For the most part I ignore the idiots like our cannonball boys. For those that stop to ask how the fishing is going I am polite and converse with them even if it is for way too long(anything over 5 minutes is too long). As for the young boy and his father I would have probably talked to them more hoping that maybe the young man would someday come to enjoy the sport.
I like the idea of a license for tubing and lawn chair sitting
. For us out of staters it is $80+ now to enjoy the opportunity to try and outsmart a small brained, aquatic vertebrate, using very expense equipment, tossing out life-like imitation of bugs that someone spends painstaking time to create, hoping one fish out of thousands on that particular day on the particular stretch of water might be interested in one of the many we have at our disposal, and exerting way too much patience and brain power doing all this only to throw him back if we are lucky enough to bring him to hand(For the record I don't even like fish very much and seldom eat it. I have consider hunting but there is no catch and release with quail and pheasant so I stick to trap and skeet.). If you tried to explain what we do down here and on other small streams across the nation to someone from another planet they would probably deduce that there is no intelligent life on earth.
My best story is when my wife and I were fishing the South Toe over by Mt Mitchell back in 1998. We both looked like something out of an Orvis FF catalogue casting drys and nymphs and catching nothing. Then a local pulled up, got out of his truck with his two kids, took out a can of corn(no lie), put a kernel on a hook on the end of a cane pole(not a bamboo rod a cane pole) and gave it to his daughter, she was all of 10, who proceeded to catch one big rainbow after another(I believe she ended up with 5). After watching for awhile we engaged him in converation about his methods. He told us that the fish in the South Toe were all hatchery fish and didn't know beans about flies, but that the corn looked like the pellets they were fed at the hatchery and that is why they went for them. His continued success only reinforced his story. We by the way caught nothing with our expensive gear even though you could see nice size 'Bows" swimming in the river. After that we decided that if we ever fished there again we would buy yellow egg pattern flies(though I guess we could just buy corn).
All that said I enjoy every minute I am on the water, every minute I am at the local fly shop talking about what particular pattern is working on what particular stretch of water, every minute I spend getting in and out of my waders, putting on my vest, tying on the fly du jour etc. In fact I don't even mind a little intelligent conversation on the water from time to time. I only get to do this once a year here and once a year in Michigan so I cherish my time spent on the water. I consider it special.