Fly Fishing Still Needs Dirty Harry

Last year I dropped a subtle hint for the fly fishing industry to rally around Clint Eastwood, to lobby him to make a film that would unite and revitalize the industry. The industry was down in numbers of participants, which translates to lost revenue for those who make a living in one aspect of fly fishing or another. Fewer people fishing means fewer licenses being sold and less money for conservation programs. And we’re no better off today than we were at this same time a year ago. The blog entry in question, Fly Fishing Needs Dirty Harry, put the UA on the map, and subsequently put me into retirement. But after giving it some thought I refused to be a quitter and climbed back on the horse. Be that good or bad, here I am. But this isn’t about me.

It’s about fly fishing. It’s about America.

You don’t need the Unaccomplished Angler to tell you that Clint Eastwood moves people. Just look at his recent Superbowl commercial (can we even say that word–Superbowl? I think it’s trademarked, or something). Admittedly, I watch the Superbowl for the ads, and in most years the ads are pretty darn entertaining. This year they seemed rather lackluster, save for Chrysler’s spot which featured a gravelly-voiced Eastwood declaring, “It’s halftime in America.” Essentially Clint told us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and kick some ass. He growled at us to set aside differences, do what’s right and act as one. In 30 seconds, he united America and solved our economic woes.

The Great Uniter.

This ad just proves what I suggested last year: Eastwood is the perfect choice to bring fly fishing together, to unite us for the better of all. If he can solve the economic problems facing America, he can sure as hell fix what ails fly fishing. I hate to say I told you so, but if industry leaders had listened to me, it might well have been a different ad that aired during halftime of the Superbowl: instead of Chrysler, it could easily have been a fly fishing industry conglomerate speaking as one voice through Eastwood. While that didn’t happen, all is not lost–there’s still something that can be done to insure that fly fishing makes a comeback. My call to action last year may have fallen on deaf ears, but the industry can still listen to Clint. And you can listen to Clint HERE.

America needs Dirty Harry. And so still does fly fishing. Once again I am stating my plea to industry leaders: call everyone together for a round table. Get everyone in the same room, sit down, and unite as one voice. And let that voice tell Clint Eastwood that he is needed. Just one movie–to move us–to bring us toward salvation.

(Thanks to Sean Sanders over at Up The Poudre, for providing the title for this “movie”)


  1. Patrick

    Tell you what, I was ready to kick some a** myself after that commercial; felt like slapping someone with my bootstraps, that’s for sure.

    BTW, you’re safe with “Superbowl,” the NFL prefers “Super Bowl.” Despite my writing this comment, since it appears on your blog, I figure you’ll be responsible for any consequence arising from the use of this noun without the NFL’s express written consent…

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks for the clarification that it is Super Bowl. May have been an inadvertent typo on my part, but it may also be a mistake that saves me legal hassles, since I didn’t use the correct term, which is Super Bowl.

  2. Ivan

    I don’t like the fact that Dirty Harry implied that America only has 235 more years of existence….unless we go into overtime.

    • Kirk Werner

      Ivan, I think he was actually being very generous. Everyone knows that according to the Mayans the world ends on December 21st of this year. If we wake up on December 22nd, anything after that is gravy. I’ll tell you what I’m doing on December 21st: fishing.

  3. Mysticfish

    Long live the Troutlaw! I backed your plan last year and I’m still on board. As far as the deal with the Mayan calender ending, that’s perfect. Not dates; no work week; one long, eternal fishing weekend. We will really need Clint Eastwood aka: Dirty Harry.

    • Kirk Werner

      It’s good to have you in my camp, Fred. When our schedules clear (after Dec 21st), I’ll be over to fish the Mo with you. Got a hawg brown with my name on it. SUPER BOWL, indeed.

  4. Nutto

    Well Kirk ,
    It goes like this this industry as you put it has gone through so many changes. I dont think we are lacking in people out fishing ,license sales may have dropped here and there.The thing is the economy is in the super toilet bowl! People who use to fish and hunt cant afford the licenses any more. It is just that simple. Those of us who would fish or die just do it. Nost other license sales are from people who just go once in awhile.
    What we need to a president who will stand up to the Corporate giants known as the banks ( if the out law Jose Walles was in charge he would just shoot them ). We have been given poor choices for a president .Romney is a bank boy by the way so voting for him will just keep us where we are.
    Fishing industry ( never have liked that as a name ) industry implies something. The industry is what is killing fishing ! We need need need ,so now rich A holes are buying up land and cutting off access ,then out west you have far to many hatcheries messing up the natural ecosystem ,hatcheries in the east and mid west are being shut down. The biggest problem fly fishing has is ego and it has driven the sport into a frenzy.
    Fishing will soon be a rich mans game like in Europe. Fish while you can and enjoy it because sooner or later we will lose it. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. The industry and the way we as a country behave with greed are what is killing the sport. It may all crumble at their feet if we dont get the economic change as a country we need.

    • Kirk Werner

      Yeah, what you said, Mike!
      Just one thing to point out: the fly fishing industry was in a tailspin prior to the current economic recession. According to sources, participation in the sport of fly fishing is down from 6.7 million to 5.6 million since 2000. That was from a year ago. I can’t imagine it has improved since then. I sure hope Dirty Harry is reading this…

  5. BobWhite

    I’m a bit more optimistic about the future of our country and fly fishing, and I believe that Clint Eastwood will play a major part in both.

    Thanks Kirk!

    • Kirk Werner

      I like your sunny outlook, Bob. Maybe, because you’re friends with Gierach, you can convince him to reach out to Eastwood to make Pale Writer?
      Thank YOU, Bob!

  6. Sanders

    Clint sure does have a way about him…and no matter who you are, when the Troutlaw speaks…you listen. The great uniter need not waste his time on the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the fly fishing community needs him!

    What say you Clint? It’s not too late

    …Nice Poster by the way 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      I’m still reeling from how easily you hit that softball out of the park. A year ago I labored over what to do with a parody of the Outlaw Josey Wales and ultimately struck out. You nailed it so effortlessly. Had I only thought of it, I wouldn’t have to split royalties from the movie with you…damn it 🙂 Thanks, Sanders!

  7. Chuck Atkins

    Well, I’ve said it before; I like seein less guys on the river! I am glad the romance of fly fishing has worn off! Yep, a lot of guys don’t wanna fish unless they can do it with a beer can in one hand! Fly fishing is just too hard for most guys. I don’t miss them! I’m glad they went back to trolling and dunkin worms!

    AS for economic effects……lets remember that stocking programs …at least in the Great lakes are focused on the charter boats. They generate the most money for the states. The state couldn’t care less about the meager income generated by stream anglers. So, at least here – less fly fisherman buyin licenses probably has no affect on conservation and stocking!

    AS for Clint…..I’m sure if Rush thinks he is an Obama puppet it must be true! Geeeeezzzz!

  8. Nutto

    Im kind of with Chuck here there were lots more fish when it wasnt insane with anglers .they all come to places and then the places change for the worst ,as for the economic status of the ” fly fishing industry ” it will keep struggling along because so long as their are fish their will be fly fisherman. I would do what you can to help the wild steelhead over there in Washington they are fighting a losing battle and they need a Clint eastwood more then we stupid fisherman do. If you listen to Rush is might want to wake up he is a drug addict puppet of the right wing out for himself. As for Clint he is just doing what he does best act. Fight for the fish even though that is hard enough because the fisherman cant even see eye to eye to help them. I have grown weary of an industry that charges 600 dollars for fiberglass fly rods . You want to sell more fly equitment make cheaper reels and rod better for people to use and affordable to the general public. Till we get that in our heads the ” industry will play to the rich and slowly but surely the river will become more and more less accessible . Just look what is going on in Utah it will make its way to every state slowly. It is sad but true. Vote for sportsmen not for money . Till the next dreary post ( lets hope it is a brighter subject ) im getting depressed from watching my country get flushed down the toilet bowl by rich greedy humans !

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