May 13, 2020
My brothers and I had a paper route when we were in grade school that covered our entire town. I have to say it was a small town but still, we split the one square mile area into three different routes. My older brother got the largest area (and probably the best) but he divided the outlying areas to myself and Dan. One of the houses I delivered to was located about a half mile outside of town and the road crossed a tree covered bridge. Since this was a morning delivery, I had to traverse this path in the dim light of dawn. It always made me nervous wondering what might be in the wooded area.
As I carried my papers there were several dogs along the route who were aggressive. What I found was if it were a big dog, I could usually bluff my way past them as long as I stood my ground and let them know I was not afraid. It is like the story of the silver backs in the jungle. If you stand your ground, they will leave you alone. If you run, they will chase you down and stomp you. It was different with little dogs. I guess one reason was they did not strike me with fear. The other is they always seem to have something to prove. I have only been bitten by big dogs one or two times. I cannot count the number of times little dogs have run up and nipped me on the calf.
It is not just little dogs that I have found to be aggressive, the same is true with fish. My favorite fly rig is a #10 black wooly bugger with #16 elk hair cadis (I know, purist do not like drops). If that does not work, I often change the drop to a #20 bead head. Rarely is one of these combinations not effective. What I have found is the larger fish (and almost always the trout) tend to ignore the wooly bugger. My thought is the larger fly gets their attention and then they strike the small trailer. Small fish seem just the opposite. They are more aggressive and go directly for the larger fly. I have caught pan fish barely big enough to take the hook. I guess small fish are like the small dogs.
THOUGHTS: As we go about our business, we often find ourselves in situations that make us nervous or even cause fright. Some of these situations are like walking through the woods and our anxiety is more subconscious than real. Other situations are like the big dogs and you need to stand your ground and face them head on. When I think about our current crisis, I see it more like the small dogs. It is real, even if we do not acknowledge it as a threat. That means we need to be cautious as we move forward. If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.