3rd Rock Salmon From The Sun

In Sunday’s post I used the phrase “The magazine world has publications from Bass Angler’s Guide to Flying Saucer Review”.

In his comment, Nick McGivney said “And I think that there absolutely should be a publication called Bass Angler’s Guide to Flying Saucer Review. That’s how I read it, and that is now what I want.”

So here it is.


As regular readers will know, we here at Bass Angler are by now famous for our series of Guides to other publications, as we are mindful of the fact that our readers tend to spend large periods of time doing pretty much nothing and are always looking for something to read. You will also know that our Guide is not sparing in its opinion . Our issue on Hello! said that it was “good only for stuffing into the top of your wellies before wading”, while our suggested use for the Sunday Times Magazine was “wrap it around your bait to keep it soggy”. Indeed, it is widely accepted that Punch finally realised they were doomed once we said reading it was “as painful an experience as catching your fly in your fly”. 

So we are well aware that this month’s Guide to Flying Saucer Review has been as eagerly awaited as would be, say, Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the Chevy Volt Plug-in Electric Car. After all, the perceived wisdom is that UFO spotters are nutters. Surely, I hear you say, their magazine must be as daft as a man trying to catch carp with a Hi-Visibility Klinkhammer Rainbow-feathered Hook (I know, just picture it).

Yet oddly not. Having read the Flying Saucer Review I am forced to admit that we anglers have more in common than we like to admit with those who believe in little green men.

Take, for example, the article The Long Vigil by Walter Greenbaum of Lone Peak, Montana. An enthusiastic if so far unsuccessful watcher for flying saucers, he writes of standing in the cold mists of approaching dawn, comforted only by a flask of coffee and a packet of cheese sandwiches, waiting oh-so-patiently for an event that is almost certainly never going to happen. Anyone who has fished the River Barrow after the chemical factory upriver has done its quarterly pipe-purging will know exactly how he feels. On reading the piece I felt that Walter and I are deep, deep soulmates, united by a bottomless pit of hope.

And what of those more successful than Walter, those who have seen a UFO? Here again we anglers will feel their pain when they tell their tale to their cynical pubmates. In The One That Got Away (they even share our terminology),  Dustin P. Cullhammer of Twisted Oak, Wisconsin tells a story of how he was laughed out of his local after he unwisely confided in what he had thought were his friends about the flying saucer that had appeared above his head one night when he was returning home from that very pub. Oh, how that reminds me of the scornful reaction, mostly motivated by sheer jealousy, of members of my angling club when I told them of the 200-pound bass that dragged me four miles downriver last summer before I finally fought it off by placing my end of the rod against the electric-fence at the side of Grogan’s Field as we shot by. The fact that that stretch of the river still smells like a fish-&-chip shop five months later has done nothing to curb their scepticism.

Then there are the awful occasions when hope rises only to be cruelly crushed. The disappointment of Melvyn Flatbush from Wide Butte, Arkansas, when the UFO he photographed turned out to be a new satellite dish on his neighbour’s roof is matched by that of Irving Whatmore of Rock Range, Nevada (a surprising number of contributors to Flying Saucer Review are men living alone in the American Midwest) when the crop circle in his field was found to have been caused by the fact that the wheels on one side of his pickup were smaller than the ones on the other, and when he thought he was driving home from his local one night he was in fact driving around in circles in his field. Any angler who has excitedly struggled for two hours to land what has turned out to be a Tesco supermarket trolley will sympathise with these cases.

The issue of FSR that we reviewed came with a free DVD of Independence Day, and I gather that every issue does this, as UFO spotters regard the film not so much as a fictional movie, but more as a training video. I watched the DVD (the bass weren’t biting that day, so I’d brought along a portable TV) and was interested in the scene where Will Smith races up to the crashed spaceship, yells “welcome to Earth” and punches the alien sharply in the face. It put me in mind of the similar way in which we welcome fish to the riverbank by rapping them smartly with a stick.

I must conclude, though, by referring to the one major difference between UFO believers and we anglers. In our chosen hobby we often throw the fish back. In their case it is often the opposite – i.e., it is the human who is thrown back, by aliens who have finished studying them. The worst woe ever inflicted on me by a fish was to be slapped in the face by its flapping tail before I got a chance to use the stick, so I was aghast at the article There and Back Again by abductee Gibson Coalporter of Wet Rain, Idaho. 

I can’t bring myself to go into detail, but suffice to say that Mr Coleporter was taken by aliens, in every possible meaning of that sentence.

If a bass ever does that to me, I’m taking up trainspotting.

3 thoughts on “3rd Rock Salmon From The Sun

  1. A Frend

    Does this mean we can commission you to write hilarious posts on any topic that picks our fancy?
    This is excellent!
    can I have one on the Twilight of the Gods in Greystones, please?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.