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.
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