Thursday, March 6, 2014


As a long winter passes, it gives me a chance to reflect on not only the past season of fly fishing, but what the sport truly means to me and how the obsession began. Also, some things that have been bugging me recently about the sport. The reason many of us start out in anything is the adventure and the "unknown", mixed with the chance to acquire new skills with others, and of course achieve great memories along the way. This simple statement could sum up the reason one gets into sports, changes careers, or even lives their lives.  It is definitely the basis on why I fly fish, work my job, and live my every day life.

For several years now, I have noticed a trend that bothers me, and it is now present in every activity that I mentioned earlier, more than ever.  Image and self promotion is something that is troubling to society, yet is becoming so prevalent that it makes you wonder where values/morals have gone.  Gone (for the most part it seems) are the days of being part of a team/group/activity with common goals and looking out for the good of it all, and it is being replaced by selfish promotion of oneself and putting oneself above the activity/group for (attempted) personal gains.

This statement has a wide range of occupations, activities, etc that it can apply to but you came here to read about fly fishing and that is what I will focus on the rest of the way.

I started fly fishing after Nick brought over some Sport Fishing on the Fly episodes he had recorded on VHS tapes in the mid-to-late 90s.  Of course Andy (my brother), and Trevor (Nick's brother) were getting into it as well. We had all been fishing practically since birth, and had pretty well mastered how to catch pike, walleye, and trout on gear. Along came the thought of this exciting new way (for us) to fish and we were all in.  I credit not only Nick for getting us all interested but also Don and Grant from that fly fishing television program for showcasing the sport of fly fishing as a whole.

There wasn't dance club music blasted in the background and "money shots" of them holding small trout close to the camera to make their catch look bigger. There weren't shots of their sponsored out vehicles or boats, or 20-30 close-ups of their gear throughout those 30 minutes of programming. There weren't hand selected "friends" who had the "image that sells".  Don't get me wrong,  they did have sponsors, but that was in the background to what was most important,  and was NOT the primary goal of the show. What they DID have was 30 minutes of awesome locations in western Canada, the techniques on how to fish those locations, and scenic shots that made it feel like you were out on the water with them for a day or fishing. In other words, promoting the sport and locales...NOT themselves.  Not to mention having fun on the water with good friends and family!

It was with this same attitude that those guys on the show portrayed that really got all of us going in the sport of fly fishing, and I would also like to say that we still hold these values to this day.

My question is this...why has the trend been for some individuals to put themselves above all others and the sport, and why are so many people massaging their egos?  That attitude needs to be left at home, and these people need to start enjoying the sport for what it was made to be (as mentioned earlier)...good friends and family enjoying themselves out on the water creating memories, and acquiring new skills along the way!
Western Sportfishing: Trev, Andy, Tim, and Nick