04/08/09

We Have A Fly-Fishing Friend That Can Help Us

A few years ago, Angie and I were fishing the Lamar River in Yellowstone National
Park. Angie was fishing this particular morning and I was running camera. A man
walked up and asked what the video was going to be used for. I replied that I
produced instructional fly-fishing videos. He then remarked angrily that “we didn’t
need any more blank, blank, fly-fisherman - that there were already far too blank,
blank many of them. Let the blank, blanks learn it themselves”. He also insinuated
that all I only wanted was their money anyway. He then asked how much I paid my
model. I replied, “I pay her a lot - she is my wife”. Our conversation got rather
heated and went on for several minutes. In thirty years of producing fishing videos,
that was a first for me.

When I asked him what he did for a living, he replied that he taught high school. I
asked why he didn’t let the kids learn everything for themselves. I asked him if he
contributed his time for free or did the school pay him for it. He then said “Your are
probably one of those rednecks that carry a rebel flag and believe in God”. At that
point, I almost swung at him but I stopped short of breaking his nose because his
statement reminded me that wouldn’t be the Godly thing to do. When he proudly
announced he was an atheist the look on my face alone was enough to run him off.

You would think a school teacher and fly-fisherman (he was all decked out with
waders/vest and a was holding a fly rod) would be intelligent enough to know that if
he was concerned about being able to fish without being bothered by other anglers,
or for that matter even having a place where he could fish, that he would be smart
enough to know that right isn’t guaranteed for anyone. Every day I read news
articles about a trout stream that has the potential of becoming exploited and even
destroyed as a fishery by those who prefer to use it for commercial or
manufacturing uses. Pebble Mine, for example, threatens the entire Bristol Bay
watershed in Alaska. Water bottling companies and several other things threaten
the trout in the Upper Sacramento River in Northern California. The Trout Unlimited
website will remind you of other threatened and/or already devastated streams
needing reclamation work. What did this guy think the World owed him? No one
likes being crowded, which by the way, wasn’t even the case that day on the Lamar
River. What the idiot obviously didn’t recognize is the fact that the more trout
anglers there are, the better our chances are of having uncrowded places to fish.
Success in protecting our trout streams, wildlife and other natural resources will not
be achieved as a result of a select few angler’s demands. A few atheist, teachers or
not, will not be able to stop giant industries and commercial entities from polluting
our trout streams, purchasing all the land with trout streams for private use, or
building condos on your favorite stretch of water. I suppose that idiot thinks National
Parks are only for the use of atheist teachers.

In reality, the situation is far worse and becoming an even greater concern at an
accelerated rate. Young kids are fishing and hunting less and less as the days go
by. Fishing license sales are down. There are fewer anglers and hunters each
year. Some blame the video games. I blame several things but most particularly the
parents. Most fathers and mothers are too busy and too concerned about their own
selfish needs to take their children fishing, camping, and hunting as my father and
grandfathers did. In fact, it is possible that future generations may not even be able
to afford to go fishing or hunting.  Most of their money may go to our government in
the form of taxes necessary to repay the huge debt we are creating for them.

The Fly Fishing Friend Who Can Help Us:
When I expressed my concern about the huge national debt we were handing our
children and grandchildren, a problem created by both political parties, and a
problem that currently appears to be rapidly accelerating,
Dr. Paul Broun
confirmed my concern was real. He explained that he has two young grandchildren
of his own and that he too was worried that our children and grandchildren are not
going to have the things we had when we were growing up. He also exclaimed that
they might not get to do the things we did when we were growing up. He continued
to tell me how he stopped his career as a physician and ran for the U.S. Congress
because of those and other concerns he had about the direction our country was
headed. He explained how he put everything he had on the line in order to make a
difference. I know now for a fact that indeed that was the case. It couldn’t have
been an easy thing to do. It took a tremendous amount of courage, confidence and
a lot of determination to do that. Dr. Broun sacrificed most of his worldly
possessions including his own home in order to get elected. He was victorious even
against those that had over ten times the amount of campaign funds that he did.
Congressman Broun was elected in July of 2007.

Dr. Broun represents the people of the 10th Congressional District of Georgia in
the United State Congress. His district is the home of several North Georgia wild
trout streams. He is on the House Homeland Security Committee where he is Vice
Ranking Member of Intelligence. He is on the House committee on Science and
Technology where he is Ranking Member of Investigations and Oversight. He is
also on the House Committee on Natural Resources.  

Like Alan Jackson claims in his song “Where Were You When the World Stop
Turning”, I am not a very political man either. But, the older I get the more worried I
become about the future of my grandchildren. I want my grandson to be able to
hunt and fish. (At age twelve he is already consumed with it) I want my two
granddaughters to have at least as much opportunity as I had when I was growing
up. All of you probably feel exactly the same way. If you haven’t ever thought about
it, I’m guessing it is simply because you are young and you just haven’t got to that
point in your life yet. Like it or not, it is a fact that those people we send to
Washington are going to be the ones that determine the future of our children and
grandchildren.

Our friend in Congress, Dr. Paul Broun, is an avid fly fisherman and a
lifetime angler and hunter.
He is not just another politician that takes an
occasional photo to make it look like he is an outdoorsman. He fly-fishes the
streams of North Georgia and North Carolina often and has done so for several
years. He travels to Montana to hunt big game, fly-fish and ski on a regular basis.
Dr. Broun told me that his dream is to be able to retire and live in North Georgia for
about half the year and in Montana the other half where he could enjoy the
outdoors everyday. He could have easily accomplished that by continuing his
successful medical practice. He gave up the sure way to go about acheving his
dream in order to help get our country headed in the right direction.

How do I know that? Congressman Broun was a customer of mine before I had a
clue as to his title. He made several purchases including fly-fishing DVDs as well as
some our new “Perfect Flies”. I never knew that Paul Broun was a congressman. If
you ever have the opportunity to talk to Dr. Broun, it won’t take you but a few
minutes to realize “You have a friend in Congress”. He is an avid fly-fisherman but
more importantly, a man that believes in God and a Congressman that is not a part
of the Washington politics as usual crowd.   

I don’t care if you are a democrat, a republican, independent or even if you have
any political preferences, all of us should be well aware that
the beautiful trout
streams we have available to us now are not guaranteed forever.
If you
hunt, then rest assured that
the right to hunt isn’t guaranteed at all. In fact, it
is threatened.

I don’t want to preach to you any more than I probably already have. Most of you
realize these things just as well or better than I do. I just ask one thing of you.
I ask
that you “consider” supporting Dr. Broun.
Please review his websites and
become familiar with him.

If you believe in him as a person like I do, not as a politician, then I ask you to help
him as much as you can by contributing to his campaign. He got where he is by
putting everything he had at stake. I know that for a fact. Of all the other U. S.
Congressman, how many of them do you think are avid fly anglers? If you agree
with his beliefs and believe in him as I do, please help support his future campaign
effort by contributing. We really do have a friend in the United States Congress that
can make a difference for all of us. Lets make sure he stays there long enough to
help as much as he can.

Thanks and God Bless You,

Angie and James Marsh