It all cuts to the notion that you have to kill something in order to prove it existed in the first place. I still have a hard time understanding that. But fishermen are really the culprits. Let’s face it, the true heartbreak ofThe Old Man and the Sea was that Santiago lost the proof. At my house, if it wasn’t gutted and on a plate under foil in the fridge, it never existed in the first place.
Granted, we have ourselves to blame for the skeptics. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen the 15-incher called the 20–incher. Not that it matters. I actually LIKE that by keeping fish in the water and releasing them quickly, it’s hard to get a good read on just how big they actually are (or were).
In the end, I think it’s okay to believe there are monster fish swimming around, even if they’re really myths. Isn’t the world more fun with a little more wonder now and then?
So go ahead, err on the “generous side” of your mental tape measure. And add a pound here and there. I don’t care. I’ll believe you, or at least pretend that I do. You don’t have to kill a trout to prove anything to me.
— Kirk Deeter