The thing about opening a can of worms is that you can never fit back in the number of worms that came out. They wiggle and they wriggle, spreading slime and bedding all around and for some reason, even though it’s just a bunch of worms, most people do not have generally favorable reactions to such occurrences. Somehow, opening a can of worms has been perceived as something so traumatic that we dare not do it and the phrase has found its way into every day use.
Internet discussion of politics? Can of worms. Ask the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society what color to paint our oldest cabin, the Parmacheene Belle? Can of worms. Suggest an outright ban on the use of worms at Fish in a Barrel Pond? There’s a real can of worms for you.
Now, I do not personally know anyone who would resort to such a thing but I suppose I can perhaps understand how an angler, especially one who is trolling when things are slow, might think about giving in to the temptation of tipping his fly with a teensy bit of garden hackle, just enough to give the fish ideas but only until things pick up, you know. Why suffer, trying to catch fish on a fly when everyone knows a ten year-old kid with a pocketful of worms will outfish a grown man using a fly most every time.
Worms are as easy to find these days as propane, donuts and cash, but what was a fellow to do back in the old days, before refrigeration and credit card reading technologies?
The answer to that is, he gathered them himself, like a man. Continue reading