Thursday, September 22, 2016

An Anglers Evolution

"Information is not knowledge. 
The only source of knowledge is experience."   
-Author Unknown (though commonly attributed to Albert Einstein)

The internet never forgets. We cannot put something on the web without creating some kind of digital footprint. Even deleted material may not really be gone. Blogs are not immune to the idea. This means that a simple internet search can drum up a very old post. With a blog like this, one of the biggest problems is that an old post shows very little about the progression of the angler. To be quite honest, I get bored doing things the same way for very long. I can't even tie more than two of the same exact fly in one sitting. With the impulse for growth and creativity I really have to fight the temptation to edit older posts to reflect my current views. I rarely do it, and I think it is important to avoid doing so. There are a few reasons I leave the old posts alone. Ultimately, this is a personal blog, a journal of sorts, and each post tells me far more about myself than most people care to give any thought to. Reading back through past posts, some make me smile, some make me reconsider a technique, some cause me to think of something new, and some cause me to cringe a bit in embarrassment. It's a labor of love... for the sport, for creativity, and for connection. And, it is always evolving, just like my views, my techniques, and my priorities.

No angler is immune to the evolution, as long as they keep with the sport. We all meander through different stages (some interesting ideas on the stages of angling here, here, and here too) and grow through the process. Personally, I feel my techniques are often changing (some more drastic than others), my theories on trout behavior are not bound, and my goals are anything but static. What worries me, is that those who stop by this little corner of the web may not take the time to understand what they are seeing, but rather take a single page for the whole of who it represents. Just because I once fished a certain way does not mean I still do. Maybe the idea shouldn't matter, but for some reason, I feel it does. Don't we all want to be able to change? To have the freedom to do so? Sometimes it is hard, because the internet (and sometimes people) never forget. (This is not directed at a person, just a general sentiment and idea.) If there's a deeper meaning to this, that is up to the reader, but one thing I do know, I am not the same angler I was last year. And I sure hope I'm not the same in another year. I hope to be better. A better person. A better caster. A better father. A better husband. And a better friend. An anglers evolution matters, and there's a whole lot more to an angler than fish. I'm grateful for new friends, and old. I'm grateful for the good times, and those that are yet to come. I'm grateful I can look back on bad experiences and say that most have been turned into positive relationships and situations.

Will I still be mousing at night in a couple years? Who knows. Will I be fishing more or less? Who knows. One thing is for certain though, I will still be fishing, things will be different, and that's okay.