Posts Tagged ‘species’


Attention Science:  I would like to formally announce one of the greatest finds in the history of history.  Newton… Einstein…  Mr. Wizard…. Bill Nye… Move over, there is a new sheriff in town.

Tonight I discovered a species of fish previously unknown to Science.  The fact that it is previously unknown is not surprising.  In what must be the greatest act of camouflage in the animal kingdom,  this species of fish looks EXACTLY like every other species of fish.  In fact, in all ways it is completely indistinguishable from any other species that science has discovered.  All ways but ONE!  This new species never ever eats.  Nothing, not ever.  I know this because I have seen the fish and have thrown every damn fly, streamer, nymph and terrestrial at them and they NEVER EAT IT.  Clearly they have adapted to never eat. It is the only logical explanation.

I know what you are thinking, “Dan you are a genius! But how can this benefit me?”  Simple.  Now that modern science has learned of the existence of these masters of dieting, guys in white coats can simply take out whatever lets the fish never eat and stick it in people!  Or better yet, stick it in a pill and let the person take it themselves as that sounds less painful!  Then we will never have to eat again!  Think of the lives that will be saved from choking alone.  Not to mention accidents in Mcdonald’s drive thrus, fights over forgetting your wife’s order on the way to Taco Bell and coming home with the wrong Gordita, and the hours wasted saying, “I don’t care, where do you wanna eat?”

I know what you are thinking now, “Dan you have removed some of the worst scourges of our time, but I enjoy eating. What should I do?”  What you should do is stop being such a nearsighted, selfish, nincompoop and shut the hell up.  Farmers that have been saying they were going to retire next year since they were 60, but at 108 still haven’t gotten around to it, can finally catch Wheel at 3 in the afternoon.  Ethiopian children will all sing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” in unison as now never eating will be cool rather than stupid.  AND we will no longer find any constraints to growing human populations!  we can put 100 billion people on the planet now!!

Again, I know what you are thinking, “Dan I am sorry for being such an idiot before.  This is obviously the greatest thing to ever happen, but what precedent is there for fishing changing the world?”  What precedent is there??  Jeez open a history book every once in a while.  Fishing made permanent settlements possible on coastal regions in cave man days.  Which was good because T Rex couldn’t swim very well.   Lobster fishing is the only reason Maine exists.  Plus, what about Moby Dick?  Also, crabfishing (which is kinda like real fishing) gave us The Deadliest Catch and got Mike Rowe a Ford sponsorship.  And he used to sing opera!  Think about that! An opera singer slinging Ford F450’s!  Now that is the kinda miracle that only fishing can bring about.

Ok I know what you are going to say.  “Dan do you think putting your head on Mt. Rushmore would be gaudy, if we did it before the Nobel Prize arrived?”  No, No I do not.

In conclusion, there are fish everywhere that never eat anything, as far as I can tell.  This discovery will save mankind from itself.  Eat THAT Malthus.  Or better, DON’T eat that!


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Hog Carp

Examining the way certain species of fish are viewed by people and how that view changes from group to group is a very interesting study in group dynamics.   At our core, we are all fisherpeople, looking to somehow influence the behavior of a fish.   I was originally going to say that we were all looking to entice a fish to bite our hook and be drug onto shore, but I thought I might get the bowfishers and the pallid sturgeon snaggers offended.  They totally circumvent the whole “me fool fish” part of fishing and go straight to the fishhunting.  I was then going to say that we are all looking for a way to drag a fish out of water and into our hands, but I remembered the newly popular sport of hookless flyfishing.  These folks take the fooling of the fish as the ultimate goal and the enjoyment, for them, stops there.  For the rest of us fishing is something akin to being drug dealers.  We are trying to get the fish to put something into their bodies that they will ultimately regret.  Possibly we are more like tobacco companies.  At any rate, lets not get overly romantic about our place in this game.  We are not the fish’s friends anymore than a cat is a friend to the mouse that it plays with.  Ultimately, we want to catch the biggest of whatever fish we are after that we can, regardless of the fishes feelings on the subject.

The question is, what fish do we choose to fish for.  It seems that everyone has a view on what is the proper species of fish to pursue.  There is a loose connection between what the ultimate purpose of the fishing is and what species one pursues.  Sometimes this means that there is a connection between personal taste and the appropriate fish to catch.  I grew up in a town that sold Bullhead meat in the grocery stores.  Needless to say, there were people that would go out and specifically fish for bullhead because they ate it.  For them, the bullhead was the goal; actually the biggest bullhead was the goal.  Many people here, fish for walleye.  It is very tasty meat and a game fish to boot.  So it has a double draw.  In that way the walleye fisherperson and the bullhead fisherperson are effectively engaged in the exact same activity with the exact same goal.  They are both trying to catch the biggest fish possible that is made out of the meat that they think is tastiest.

Given the commonalities in our pursuits, one would think that there would be a very tight camaraderie amongst all different sorts of fishpeople.  However, like any community, there are fissures and fractures that cause different factions to spring up.  These factions tend to ignore the things they have in common with other groups and focus exclusively on differences.  One group finds that catching a certain species of fish is easy, ignoring the fact that catching THE LARGEST of that species is still hard.  Or that the official handbook has not designated a certain species as a game fish and it is therefore not worthy of a cast.  Or my favorite, that certain species of fish are non-native and are thus not actually fish at all, but actually don’t exist.  We use different tackle, different bait, or differ in whether or not we release the fish.  All of these thing are used to make one group of fisherperson distinct from others and therefore allow a superiority complex to emerge.

One of the things I love about flyfishing is that I can cross boundaries in terms of what I want to catch, and I am not limited by what I have originally gone out to pursue.  If I went out after Largemouth Bass and a spinner fall occurs, bringing the Mooneye to the surface to feed.  I don’t have the watch helplessly while all the fun passes me by.  I can tie on a dryfly and go crazy.  The point is, that flyfishing allows me to enjoy the opportunities that nature, or god or a low pressure system or whatever, afford me as they come.  I am not constrained by a rigidity in what is the right fish, because the right fish is the one I choose to cast too.  And if he isn’t there, then it is the next one.  I broaden my sources of success to include anything that is presented, allowing me to enjoy the world as it is, rather than as I had hoped it would be.

There is a certain species of fish that I would like to describe for you to guess.  It is an introduced species; very spooky but sometimes visible as it feed on the surface frequently.  Most of its diet consist of small underwater insects.  This fish can be a very choosey eater, and if it is feeding on a certain thing at the time it will not take anything else.  Give up?  It is a Brown Trout.  Also, it is a Carp.

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