Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To All You Fishing Superstars Out There

When I started this blog over 5 years ago my intention was to write down my thoughts and opinions based on my life of fly fishing. With the exception of a few politically charged offerings I've kept pretty much to what I set out to do.
If you've come here to get instructions or advice then I can tell you that there are many out there who know a hell of a lot more than me. I try to be a good steward of the rivers and the fish that live in the rivers that I love. I do not want notoriety beyond doing what I can for wild salmonids. I know many people who feel the same as I do.
What I have seen the last few years is the emergence of the fishing "superstar". They are in both the fly fishing community and the conventional gear crowds. The internet is their playground and you cannot escape their plethora of hero pictures. These young and some times even middle age fishing studs have a little success and all of the sudden they know it all and are even writing articles in national magazines. They are giving "sage" advice on hooking big numbers of fish worldwide.
Most of these stars are in their 20's  or 30's and have had very little time to experience shaving their damn face much less learning all the ins and outs of fishing.
I find these instant experts funny in a pathetic sort of way. They rig up their indicators and bobbers and brag of big numbers and fishing in exotic locales. They have their images plastered all over the internet with holding wild steelhead out of the water out. Their "posse" of wannabes are there to sing their praises and tell them " You da man!"
They even have a series of DVDs out their to exhibit their exploits to those that can only dream of fishing in such far away places.
You can call me a cynic and maybe I am but these rock stars are hurting our sport and most of the time that actions and attitudes are the only impression the general public gets of fishing. This "in your face look at me" brashness wears pretty thin to most everyone but their peers,camp followers and ass kissers. Another thing they do to hurt the sport is the way they come across to those who might be interested in taking up fishing. They care little about conservation or anything that might limit them from putting up the big numbers and plastering their face all over the internet.
You won't see them at an important public hearings when the well being of wild trout and salmon is being discussed. They are too busy having pictures holding wild trout or steelhead out of the water. They are too busy treating salmon and steelhead fishing like some sort of angling extreme sport to be play along with snow boarding and skateboarding.
Oh they will exploit the resource and talk about what a darn shame it is that all the wild salmonids are disappearing but to get them to take action? They love the bloated hatchery runs in small coastal rivers and you can see them holding court with the morons who don't know any better.
So young man, I say young because most of you are younger than my kids, I will acknowledge that you are a better fisherman than me. You catch more and bigger fish than me but I am not impressed and in fact I am worried that after the old guys are gone the traditions of fishing in the Pacific Northwest and more importantly conservation are going to be left in your hands
I doubt you are up to the task and so all the things that are wonderful about casting a dry fly to a rising trout or drift fishing for winter steelhead will be gone and that scares the hell out of me.
So young dudes if you have time to actually do something more than being a steelhead fishing superstar and popping zits in the mirror then maybe you can help us old guys out as we try to save a few wild trout. You don't respect the river, the resource or anything but your own over-inflated ego!
If you think I am writing about you then yes I more than likely am.....deal; with it!


  1. "One youngsters is all of 22 or 23 years old but he writes a regular column for a nationally known fishing magazine based here in the Pacific Northwest....give me a friggin' break!"

    Since I'm the person listed above I thought I'd at least give you my .02
    I spent a lot more time putting other people on fish and often help people that have never gone fishing enjoy the sport. I don't guide, I don't get paid for it. I do it because I love it and I love watching other people get excited about fishing.
    99% of the pictures you see along with my writing are pictures of someone besides me. Yes, my name is on the article and I occasionally am pictured, but someone's has to be. Would it be better for the fisheries if I wrote under a pen name so I didn't have any recognition?
    I simply don't understand your logic and frankly I don't need to. We run in different circles and letting criticism from you or anyone who shares your views bother me is like worrying about the end of the world. You can worry about it, but it's better to simply recognize there's no way I can stop it and it's pointless to try.
    And not that it validates me much more, but I wanted you to get your facts straight. I'm 27.

    Josiah Darr

  2. Sorry if you were offended but yes I was referring to you! I refrained from mentioning your name but since you did it for me then all bets are off I guess. Here is the thing Josiah and listen up. You and others like you are not involved in doing anything for the wild fisheries you enjoy exploiting. I've never heard of you speaking out for wild fish! Have never seen you at any public meeting where the well being of wild salmon and steelhead are discussed. I don't care if you are 27 or my age of 57 I have no respect for anyone who does not give back to the resource they use. If you think collecting wild steelhead for the broodstock program then think again.
    I know you could not care less if you have my respect and that is fine but you could be an important player in all of this stuff.
    If you get involved then I will shake your hand and apologize for my comments but not until then. It is guys your age that hold the future of wild salmon and steelhead in your hands. You can make a difference if you choose to go beyond putting up the big numbers. Yes, I know you are a good fisherman but hopefully one day you won't be satisfied with putting up those big numbers and will want to go beyond that. It took me 20 years to realize that a filled hatchery tag means little so hopefully it won't take you that long.