The article was written by the Venturing Angler and it was about the things that he feels fly fisherman need to stop doing...immediately.
Now, maybe it's just because I hate being told what to do or not to, but this one really irked me. Maybe I'm just kind of crabby today, but it irked me so much so that I am writing this. I think he is on point with a couple of things but incredibly off point on others - So Mr. Venturing Angler, let's dive in to everything I disagree with you about.
Above this section, he has a picture of a fly fisherman holding up a nice trout that he just caught with a caption of "Let's move away from this. The author in the early 2000s looks for praise from a fake fish."
Instantly, I disagree. I suppose I am guilty of these "hero shots" because I love pictures of me holding a fish I caught. I am proud of the fish I caught and by golly, I like to share them everywhere I can. Based off of my analytics, other people like to look at them as well.
I also like to look at pictures of others who caught a fish they are proud of. Instagram has quickly become one of my favorite social media platforms and my feed is stuffed with a ton of pictures of people holding up a fish they caught and are proud of.
P.S. Here's a link to my Instagram page!
Now maybe you are someone who actually only gets magazine for the articles, but I happen to like the pictures. I find pronounced elitism in your proclamation that taking a picture like so many of my own needs to stop. Ironically, you touches on how elitism has to stop a few sections down - we'll get to that.
Once again, because someone is proud or pumped up about catching a fish they feel is big, we need to belittle them for feeling so? What does being a "beast" mean? If someone goes out in pursuit of catching a fish once a day or once a month is completely irrelevant in my mind. However often you can and do, going out there with sheer determination, focus, persistence, and excitement is what I would consider "beast mode" and I DO find value in that. If that makes me or anyone else a poser in your eyes - oh well. And when I drive 24 straight hours to go chase some saltwater fish on the southern tip of Florida one time a year; it's beast mode. Is it standard for you or someone else? Maybe but when I do it, I am leaving behind a wife and 2 kids all in hopes of having something big hit the end of my line. I do it with no less passion than someone who does it every day. Quantity is not the measure of being hardcore - passion when you do it is.
I agree that human suffering and pollution suck but what are you really getting at here? Are you mad that company xyz chooses to make something in a place where the cost of labor is cheaper and then sells it here for a larger profit? Are you mad that a worker in some other country is being paid some wage that seems inconceivably low to us here in the U.S? While these can be debated until we're all dead, it is what it is. Companies try to make profit at our expense. If they don't make profit then they don't stay in business. If they don't stay in business then we don't have a product. It's a vicious circle. Also, I am not sure if you have traveled outside of the country but things in other places don't cost the same as what they do here. Not all countries share our same values in what is important. Making $10 a day in one country may actually be a good wage to them. A gallon of milk might not actually cost $3 or more like it does here.
More to the point, I don't see how this really relates to connecting to nature. Is that what fly fishing is? Is that all it's allowed to be? Since it seems like such a pure endeavor to you, then why aren't you cutting a branch from a tree, making your line from something nature provides, and carving a hook from the bone of some naturally fallen prey?
Oh yeah....where is that Kraken reel that you have actually made?
So I can only assume that you are against the programs where local DNR's stock random ponds, lakes, and creeks with catchable trout for the sake of introducing young anglers to the sport or allowing others a chance to catch a fish that isn't normally available to them?
Or are you against the hatcheries working to restore a species that has been over harvested by commercial boats or fell victim to some terrible man made disaster like an oil spill or fracking accident? Would you prefer that we just let the species die so generations of future anglers have no chance at catching a species of fish you had the gift of being able to catch?
The bare minimum is doing nothing at all. By joining organizations like the TU, you are enabling them to continue their mission - a mission which those who join believe in as well. If someone did nothing else but go catch a fish, take a hero shot, and share it with their friends and family, they would be helping the cause. How so? Simple. They are creating interest and awareness. If only 10 people in the world are interesting in catch a steelhead, then the tremendous resources that go into growing and preserving the species wouldn't exist. If a million people are excited about fishing for them, then it becomes a cause that has warrior groups like the TU making sure we can all have the opportunity to pursue them. This once again is another case where just because someone doesn't do as much or the same as you; it doesn't make them less than you.
I feel like we've covered this already....Oh yeah! Why aren't you making your gear from only the things that nature has provided, again? How's that super non materialistic CNC'ed aluminum fly reel and those Redington fly rods working out for you in the simplicity and authenticity department?
On the other hand, there are incredible female anglers out there - many of whom just consider themselves anglers - like Christina Weber and April Vokey who wish not to portray a combined image of sexuality and fishing but rather an image of being stellar anglers. They are two examples of women who do it very well. They should be extremely proud of having a vision of what they want to be and portray and then accomplishing it. They work extremely hard at doing it and get even more credit in the eyes of many - I believe you would be one of those.
As for the others who wish to portray and flaunt their perceived "sexiness"...well good for them. They have something that they are proud of and want to share with the world. Is showing off a body they are proud to have and portraying an image of sex disrespectful to fishing? I don't think so. I just think it's different than what I personally value. Aren't different passions, motives, goals, and opinions what makes the world great?
As for the increased interest part, how do we get back to that?? Hero shots, cool gear, and recognition. Make it look like something fun that everyone can do and guess what...people will want to do it.
As a "prostaffer" for several companies, I am the first to admit that I am not the best fisherman out there. Hell, if I only looked at this past year, I would say I'm a terrible fisherman. Ha Ha. But the thing is that when I am at an event for whatever company I am there with/for, I talk with people who want to know what I know. I love passing on the limited knowledge that I have with people that don't have it but want it. As a prostaffer, I am afforded more opportunities to do so.
A great example of this is a fellow we'll call John. He had seen my site and I believe I talked with him at some event about fishing some local waters around here. He had been trying but not having much luck so I shared my knowledge and received a follow up email from him last week thanking me for sharing what I know and with it was a picture of his first musky.
THAT is what being a prostaffer is all about to ME.
If you don't like someone's advice or care to hear it, then don't listen to it or read it but don't chastise those who want to share it. Sharing knowledge helps others grow and learn. Maybe not you...but there are indeed others that appreciate it.