I recently saw this item from the Dayton Daily News: "A few men wear pantyhose publicly. ‘I'm 57 and don't care what anybody thinks,' says Ron Torgeson, a buyer for an Indiana mechanical contractor. A pantyhose user for medical reasons, Mr. Torgeson wore them under his shorts last summer on a fishing trip with a buddy.
"When he went down to the boat, his friend noticed the hose and asked, ‘Do those help?' When Torgeson told him they did, the friend started asking about hosiery. ‘He seemed interested,' said Torgeson."
Now I'm as liberal as the next man (unless he happens to be Ralph Nader), but I kind of draw the line at fishing in pantyhose. There is a point at which comfort becomes discomfort. Say, if you happen to be fishing with Billy Bob, the guy who was born with a pool cue in his fist, and is source of extreme discomfort to his mother.
Billy Bob may be fine to fish with because he thinks like a bass (if it don't move, eat it; if it does move, hit it with a pool cue), but he is, let's say, a bit single-minded when it comes to lifestyle choices.
He's not the sort to whom you'd ask, "Do you think these chartreuse tights are me?"
In fact, he'd most likely use that pool cue on your head if he saw you tripping down the path to the Metalflake BassHog with the 350 Camshafted MegaThrust outboard wearing something out of the Victoria's Secret catalog.
It's hard enough to be macho in front of a dedicated angler anyway. Let's say you just hooked yourself in the ear (okay, let's be honest and say I just hooked myself in the ear). First inclination is to exclaim, "Oh, shucks! Look what I've done." But your five-o'clock-shadow fishing buddy is likely to shun you unless your language turns the air bright blue and drops buzzards from the sky.
There is, I found with some research, actual fishing underwear. An Oregon angling supply shop offers fly fishing underwear in Salish velour fleece and Patagonia capilene. "Salish" is the name of a Northwest Indian tribe, but I doubt any of them historically wore fleecy underwear for, as the advertising says, "lounging" or "travel." Imagine trying to check through at the airport in your skivvies.
Actually, though, this stuff isn't "underwear" in that sense. It's more like exercise clothing you probably could pass airport screeners in—but not in pantyhose!
Going a step further, there's a website dedicated to naked fishing. No pantyhose, no nothing. Somehow the idea of fishing in the buff lacks appeal, however. There are all those hooks, for one thing. And where do you stash your permit?
I know a conservation officer who actually did interview a lady who was fishing without benefit of apparel. "I could tell right off that she didn't have her permit with her," he told me. Though the woman wasn't fazed in the slightest, the officer was horribly embarrassed and spent the entire encounter looking at the top of her head, or trying to.
At least he could see she wasn't carrying a deadly weapon. A Michigan conservation officer arrested a man in the Port Huron area who was wearing women's underwear and carrying a switchblade.
Probably for filleting his catch…