used gear for sale for those able to bottom feed.

  31. Swamp Thing

    Clutch post and while I could spend all day being ecstatic about the graphics (which are awesome), you hit on the big point.

    Outdoor participation is going down in most traditional sports – the ones that have licenses and mandatory stamps. At least out on the east coast, I think it’s because of 5 main facts:

    1) access probably got “as bad as it gets” just 5 years ago, and is BARELY getting better, and therefore, some people just hang it up

    2) these sports are freaking expensive, which means folks are unlikely to spend $600 on basic gear, get hooked, and then have to buy another $1000 in proper gear

    3) the baby boomers did an absolute piss poor job of teaching their kids to hunt and fish. my generation (X) largely doesn’t participate because no one ever taught us. How are we supposed to teach OUR kids something we know nothing about?

    4) old guys are hanging it up

    5) the economy sucks and few people are making money ample to really “get out there.”

    My big question is that once hunting and fishing are largely gone, who will pay to maintain wildlife refuges, state forests, and state parks? The equestrians? Ha! The birders? Ha! (Sierra Club lobbied to keep birding supplies exempt from the Pittman Robertson taxes). God save the wild.

    • Kirk Werner

      Swamp Thing, I agree with you on all points and would add another reason for hunting and fishing being on the decline: As you noted, overall, fewer people are passing it along to their kids. Many adults got caught up in the drive to work all the time and spend no time doing things with their kids. Add to that the fact that we now have the video game generation of kids preferring to sit inside and play Cabela’s Big Game Hunter and Monster Bass rather than actually putting down their Cheetos and Twinkies and going outside. And you are correct: as hunters and fishermen, we are the most staunch supporters of game and conservation of any group. Without us, there’ll be a lot of animals dying of disease and starvation and getting hit on the highway. Thanks for your comments.

  32. The Falconer's Wife

    OK, that really made me laugh. It was a work of art.
    Awesome graphics, too!

    • Kirk Werner

      Dear Mrs. Falconer,

      Thanks for stopping by for a little dose of ridiculum. By the way, I’m fascinated by folks that keep and hunt with birds. In my next life I may try my hand at being an unaccomplished falconer.

  33. Pat Tennyson

    Really enjoyed that,
    Where will the location for the film be? eh perhaps Ireland, on the Fane, at Magoney. I can see it already, the film crew, the press, lights, camera, action, let it roll ‘cast’. By the way I have a great idea for the script of the film, that includes (obviously) fly fishing, laughter, murder, intrigue, remorse, the lot. This comes from a real life experience I had while fly fishing one summer evening a few years back that nearly ended in tragedy.
    Anyway, well done and everything is possible.

    • Kirk Werner

      Pat, thanks for the enjoying. The way I see it, Dirty Harry, living large on his San Francisco Police Department pension, can travel all over the world on his fishing excursions. Ireland seems like a logical setting, what with Detective Callahan returning to his Irish roots an all. Your real list experience sounds intriguing- perhaps a Gues Blog is in order?

  34. Mark Mahoric

    It’s Not Dirty Harry, It is a 44 Mag.

    Take Care

    Mark Mahoric

  35. Dan Hydinger

    Great Article!! I recently came up with some creative advertising for our shop to attract a new generation of anglers and to peak the interest of old. The advertising was a success only to be scrutinized by other shop owners. I would rather take a risk instead of sitting on the sidelines. We all know how well that has done for our industry. Everyone is waiting for next Lefty Kreh to emerge.

    • Kirk Werner

      Dan, I’d love to hear about your “outside the box” advertising!

  36. Tim Pearson

    Great fun! Did you know that Mr. Eastwood purshased Bing Crosby’s old ranch near Hat Creek on the Rising River? I knew a young guide, whose name escapes me, who befriended Mr. Eastwood’s mother who lived at the ranch and got to fly fish there. Ol’ Bing placed a weir across the stream to prevent the 5 lb + browns he stocked from migrating downstream into Hat Creek. If you ever wanted to sneak in, a CHP officer lived near the confluence and always parked his cruiser at the access. Any other stories?

    • Kirk Werner

      Wow, Tim, you are several steps closer to having fished with Eastwood than me! Thanks for commenting.

  37. Realist

    While you’re at it, why don’t you also go get a female? Emma Watson possibly – I heard she LOVES fly-fishing! 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      I thought about that, Mr. Realist, but Dirty Harry Potter has already been thought of.

  38. Wade

    That was very good. I had tears when I saw the “the Good, the Bad, and the Chumugly” poster. Not only that, but there was some great lines in there, too.

    • Kirk Werner

      Glad you enjoyed, Wade! Thanks for stopping by.

  39. kettlefisher

    Without a doubt one of the best blogs I have seen from you Kirk and I love them all…Well done.

    I particularly like “Sister Sara” and “Pale Writer”

    Thanks for a few giggles and another veiw at reviving the industry and sport.


    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks, Bud. I appreciate the good sentiment. I may never produce another entry that rivals the popularity of this one, but what I will do is strive to produce solid entertainment recycle it as often as I can 😉

  40. Michael O.

    I think the only problem is…he’s bound to to go all Dirty Harry/Gran Torino…”You feelin’ lucky, trout? Are ya, punk?” and he’ll whip out the pistol and blow it all to hell. And there’s got to be one using Play Misty for Me…or a friend’s favorite, Bronco Billy (she’s a total Eastwood nut…and I think that her choice as favorite Eastwood flick solidly categorizes her as off-kilter)

  41. Michael O.

    And…he lives in Carmel, CA so his loading up the Madison County truck and heading for the Sierras makes On Golden Trout Pond a possibility as well.

    • Kirk Werner

      I believe the possibilities are nearly endless, as you noted. However, Mr. Eastwood has yet to contact me about signing on for any of the proposed movies. One of us may be running out of time.

  42. D. Boatrig

    Great artical. Really funny to read.
    Lol, i wish I could be there now.
    I waited a video in this post, but no one.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks for reading…I’d almost forgotten about this article—by far the most popular one I ever posted—until just now 😉

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