Fishermen’s “Alternative Truths”

by Tony Bishop on October 6, 2008

In today’s The Times is a nice article on fishermen telling ‘pork pies’ and a few hints on maximising the impact of these fibs:

Last month’s column on how an angler qualifies for the term “great” prompted a flurry of correspondence. Amid much else, it brought to light a telling quote attributed to Jerome K. Jerome, the author of the wonderful Three Men in a Boat. Jerome was talking not about great anglers, but about the qualities even a merely good angler needs to possess.

“Here is what he said: “Some people are under the impression that all that is required to make a good fisherman is the ability to tell lies easily and without blushing. But that is a mistake. Mere bold fabrication is useless. It is in the circumstantial detail, the embellishing touches of probability, the general air of scrupulous – almost of pedantic – veracity, that the experienced angler is seen.””…

The previous article on:

Quiet, unsung heroes are true greats of angling

is also a good read.

I wrote an article for a fishing magazine on this subject, but with a different slant, you might enjoy it:

Do Fishermen Tell Lies?

“I guess, at the risk of upsetting some friends and readers, that only politicians, car salesmen, and advertisers, have as bad a reputation for telling pork pies as fishermen; it is a widespread prejudice.

The picture of a fisherman, his arms spread wide, extolling the size of the "one that got away", has become an over-worked cliché. But under the cliché, beyond the ‘lies’, there lurks a possibility.

Fishing, by its very nature, nourishes the imagination, feeding it with a potent fuel of hope and desire…”

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