It's kind of amazing to come back here, look around, run a finger through the dust on the shelves. That line tells a tale, more so than the smudge on my finger tip, a lesson in contrast. Mortenson has been questioning my blogger cred.
I suppose he has good reason.
Have you ever asked the question "Who am I; why am I here?"? That's a bit dual pronged, but certainly related. In fly-speak we'd call it "an articulated question".
I've been wondering why I do this, and where it is going. Is there a reason for me to post every Monday morning, even if I have nothing noteworthy to say, or worse, haven't given it the effort that you my readers deserve? Does the fact that I have "pro" status with several companies make me an industry person, or am I still an independent voice? Do I have to become a guide?
Other questions bother me. Sure, I fish a lot and catch a lot of fish, but does that make me an expert? Hardly. I can barely cast, my tying is rudimentary at best, my knowledge of riparian entomology is sketchy, and honestly I am an outsider to fly fishing culture. I've spent too much time fishing on my own. Fly fishing for me has always been a solitary pursuit, not a social one. I went to the rivers for solitude and solace, and I specifically avoided fishing at times and places that drew crowds. Loneliness on a river was comforting and welcome, in stark contrast to the feeling of loneliness at home.
And so I fished a lot. 5 days a week for a couple of years. I got to know my rivers here better than anyone except Zach Ginop, who is a better angler and tyer than me by a long shot, and also 20 years my junior. It's a good thing he can't write. He's one of the best people you could ever spend a day on the river with. He's been voted (by me) Most Likely to Get His Flies Into the Orvis Catalog.
|Whatever you do don't fish with this guy- Zach in action.|
I left private life at about the same time as most of you. I am of course referring to the current Facebook era. In pretty much one fell swoop I got a Facebook account and then started blogging. I never thought anyone besides a couple of my close personal friends and family would ever follow anything I did, but these days they are a small minority of my followers. I'm getting a kick out of the current rash of "privacy" and "copyright" posts on Facebook. All of you- this is the internet era. I can copy and paste anything you post. I can download your pictures. When you clicked "I Agree" on Facebook's (and every other online social media) terms you gave them permission to pimp what you're posting, and never mind the fact that it allows me to download and use it, right or wrong. If you don't want to share it, don't post it. Sharing means exactly that- you are splitting your cookies n milk with me. Thank you.
Sharing my solitary pursuit on social media resulted in a schizophrenic split- this is what I do alone, for all of you to see. Blogging exacerbated the chasm- this is what I do alone, please follow me. I am still exploring this rent in my psyche. I've tried hard not to give up river names and places, but at one point I fished a favorite spot that, judging by the untracked snow had not been fished in several days. I did a small blog and social media post on my successful fishing, only to find 6 cars there the next day. Coincidence? Possibly, but it still was an odd feeling.
At the end of this day I still feel it is worth doing. I'll continue to hold everyone at arms length even as I continue to share my adventures. I'll continue to write. I have some fresh inspiration. Writers will always be lost and questioning souls. If you're wondering what Limbo is like, become a writer. It's not so bad- at least we have an outlet.