We don’t often share social media stuff here on the blog. Social Media stuff is, well, for social media. But this tweet from Canadian Team Snowboarder Sebastien Toutant (SebToots on Twitter) has really got me curious. Apparently fishing is not allowed in any of the toilets at the Sochi winter Olympics. Yes, I said fishing (along with several other activities).
This tweet has been picked up by a few international news sources, but none expand on the idea of toilet fishing, simply using the image as some laughable content and allowing users to post humorous comments, which is great. But I wanted to know more…
Who would fish in a toilet and why? Do they have different types of sewer systems and toilets in Russia that allow for fish passage? What kind of fish live in this environment? Are they edible? Where do the fish spawn? Is it catch and release? Is fluorocarbon allowed? These things are on my mind.
So, I decided to head to Google and learn a little more about “toilet fishing”, which resulted in no results. Sure, there were lots of pictures of little kids fishing in the toilet, several games for sale, and way too many images of people sitting on the toilet while fishing. There were several other links to SebToots tweet, but none of the reporters had researched the culture or the participants that make up the dark world of Eastern European toilet fishing.
The sign clearly states we’re talking about fishing in the toilet, not from it, so my web search was a dead end. Pretty amazing, considering that there’s A) at least 10 blogs for every activity in the world, and B) Sochi officials spent the time and money to create signs to prevent anglers from 2-plying the waters of Sochi.
So I’m left to my own theories:
Theory 1 – A Hoax
Yes, it could be a prank by a Canadian snowboarder (it has elements of both Canadian and snowboarder humor), but the logistics of sneaking that big sign into the tight Russian security probably wouldn’t be worth it. Especially risky for a medal contender.
Theory 2 – Misinterpretation
There is also the possibility that the symbols are being misinterpreted. Maybe that figure is washing his dirty underwear?
Theory 3 – It’s True
Lastly, there may actually be a group of people who fish in toilets, and I have a theory. There is one small group of anglers that might be suspect. They like to fish small waters, and it gets no smaller than a toilet. They like solitude, and the stalls would provide that. They like to catch small fish (I’m going to assume that whatever swims in the Sochi sewers is small) and they don’t care how many. Stealth and low impact is their mantra.
They also have exactly the right kind of gear to sneak into a public restroom to do some fishing. You’d need a rod that quickly assembles and breaks down. Something you could hide under your shirt. A silent line handling system so as not to alert others of your illegal activities. And because patience would be critical, you wouldn’t need a lot of flies. I’m talking, of course, about Tenkara anglers.
Look at the picture more closely. Do you see a reel? Guides or a handle? I don’t. In fact the closer you look, the more evidence of Tenkara you’ll see. Look at that high rod angle. Definitely some Tenkara “dapping” going on in that potty.
Think about it. You read about all these Tenkara anglers on the forums, and you hear people talking Tenkara this and Tenkara that, and how much they love the simplicity of Tenkara. But have you ever actually seen them on the river? I haven’t, and I think we now know why. Apparently the “pure” Tenkara crowd has been abusing the Sochi sewer system for their own personal enjoyment. Or perhaps they are being unjustly persecuted, as other “non-traditional” groups have been mis-treated by the Russian government.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the Tenkara USA blog for the next fews weeks to see if they post anything from Russia.