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Hi, teachers! ♡.♡

I’m reading an article titled “A river runs through it” with the strapline “Fly-fishing is compatible with social distancing- and a lesson in American strengths and strains” in “The Economist”! And the following is the 4th to 8th paragraphs of the piece! Could you look at the colored sentences in the box associated with my questions? ♥


Maryland’s dispensation reflects the exalted place angling occupies in America. Around 50m Americans go fishing each year; not far off as many as voted for Donald Trump. A minority of them fly-fish. Yet (1)the sport’s elite reputation, which came with it from 18th-century Britain, and the commitment of its devotees, have made it especially influential and revealing. Presidents from Grover Cleveland to George H.W. Bush have been devoted to it. Three have written books on fly-fishing: including Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter, who spent the day after his crushing electoral defeat in 1980 building an ingenious contraption to dry his fly-lines.

Fly-fishing's success in America reflects above all the country’s natural bounty. Within a few decades of the technique being mainly practised by British officers, homesick for their own chalk stream, Americans were fly-fishing in diverse conditions for bass and many species of salmon and trout. This led them to innovate; some American fly patterns were based on native American lures. (2)Yet the fly-fishing establishment remained concentrated on the Anglocentric east coast. This encouraged an unwarranted inferiority complex, which was compounded by the fact that early American fishing scribblers and fly-tiers tended to be British. (3)The first great writer, Theodore Gordon, initially wrote for a British journal.

But even then America was showing its genius for popularising elite culture. This was partly a reaction to the snooty Anglos. (4)“Our fish are too Republican, or too shrewd, or too stupid, to understand the science of English trout fishing,” wrote a peeved angler in 1830. A similar urge drove baseball to supplant American cricket around this time. (5)Yet the growth of a New World fly-fishing tradition, more capacious than the British one, reflected above all America’s vast socioeconomic, as well as piscatorial, possibilities.

An exploding rail network opened up new angling paradises to thousands of first-generation fishers. The connection between infrastructure and wilderness was sometimes overt; the owners of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad offered a $20 gold piece to anyone who caught a 10lb trout alongside its tracks. Other entrepreneurs also seized the opportunity fly-fishing presented. Wisconsin’s fly-tying industry (6)would soon produce over 10m lures a year. While the east-coast elite maintained an exclusive idea of fly-fishing, it had become a mass hobby.

The inevitable downside of this growth, overfishing and pollution, led to a pushback in the late 19th century. In the name of conservation, private fishing clubs grabbed areas that had previously been open to the public. Such enclosures at least led to better management- which was then applied nationally in the emerging conservation movement that fly-fishers had thereby helped launch. (7)America’s angling lobby has sometimes erred from its strong environmental record. To maintain bipartisanship, it has said little about the ominous threat of climate change to America’s rivers. And rainbow and brown trout- which the Lexington team was after- are two of America’s most invasive species. But as the Gunpowder, once a stagnant trickle, goes to show, the billion-dollar angling industry remains a powerful force for conservation.


(1)

What does “the sport’s elite reputation” mean? I’ve thought of two possibilities! One, the sport became famous because it is said that some renowned members of the elite enjoyed fly-fishing and the other, fly-fishing was a quite exclusive sport due to some reason that mostly only the elite could access and enjoy it! What do you think the phrase mean teacher? ♡

(2)

I don’t understand this sentence, teacher T.T I interpreted it as most of the influential anglers at that time stayed stubborn, unchangeable on the east coast refusing to accept American fly-fishing culture. Is it correct? Then what does “the Anglocentric east coast” mean? How could the east coast be Anglocentric?

(3)

Does “the first great writer” mean “the first scribbler among those who became well-known for his fly-fishing writings”? If so, why did the write of this article shortened the phrase like that that some people could read it wrong? Doesn’t it read like “Theodore Gordon is the first writer who became famous in history”?

(4)

Teacher, I feel that this quote is sarcastic and sneering but what does “Our fish are Republican, shrewd, stupid” mean? Would you explain this part to me? ♥.♥

(5)

I don’t know what ‘Yet’ means in this sentence! T.T

(6)

Why did the writer put “would” in the sentence? Does it have any special meaning?

(7)

Teacher, could you help me read this sentence? I don’t know what “its strong environmental record” mean! In my understanding, although the American angling lobby knew that fly-fishing would be highly likely to do damage to environment and some environmental records and materials clearly suggested it, they ignored and pretended not to see it. Is it right? ♡


Teachers, thank you so much for reading this post!

I know it has so many questions and would you mind answering me? T.T

♥♥♥♥♥

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ANNE202I’m reading an article titled “A river runs through it” with the subhead (strapline) “Fly-fishing is compatible with social distancing- and a lesson in American strengths and strains” in “The Economist”!
ANNE202What does “the sport’s elite reputation” mean? I’ve thought of two possibilities! One, the sport became famous because it is said that some renowned members of the elite enjoyed fly-fishing and the other, fly-fishing was a quite exclusive sport due to some reason that mostly only the elite could access and enjoy it! What do you think the phrase mean teacher? ♡

No, it's not restricted to the most prominent members of society.

The term means that it is a sport that is very difficult to master. The techniques of casting, selecting material for the line, designing and creating the lures, handling the lures and choosing a propitious location all require years of apprenticeship, experimentation, enthusiasm, and devotion.

Very few people are willing to give the time and effort required to become an expert, successful fly-fisherman. The sport does not demand formal education or wealth, only a keen desire to be more and more successful at deceiving a very smart fish.

I have tried it a couple of times myself, and it was a dismal failure. The trout seem to know that the lure is artificial if it isn't presented to them in an absolutely authentic manner. They won't bite. The sport thus has a reputation of "elite", meaning that if it is compared to other kinds of fishing, it is the most demanding. Few people can do it well.

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ANNE202I don’t understand this sentence, teacher T.T I interpreted it as most of the influential anglers at that time stayed stubborn, unchangeable on the east coast refusing to accept American fly-fishing culture. Is it correct?

There was no native American fly-fishing culture.

The indigenous people (Native American Indian tribes) had their own ways for catching fish, and they used lures that had been developed over generations of trial-and-error. The new immigrants (and their descendants) adopted these lure designs into their traditional fly-fishing techniques.

ANNE202Then what does “the Anglocentric east coast” mean? How could the east coast be Anglocentric?

The European colonists settled on the east coast. They built early cities there such as Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Most of the colonists were from the British Isles, specifically England. "Anglo-" is a prefix for "English." They were still practicing traditions, customs and religion that their ancestors practiced. They held to the old fly-fishing traditions. They were considered the "establishment" because the cities had universities and were the center of wealth and political power.

The settlers that moved west to occupy Indian territories were more venturesome and bold. They were the root and core of a new essentially American culture.

ANNE202Does “the first great writer” mean “the first scribbler among those who became well-known for his fly-fishing writings”? If so, why did the write of this article shortened the phrase like that that some people could read it wrong? Doesn’t it read like “Theodore Gordon is the first writer who became famous in history”?
early American fishing scribblers and fly-tiers tended to be British. (3)The first great writer, Theodore Gordon, initially wrote for a British journal.

"Scribbler" is a derogatory term in the literary community. Fish stories are notorious for being nothing more than exaggerated tales, rather than serious literature.

A few of these "scribblers" gained reputations as legitimate, and even famous, writers. Gordon is the first.

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ANNE202Teacher, I feel that this quote is sarcastic and sneering but what does “Our fish are Republican, shrewd, stupid” mean? Would you explain this part to me? ♥.♥
ANNE202 (4)“Our fish are too Republican, or too shrewd, or too stupid, to understand the science of English trout fishing,” wrote a peeved angler in 1830.

It is more of a joke. It was written in 1830. The United States had revolted from England, and set up a republican form of government. England is still a monarchy, ruled by a King with absolute power. The British living in the US were still aristocratic and proud of their ancestry.

The angler is saying that the fish here do not appreciate or understand the sport as practiced in England. There is an analogy: American fish are different from British fish, as Americans are different from the Brits.

Americans are independent, street smart, and rebellious and do not bother to get a science education. The American fish turn up their snouts at English "scientifically deigned" lures and refuse to be caught. The angler is frustrated by his lack of success.

Here is the original quote:

Comments  
ANNE202(1) What does “the sport’s elite reputation” mean? I’ve thought of two possibilities! One, the sport became famous because it is said that some renowned members of the elite enjoyed fly-fishing and the other, fly-fishing was a quite exclusive sport due to some reason that mostly only the elite could access and enjoy it! What do you think the phrase mean teacher? ♡

It would have been clearer as "Yet its reputation as a sport of the elite …." The upper class, if you will, are the ones who go fly-fishing, as a rule.

ANNE202(2) I don’t understand this sentence, teacher T.T I interpreted it as most of the influential anglers at that time stayed stubborn, unchangeable on the east coast refusing to accept American fly-fishing culture. Is it correct? Then what does “the Anglocentric east coast” mean? How could the east coast be Anglocentric?

In the early days of fly fishing in the United States, although it caught on rather quickly, it did not become popular throughout the country right away. It was only popular in the area where people felt a connection with England, basically the thirteen original colonies, the Atlantic seaboard.

ANNE202(3) Does “the first great writer” mean “the first scribbler among those who became well-known for his fly-fishing writings”?

Right.

ANNE202If so, why did the write of this article shortened the phrase like that that some people could read it wrong? Doesn’t it read like “Theodore Gordon is the first writer who became famous in history”?

I see what you mean, and I slightly agree, but I had no trouble with it. It's better than repeating unnecessarily.

ANNE202(4) Teacher, I feel that this quote is sarcastic and sneering but what does “Our fish are Republican, shrewd, stupid” mean? Would you explain this part to me? ♥.♥

The writer meant that a "snooty Anglo" wrote that, an American who favored England and put on airs about it. The Anglo was joking, of course, because fish don't think. He was blaming these unlikely fish traits for his lack of success at the stream. "Republican" is a reference to the U.S. form of government as opposed to the English constitutional monarchy—the American fish were too free-thinking and individualistic to obediently bite as good subjects of the Crown would. The Republican Party had not been founded yet in 1830, and they used to capitalize a lot more in those days. The Revolution was in living memory, too, by the way.

ANNE202(5) I don’t know what ‘Yet’ means in this sentence! T.T

Me, neither. He starts a lot of his sentences with "yet" for no reason.

ANNE202(6) Why did the writer put “would” in the sentence? Does it have any special meaning?

This is simply a normal way of talking about a known future from a time set in the past.

ANNE202(7) Teacher, could you help me read this sentence? I don’t know what “its strong environmental record” mean! In my understanding, although the American angling lobby knew that fly-fishing would be highly likely to do damage to environment and some environmental records and materials clearly suggested it, they ignored and pretended not to see it. Is it right? ♡

"Erred" is a wrong word there, so it is anybody's guess precisely what he meant, and the rest of the sentence is muddy. It seems he meant to say that although the fly fishers have openly supported conservation over the years (they have a "strong environmental record") in Congress, they have also sometimes, for political reasons, accepted policies that harm the environment.

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Teacher AlpheccaStars thank you so much! ♥

When I got an e-mail notifying you replied to my question, I was so happy and checked it right away!

The story of your fly-fishing experience was so much fun that it made me imagine what you were like then!

And background information you gave me helps me understand articles much further than when I read them alone, which makes me addicted to your comments!

Also I won’t forget the word “subhead.”

♡.♡

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Oh Thank you so much for your comment teacher! ♥

I guess you’ve replied to my questions before as well, haven’t you?

For some reason your comments make me laugh, and this time it cracked me up again!

And you seem to know what makes me confused and exactly explain the point to me, which is one of the reasons why I think you are so smart!

I am really grateful and want to learn more from you teacher!

♡.♡