Politics on the Boat

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way…

Treat the boat like the Thanksgiving table and just enjoy why we are here. 2020 has been strange for all of us. Between Covid and a rocky political climate, there is a lot of tension on people’s brains. Perhaps, besides trout, that is why folks go on fishing trips. To get away from everyday life and enjoy the moment. Flashing bill boards, phones and tvs can occupy our mental real estate, and a fishing trip can help reset the mind. Because of these especially troubling times, it seems that while being trout guides, we also turned into unofficial therapists.

The last thing I care about while on a fishing trip is your political leanings and why so and so is ruining whatever it may be. In fact, I’d rather hear about about your in-laws who came on vacation with you, your neighbor who won’t keep their leaves out of your yard, or your child’s 12 goals in their last soccer game. With all of the negatives so far, here are a few suggestions for conversation topics that will happily take the place of political talk in the boat:

  • Your past destination fishing trips
  • What kind of work you do
  • Funny and/or serious fishing stories (these can kill hours)
  • Type of equipment you use
  • Equipment I use
  • Fishing tactics
  • Bad jokes
  • Dad jokes
  • Good jokes
  • Certainly not religion
  • Ford vs Chevy
  • Ranch vs blue cheese
  • Best chicken sandwich (I’m partial to Chick-Fil-A)
  • Catch-and-Release ethics
  • Tacky sweaters
  • Really any thing that doesn’t lead into politics

If you are starting to buy what I’m selling, here is another reason not to talk politics with your fishing guide. Guiding everyday makes it difficult to keep up with current events.

Most days start early. Between chugging coffee and preparing equipment for the day, the news is most likely not part of the morning routine. On top of that, most days on the river are (conveniently) in places that don’t have service! Once the trip is over, equipment is cleaned and made ready for the next day and dinner is finally sloppily made and consumed–again the news is not on the brain. Usually a beer or three has to be consumed while discussing fishing stories from the day, a documentary on something not very important has to be watched, and then sleep for the next day all has to happen still before the news is on the brain. Unfortunately for the media the day starts again and there’s still no time to think about anything but fishing! Point being here is that your guide most likely won’t be very up to date on the latest who’s who. However, if you need to know where to find the best burger or cheapest beer in town, there won’t be a better resource on that side of the Mississippi!

I may begin to sound like a broken record on these posts, but fishing trips are truly about the experience. Leave everything back home that could take away from a good day on the water and let go for a while.

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