Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ideological Battles

In the internet age, the volume and force of information, opinion and nearly every aspect of our communications seems to be constantly increasing. While the the angling community has long been divided with regards to how people choose to pursue fish, what passes as ethical and what we as sportsmen must aspire to, the tenor of the conversation seems to have changed a good deal.

At times it can be a little much to bear and with the exception of the Spey Pages I shy away from message boards about fishing because of the caustic interactions that are commonplace. It is human to judge others, because we are always judging ourselves, our decisions and our place in the world. The question I would ask is; why are we as human beings/anglers so eager to divide ourselves into groups, judge others, and now openly over the internet spout vitriolic garbage about people we dont know? I couldn't be more tired of the us v. them or the "punk kids" stereotype spouted by certain "sports men" from a set of anachronistic guardians of our sporting heritage. Lets take it back to the old days, if someone does something you dont like, tell them, privately, and in a civil manner.

We are all entitled to promoting the sporting values we believe in, however at a point all we can do is lead by example. While it is our responsibility as anglers to understand and protect the wild ecosystems and fish they support, fly fishing is an individual pursuit. Beyond that basic tennant ethics, techniques, strategies are left to the individual to decide. I for one find solace that fact.


  1. this post is a breath of fresh air ! To many times lately Ive heard it has to be done this way or that way .I swing flies for steelhead ,yet I wouldnt mind nymphing or trying a bunch of other ways for them .If you say that to a traditional guy he is going to look at you like you have four eyes and horns coming out your head ,i could care less how someone fishes so long as they leave me alone to fish how I'd like .Hell im not above throwing spoons and spinners for them either ! There I said it !I feel much better now .Why it is that this exists is just beyound me .The one thing I wish people would learn is to not low hole and to share runs ,and I think we would all get along alot better if we did !Thanks for the post it was awesome !

  2. Yes Will I am indeed envious. I envy that they can get up and down hills better than me. I envy that they can wade stretches of rivers that I can no longer wade.
    I envy that they can tie on a fly without having to use 10X magnification.
    Their fish catching ability? Not really. I've had my day and have been cured of the testosterone poisoning these young guys are afflicted with.
    You pretty much said it yourself Will, you wouldn't take a picture like that.

  3. Will,
    I understand the anger that my post caused. Look, it is not or should not be about old vs. young, traditional or whatever that means vs. whatever, spoons, spinners, etc. It is about behavior. I posted the photos without naming names, placing links, and obscured the faces in order to protect the guilty.

    The term "Anachronistic" refers to something misplaced or out of place in time. This issue is not about innovation vs. those stuck in the past. It is about a sense of respect that should trancend time.


  4. I was un aware that this post was about the other posts that someone posted .I agree with Eric and Shane about the pictures that were posted ,I found them truely distasteful!These are fish one way or the other they struggle to live and be ,we have created them !They have a use at this point as food or something to help fertilize the eco system .One way or the other ,when I hold an animal of this type I for one am awed at there power ,beauty ,and plain ability to get big .If they were a stocked trout back east they would all be looked at as awesome !Elitist I'm not! I have fished in every way possible for these fish so i dont hold myself on some (im greater then you thing )This is about respect ,this just shows that our human nature is to act like a pig and not respect the earth in the least .For me the river is holy ground I respect it as much as my mother and father and I thank that it is there for me to use !When it offers me up a fish ,which doent happen everyday I thank her !Just the same as when I kill a deer I thank the earth for giving me it to eat !Pure pigheaded people who dont respect the river hold no ground with me ! Fish however you want but dont disrepect the fish !