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Fishing in the Swamp 



November 02, 2019
Saturday AM

jpg Jeff Lund 

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - I have seen 0% of the Democrat debates live, only clips and recaps. The information I have gathered on the candidates has come from a few long-form interviews on podcasts and reading various newspapers online. Not online newspapers or websites. There is an important distinction. Anyway, here are my thoughts on a few of the candidates. Some I can’t get enough of a read on to really comment, so that, and space, are the reasons for omission. 

Read it, but don’t read too much into it.

Bernie Sanders seems like the type of guy who would show up to the river with a Leonard bamboo fly rod worth $1700 but has no idea it’s worth $1700. He’s got a box of dry flies he tied himself and as he’s getting rigged up he’s fuming over the evils of Capitalism. After squinting across the water for a second, he eyes where a fish should be and unravels a textbook roll cast. You’re thinking, “Wait, what’s going on here?” Boom, he’s hooked up. But he doesn’t smile and he hasn’t stopped talking about someone he met in Iowa who can’t afford her medication. By the time he’s on fish No. 8, you’ve stopped fishing and are just watching this cast and blast happen. You thought he was the somewhat charmingly angry, old dude – the idol of some millennials who donated $6, interested in a bumper sticker for their virtue signaling starter kit. But he’s the guy who’s always been like this, it’s just that no one knew until people outside of New England started paying attention eight years ago. 

Tulsi Gabbard would show up early. She’d take out her fly rod, assemble it, and give a quick look down the guides to make sure the ferrules are in line. She’d be the type to be present and only when it’s time to break for lunch, maybe indulge in a political pitch. It’s not that she doesn’t care, far from it, she just doesn’t seem like a person pretending to care, which would allow her to be present. At times you disagree with the fly she’s using, but don’t question her motivation. You also wonder if it’s worth it to wade out that far in the stiff, dangerous current, but she’s not scared. 

You know that dude who can’t seem to keep his fly out of the trees behind him, but seems oblivious to the frustration he should be feeling? I think of Andrew Yang. He’s got more enthusiasm than experience, but if you lose some flies behind you, it’s part of the learning process, right? An angler on the other side of the bank will look at him and think some people just aren’t cut out for fly fishing, but he doesn’t care. He just sticks with it.   

Beto O’Rourke seems like the type of guy who would show up to the river in brand new gear, trying to look like an Orvis model attempting to buy clout and impress the trout. When you see a picture of him with a 4-pound trout you think, “Really? That guy?” Apparently so. I also think he would randomly mutter phrases while fishing, working on sound bites to use next time he’s in front of cameras. I don’t think you fish with Beto, I think you fish near him. 

Joe Biden would throw out a flippant cast and let the current take the fly as he launches into a confusing story that often contradicts itself. Whereas Bernie’s intensity would allow him to catch fish and rant at the same time, Biden would fail to notice that his dry fly has drowned in the current and is now in three inches of water, directly downriver from his boots. Amazingly, he’d hook a fish, and not only would it not make sense that he caught a fish on a dry fly that hadn’t moved in ten minutes, but it wouldn’t seem fair that it’s worked more than once. 

“How many fly poles do you own?” Elizabeth Warren would ask. 


“Oh, no reason.”

I’d scoot up river.

I think fishing with President Trump would be an incredible experience. If the rumors are true about the…assistance he gets on his golf game, it would be interesting to see his aides attaching fish to the end of his line for him to reel in. He’d probably take me to one of his golf courses, point to the lake near the first green and say, “We’ve got the biggest carp, pike, bass and halibut in the world in that lake. Yuge.”


Jeff Lund ©2019
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @alaskalund

Contact Jeff at Email –


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