In 1960, when the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission of the United States Forest Service conducted the first U.S. National Recreation Survey, “off-highway motorized recreation” was not included as a recreational activity. A few people were driving into the back country with motorcycles or 4-wheel-drive vehicles but not enough of them to register as a population-wide activity.
Fifty years later, to say things are different almost gets it.
According to the 2008 Forest Service report “Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in the United States and its Regions and States: An Update National Report from the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE)” retail sales of new All-Terrain Vehicles and Off-Highway Motorcycles more than tripled between 1995 and 2006, with 1,034,966 units sold in the last year for which statistics were available. An estimated 8,010,000 ATVs and Off-Highway Motorcycles were in use on back country roads and trails during 2001-2003.
We sure do like our internal combustion engines.
In the spring of 1967, Outdoor Life featured ads for motorcycles aimed specifically at fly fishers, with Suzuki touting them as an environmentally friendly solution to pollution.
Categories: Flashback Fridays, Fly Fishing, Humor
Tags: flashback friday, Fly Fishing, Harley Davidson, Harley Davidson M-65, Humor, quill gordon, Suzuki, Suzuki trail bike, vintage ads, Yamaha, Yamaha off-road bike
It’s easy to get distracted while thumbing through my old magazines, looking for something in particular. Mixed in with the mundane and everyday aspects of the outdoor life are exciting stories filled with danger and daring, told by those who survived them, offering a glimpse of rugged days gone by. Like these 1950’s Russian tiger catchers, restraining a wild beast with not much more than stout wooden poles!
Brought to bay by dogs, this tiger was destined for a zoo or a circus and had to be taken alive. One man has a line around a paw and, according to the article, the tiger was in a bag and headed for the truck within minutes. I hope these guys made good money, because I can’t imagine grabbing tigers for fun, although I guess you never know. Continue reading
Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Flashback Fridays, Fly Fishing, Humor
Tags: Bell System, fishing, flashback friday, Fly Fishing, Humor, quill gordon, Russian tiger hunters, telephones, vintage ads
I sometimes carry a pipe in the evening, puffing on some Captain Black when the mosquitoes are particularly aggressive. Some evenings are just not complete without a nice cigar but smoking no longer holds the allure it once did. There was a time, though, when (male) anglers were almost expected to smoke and the image of an angler with a pipe in his mouth became darn near iconic.
Some folks feel a reel is for nothing more than holding line, keeping it out of the way when it is not needed for the cast at hand. A simple gadget at a modest price is all they need. Others disagree and will spend as much as they can for all the prestige, societal standing and fancy finishes that money can buy.
Some folks feel a fly box is for nothing more than storing flies, keeping them handy even though we all know a large percentage of those flies will never touch water. Most any old box or container will do, as long as the price is close to zero. Others disagree, understanding things beyond our comprehension. Fortunately for them, this is fly fishing and manufacturers are more than happy to target those among us who don’t mind spending a little more.
That’s a Hardy De Luxe rod up there, priced at $67.50 (I’d like two, please), along with a monogrammed landing net ($4.50) and a nice collapsible canvas creel ($6.50). Throw in a six-compartment Wheatley fly box for less than five dollars and a fellow could be outfitted to hit the water for under a hundred bucks! Continue reading
A tree fell last week (see “If a Tree Falls …”) and I showed that I can still stick a saw with the best of them. Ken G (from Waterdog Journal) wondered what it is about men that makes them continue an action, even when they can clearly see it’s not a good idea.
Mike (from Mike’s Gone Fishin’ … Again) could relate and expressed his love of power equipment.
Paul Cowell (from Paul’s Angling Journal) reminded me to keep plenty of gas in the saw, in case of zombies, and my post began take on a rather masculine air — at least until a comment appeared from a girl.
Girls who like chainsaws are okay by me, especially when they also fish and can write like Erin Block does on her blog Mysteries Internal. She has a way with words I … I … well, you know. After you’re done with this you really ought to go read her piece “The Dancing Cast“.
I am not surprised when I see a woman with a chainsaw but there was a time when such a thing was unheard of.
Homelite started marketing their saws to sportsmen, back in the days when clearing campsites and building log shelters were still acceptable practices. Even at only 19 pounds, I can’t imagine wanting to lug a chainsaw along on a camping trip, unless I was heading into zombie habitat, and I’m not so sure that anyone — man or woman — would actually look forward to running the thing.
That was more than half a century ago. Women didn’t run chainsaws. That was work for a man. An outdoors man. The kind of man girls really go for.
The season is in full swing, here at Fish in a Barrel Pond, and lots of folks are up, celebrating Memorial Day by doing a little fishing. There was a time, though, when we were at war and there wasn’t a whole lot of fishing going on. In an effort to keep our hopes up during World War II, the state of Pennsylvania continued with its stocking programs, looking ahead to the promise of peace.
My friend Owl Jones wrote a post the other day about fishing with barbed vs. non-barbed hooks. Actually, it wasn’t much of a vs. since the title was “Why you should fish with barbs”.
Personally, I pinch down the barbs on my flies because 98% of the trout I catch are released and the hook comes out much easier if there is no barb. The less time spent removing the hook, the better. A barbless hook is also much easier to remove from an ear lobe but we won’t get into that again. It was an accident and I said I was sorry, okay? Continue reading
I took a road trip to Maine last spring and found this old calendar page in an antiques store near Sebago Lake.
It’s from a Currier & Ives lithograph and it shows that kids with sticks have been out-fishing men with rods for ages. Two guys in close quarters, fishing tandem flies, is a recipe for disaster even without the added pressure of being out-fished by some punk using a tree branch, and the bad day these guys are having is being made worse by the mangy cur gobbling down their catch. Hooked in the ear or in the ass, it is hard to not laugh at anglers such as these. Continue reading
It is hard to believe that there once was a time when we had to be reminded to use our phones. Of course, our telephones weighed 7 1/2 pounds in those days, were anchored to the wall and belonged to the one and only phone company in existence (“We don’t care. We don’t have to.”)
Weasels seem to have become a theme this week, so we’re sticking to it. First, a mink — nothing but a weasel with a fancy fur coat but a weasel none the less — managed to kill six of my chickens before succumbing to a case of high-velocity lead poisoning. Then, I managed to irk a very important man to the point he hopped and sputtered, just like a weasel, but he only got a ticket, and then I came across the “This Happened to Me” feature in the July, 1956 issue of Outdoor Life Magazine.
A pheasant hunter in Alberta came across a weasel, which climbed a fence post and leaped for the man’s throat!