The blog may not be for everyone. In reality the Internet just isn’t good for some people. It has had an incredible impact on the sport and art of fly fishing. Some positive some not so much but that could be applied to just about anything.
In the days of old, anglers would write journals and newsletters to their fishing club to communicate and promote the culture and sport. Short stories, books, pamphlets, scientific studies, fly pattern recipes and techniques used to be passed along between a small tight group that spanned from the high Catskills areas of the north east, all the way to the Washington and Oregon coast with a heavy emphasis in Montana of course.
As far back as the early 20’s there are articles and writings about fly fishing. A wealth of knowledge and insight is there for the hungry angler. Those that have taken the time to unglue their eye holes from Kamchatka videos, and trophy brown trout in New Zealand stumble on a history filled with just incredible stuff. I’m super guilty with New Zealand videos. I do like when I find short videos the are actual pieces of artistic film too, those are just as much of a surprise and treat as good writings.
Any angler that has spent time reading the literature of this wonderful sport will tell you that it was and is a huge part of the culture. To write and describe the days on the river goes rod in hand with fly angling. In today’s fast paced world of instagram photos, 155 character posts, and lightly detailed fishing reports there is a part of what makes fly angling special missing at times. At least for me and many others that I share this sport with.
While some may get bored reading posts about fishing stories, even ones that are filled with trouty information, there was a time that reading…from guides, tiers, writers, conservationists, and trout bums, was the only way to get information, news, new patterns, techniques, secret fishing holes, and just about anything fly fishing related. Published magazines and journals, large networks of fly fishing clubs with members across the country sharing newsletters and writings through the club; all of these were the staple for gaining knowledge and insight into the sport.
Nowadays, those things have changed, blogs, twitter feeds, facebook posts and websites are how we gain info. Which is really cool, trust me I love tech! What I love about blogging is it allows the passionate fly angler who happens to enjoy writing and sharing things, a new age avenue to do an old school thing. As the season begins this spring, the major benefit of a quick to publish blog is river reports. Now a quick photo post or a short few paragraphs will be the normal thing as there is less time for writing, because of…fishing. But there can be troves of information and tools for the angler hidden with the “foofy” words that some anglers use to promote the sport. Writing is an art form in itself and I learned a lot about this sport through the literature. I identify with those artful passages from equally artful tiers and anglers. Its nice to slow down, have a read, and learn something, or just enjoy a good fishing story, or maybe be inspired to fish somewhere or with someone.
Some who fly fish may not be into it, and that’s okay, we are all fly fishing for our own reasons and express our passion in our own ways. I have found that over time, there is more to just being on the river. For some anglers it “clicks” early, others it takes time to develop, and for some, fly angling is just an enjoyable hobby to do from time to time. We are all angling and that’s pretty wicked. Part of the culture of this sport is learning and talking with people in the shops or riverside and hearing about their story, their journey down the river.
What I always look for when reading river reports or looking for information is the stuff that isn’t just, the flies used, temps of water, where the fish were, and how many were caught. That’s great and all, and when you are trying to sell trips in this age of the simplest information at the fastest speed possible to the public, it works really well.
When I stumble upon a report or blog that goes the extra mile its like having a surprise hook up on the river when you are sleeping on the drift. Something that talks about the sounds heard, the sights seen, the intricate way the fly bobbed along the water before being hoovered. Or the eagle circling above that is watching the same fish you are. The elk that bugles in late fall and wakes up the river in the morning. That troutnerdy stuff. Those are the blogs and posts that grab my attention. Ones that, as I read them, make me feel like I am there, ones that inspire me to find a similar moment on my homewater. Those are the websites and places I frequent. Those are the people that I connect with over the ‘webasphere’ and its a neat thing to be able to share passions and stories with others like the old days, in the new age.
So for those anglers that share in the delight of reading something more than just a quick report I can dig it. Passion, makes everything better, passion in life and in angling. There is never anything wrong with reading, and fly fishing has a long history of great literature to go along with it. I always tell people to read, read, read. That’s what off seasons and off days are for. Reading and tying.
Do I hope that one of my posts inspires an angler to come fish with me. Of course, but I would write anyway. Its fun, and the above mentioned hope has already become a reality for me personally, with people that are inspired and want to share moments with trout and me. Its a cool thing, to have people want to fish with you. Granted I enjoy solitude very much but there is a time for angling solo and a time for angling with others. The trick is to find other passionate anglers that dig it as much as you do, those are the ones that make those riverside days that much more memorable.
Its not always about the trout when it comes to fly fishing.