The Internet is Ruining Fishing
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – “The internet is ruining fly fishing”. The most common reason that I see floated around explaining how/why the interwebs destroyed fishing is the “hot spotting” that goes on. I’d argue that the biggest way that the internet is ruining this sport is it, in my opinion, has created an increased population of anglers that join in on the cult like “hero” mentality.
Fishing is a recreation for most, a profession for some – but has become a pecker measuring contest for several. Why? Why do many people feel the absolute need to be accepted to the “in crowd” that is nothing more than a bunch of key board jockeys spreading propoganda, from the protection of hiding behind a computer monitor.
All types of fishing have a long and rich history of “fish stories” or “tall tales” – its part of the unique culture of the sport, healthy exaggeration of one’s accomplishments. With the increased popularity of forums and facebook though, these harmless truth stretches have become so outlandish that it, in my opinion, has moved the culture of the sport/industry a very negative direction. A culture of over-exaggeration has been adopted, just as a means to fit in or keep up with all the other non-truth tellers.
I will be the first to admit that I am probably wrong in how judgemental I am – spending countless hours envying the photos of many fine fishermen, making assessments of ‘how good’ of a fisherman is by the proof provided by a few simple photos. In an effort to keep up with the successful anglers though many will weave sophisticated tangled webs in an effort to join some exclusive club. Why is that important?
The keeping up with the Joneses mentality as it regards to gear is mind boggling to me as well. Its okay to be a gear junkie, I totally get it – but it doesn’t buy you more success. Just because you look the part doesn’t mean that you are. My gear game is relatively weak, my entire streamer fishing set up cost me no more than $350 for the complete rig. Same for the rest of my rigs – I wear beat up, patched several times over waders, and a jacket that smells like a sweaty gym locker because it has been with me through several years. I don’t fit in with most crowds I suppose as a result – but I don’t care.
Sure, you are right to accuse me of “hiding behind a keyboard” after all, I do have a blog. However, the only propaganda that I hope that I spread is don’t be an asshole, and be respectful of others that are enjoying the exact same resources as you.