Maybe I am having some sort of Fisherman identity crisis. I am the "newish" father of a wonderful 10-month old little girl; and have been thinking a lot about finally getting to take her out fishing this summer. I really hope she will love the sport as much as I do, and that it will lead to many great memories of time spent together. I guess what concerns me is what kind of world she will be given by those of us currently entrusted with the future.
Now I am not speaking environmentally; that already troubles me enough. I worry about who will be her role models. As Tim wrote, the fly fishing role models I grew up admiring were Don and Grant from Sport Fishing on the Fly. They were passionate, hard working, and patient, but most of all honest and real. I know I can always exemplify this, but who else will she look to?
This is not meant to be a wholesale condemnation of those who make fly fishing films, self promote on blogs or twitter, or otherwise have personae in social media (film is one of my early passions, you are reading my blog, and I'd be a hypocrite). I only wonder where passion for the sport lies in some of these things. There are times when I wonder why the people in these films are fly fishing. Is it catching big fish? Does that make you a big man? I think nearly every fly fishing film in Alberta is about a "remote" location "nobody" has been before. Let's be honest--Alberta is no wilderness. Let's be honest--every trout is not 24 inches. Let's be honest--why do you do this? This is not what humans do. Please be a human being.
I don't mind trophy fish photos, but how often in a film do you see average trout, caught by average guys or gals, having fun? Don't get me started on fly fishing gals. A certain one who shall remain nameless seems to go to great lengths to conform to trash magazine standards of beauty with her bleach blonde hair, copious amounts of eye make-up, and a stardom and fan base I do not even begin to understand. For Pete's sake, if you type her name into Google's search some of the top suggestions are for "Name age/married/engaged/boyfriend".
I truly am fearful about the direction fly fishing is going. I see in it all the tropes and cliches of extreme sport films like skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. I was more inspired to fly fish by the mountain climbing/adventure film 180° South than by the latest "Epic Fly Fishing Film". Is this the direction we want to go? I know it is not the direction I will, nor will my daughter with all hope.
This post was inspired by two others I read recently. One by Michiganfly entitled Is It Just Me? and Bumpy Water's Top 16 Phrases You Should Immediately Edit Out of Your Epic Fly Fishing Film.