James Jesus Angleton often compared fly
casting for game fish to spycraft. In what way did he
find fly fishing and spying analogous?
In Angleton's view, espionage services
used the same principles as fly fishermen in recruiting
and snaring agents in enemy territory. The fly fisherman
first observes what sort of insects fish snap at, and
then fashions the lure that most closely simulates it.
He continually modifies it, or his cast of it, until
he finds an incentive for the fish to bite. He does
not fish for a single fish, he fishes for a type that
meets his criteria. Similarly, intelligence services,
observe the behavior that will most likely attract the
attention a particular type of preyŚ a diplomat, for
example. They then fashion a lure to be dangled in a
likely path. If it is overlooked or rejected, another
lure is substituted in its place. With sufficient trial
and error, and patience, Angleton, a dedicated fisherman,
believed the right lure can be fashioned for any fish
or potential spy.