By Montana Grant

Posted: May 16, 2021


Recently Henry Winkler, “the Fonz”, got a net full of more than fish. On a recent trip, he used his cell phone for a picture of a great Rainbow Trout. He posted the picture on social media with a comment saying, “I can’t even express the beauty everywhere on our planet!”

This would seem like a simple picture and positive comment but… The Fonz got a lot of splash back on his fish picture. He was ridiculed for hurting the fish, bragging, showing off, being elite, not wearing a mask, and whatever negative thing these non-fish naysayers could come up with. Never mind the Bully image of the Fonz, he was hurting a fish.

When we surround ourselves with a special picture of a fish or… we remind ourselves of a special moment in our lives. When we share, it is with the hope that others may also find some joy. Perhaps they will want to float the path that we have so appreciated. The picture reminds us of a good choice and moment of success that we experienced. When things are sad or low, a simple picture of a moment of joy, can change our mood. Older folks, wounded warriors, at risk kids and people with physical handicaps can find joy in great memories when they could navigate a fast-moving river.

Pictures and taxidermy of great fish have great stories and memories. They are displayed next to the pictures of our Grandkids, and other joyful parts of our lives.

Fishing does not guarantee catching. Fish are often simply the excuse to venture afield or to the watersheds. Sharing the adventures with friends and family creates wonderful memories. Displaying them in our homes is more about a memorial and celebration, for most fishermen, than about bragging. Success is not always measured by catching.

Hunting and Fishing teaches us about laws, limits, rules, regulations, skills, communication, presentation, sportsmanship, ethics, making choices, safety, morals, and how to have honest fun! These things are what every parent and person need and desires.

How many fishermen remember their Grandparents, family, mentor, or friends that took them fishing? This right of passage has hooked us all. I guess if you never had this opportunity, you simply don’t understand.

I am sure that there are fishermen that are elite, snobs, braggarts, and jerks. Honestly, most fishermen that I have known are not any of those things. Fishing is more about piers than walls. Fishing creates pathways for friendships, happiness, and sport. Fonzie falls into this net.

Fish are a renewable resource. Everything in the ecosystem feeds on fish and they feed on everything. Catch and Release fishing means that the fish can be released to feed another day. Humans are the only creature that voluntarily releases a fish. To many, throwing a fish back sounds crazy. To the Fonz, it means that someone else may get to enjoy the simple pleasure of catching this fish. Ethical fishing invites more than a bite or a filet. It motivates and inspires us about the beauty and importance of Nature and why we celebrate it and should protect it.

Fishing and Hunting organizations do more to protect and conserve our Natural Resources than all the naysayers put together. Shaming others about catching a fish is just silly. The truth is that almost every citizen has been fishing at some point. I have never seen anyone catch a fish and was not twitter pated!

The only thing that I can think of is that the complainers never caught a fish! I guess the fish Canceled them!

Atta Boy Fonzie!

Montana Grant