Social Media, The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Fly Fishing

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Thousands of gallons of ink have been spilled and billions of pixels have flashed about the evils that social media, and the Internet in general, are perpetuating on the sport of flyfishing.

I can’t tell you how many rants, posts, articles, captions and blurbs I’ve read that contend, in some way, that some part of the Internet is ruining the sport we all love so much. “It just encourages Grip and Grins.” they shriek. “It’s making flyfishing into a competition!” they scream. “It’s just a bunch of people trying to get Internet famous!” they howl. And they are right. All of those things do happen on the Internet. They also happen in the flyshop, around the campfire and over beers. There isn’t any way to deny that some people use social media and the Internet to try to make themselves look like master anglers. Hell some of them ARE master anglers promoting themselves (and the sport).

The fact is, in a real and fundamentally important way, the Internet is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to flyfishing. The ramifications of the changes it is creating are still waiting to be wholly felt, but have already influenced everything from public policy to international politics to fish care and handling. More importantly, the scale and scope of the reach of flyfishing continues to grow. The exposure of the sport is no longer limited to Brad Pitt or grandpa. It’s now an organic and fluid mechanism defined by the collective image set forth by all of us. We’ve been given the power to reach into places that would have never known flyfishing and to do it in ways that don’t involve stuffy meetings or AARP-sponsored events. And we’ve done a helluva job; taking flyfishing from the purview of only rich old white men into something not only accessible, but promoted to everyone. Are we perfect? Hell no. But we are damn good.

Many years ago I was standing on the bank of a small muddy river in South Eastern South Dakota. I had a Cabella’s 6 weight rod and reel combo that my father had given me. Don’t ask what line or leader I was using. I wasn’t that advanced yet. On my hip was an ammo belt that I’d stuffed with my 2 tippet spools, fingernail clippers (because that guide in Colorado used nippers so I knew using my teeth like I had all my life wasn’t classy enough for flyfishing) and a flybox with 12 random flies in it. I’d tied on a yellow foam beetle and was attempting to cast it between ice sheets on a cold March day. See, I knew you could catch bluegill on flies. The guide had told me so. He’d also said he preferred a yellow beetle to get them. So there I was trying to get a drift with my leader dragging on the ice and not understanding why the fish weren’t biting that day.

For years I struggled to learn how to flyfish in warm water.

Most was pure trial and error. I’d try stuff; it wouldn’t work… so I’d try other stuff. I was the only person in the world, as far as I was concerned, fishing warm water with flies and I did it incessantly. You know that quote attributed to Einstein about insanity being a person doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I was certifiable at that point.

SDLW-EditEventually I learned to catch bluegill and started targeting carp on the fly. I must be a damn glutton for punishment, because that led to a 2-year stretch that included 2 fish and one may or may not have been foul hooked. I found John Geirach’s book “Sex, Death and Leaky Waders” and would lie up at night rereading it for clues that would help me catch a carp on a fly. Eventually I landed a few, found Barry Reynolds book “Carp on the Fly” and became relatively adept at getting carp. But I was still totally alone.

And then I joined Facebook.

Within weeks I’d found blogs by people doing exactly what I was doing, forums of people discussing doing what I was doing and books I didn’t know where ever written. I followed them, and then I interacted with them, and some have become my closest friends. I picked up tips, learned techniques and saw what was possible in flyfishing. All of a sudden the idea that saltwater fish could be had on flies was presented to me. And where to go… and how to wade and what to cast. I Facebook friended hundreds of people that had the same passion as me, and then I really friended many of them. In 2015, I will fish with no less than 30 people that I would not have known were it not for Social Media. And those are just the people I met online or can draw a straight line to from social media. If we wanted to get 2nd level the number would be astounding. I mean hell, I spent 30 minutes on the phone today with Louis FUCKING Cahill discussing this post. Where do I put that?? I have also written books, sold magazine articles, been on podcasts and on and on and on… do I have to enumerate everything? The point is, I found, engaged and was welcomed into a community that didn’t exist without Social Media.

The real power of social media is that it has joined us all together. It’s created an interconnected community from a disparate group of geographically dispersed people. In the process, the Internet has exposed millions of people to flyfishing, who would have never known the sport can be fun… and not just contemplative and introspective. Fifteen year olds hate contemplative and 15 year olds are the future of our sport. Just look at my Instagram followers.

We’ve seen real results from the power of this interconnected community. The American Consulate heard noise about the uproar over the changes in Bahamian regulations and the implications that had for American businesses in the Bahamas and put the kibosh on the proposed changes. Because we are important? No… because we were noisy enough for someone to take note and say, ‘Hey wait a sec… what does this mean for other American interests in the Bahamas?’  Pebble Mine is on the ropes (it still isn’t dead… stay tuned for a Pebble post) thanks in part to the fact that Social Media allowed us to act collectively to sign petitions and write letters and be a unified force.  There are meet-ups to clean up rivers organized online, dissemination of information on stream access laws occurs online and the noise made by blogs and Facebook about certain environmental problems have led to real change in some cases. We’ve become more powerful as we’ve become more unified. Instead of a letter-writing campaign including just the 20 anglers that attend your TU meeting, it can include all of the anglers at any TU meeting. Or ones that don’t attend TU meetings for that matter.

Social Media, and the pressure it can create, has also influenced the way we view and practice fish care.

Look at any Facebook picture from today. The fish is well cradled and wet. It’s fully colored and is probably about to be released. Now go look at the fish pics of yesteryear. As recently as the early 2000’s pictures were washed out fish, held vertically by the gills and about to be dinner. That picture today would earn ire and scorn. The angler would be pissed and defensive and way more careful about the picture he posted next week. Don’t believe me? Look at #keepemwet and tell me we don’t move in a flock.  And most importantly, thousands of kids are seeing the videos we make and the pictures we post and saying “Hey, that’s a cool group of people. Maybe I’ll try that.” They are also learning that things aren’t always as they have been passed down from their pops. Just because Dad hates carp and chucks snagged fish on the bank, doesn’t mean everyone does. Just because Uncle John keeps and kills everything he catches doesn’t mean everyone does. The community of flyfishermen now defines what is acceptable treatment of fish, or proper care and handling, or the ethical way to treat a stream. In fact, we, as a whole, are defining our own ethics and using the internet to disseminate that information to people of all experience levels. How many first timers have learned not to fish browns on the redds from reading about it online? Or now keep their fish wet? Or rest streams when they are too warm? We’re creating our own exposure, and that’s invaluable.

Social media has also impacted the industry that we are all either a part of, influenced by or beholden to. As of today 13,000 pictures with the hashtag “#glassisnotdead” have been posted to Instagram. That’s enough to influence the entire industry. Whole glass rod companies have popped up and some of the most traditional companies in flyfishing now have entire lineups of glass rods. All thanks to Cam Mortenson and his Fiberglass Manifesto blog and it’s social media presence. Hell, “#carponthefly” has over 11,000 pics on instagram and far more on Facebook. The impacts of that range from RA Beattie producing “Carpland” which The Drake awarded “Movie of the Year” to new lines being produced and marketed to 14 year olds in Sandusky, Ohio, that didn’t know flyfishing existed. They now follow me and post pics of big carp caught on flies between posts about “baes” and Taylor Swifts…whatever those are.

Even more profound are the implications for some of our favorite waters.

Yes, social media can blow a hole or burn a stretch of river. I’m sure some of you have seen social media increase the pressure you’ve experienced on your favorite stretch of water. On the other hand, making a river famous probably does way more good to the sport than it harms it. Once a river becomes an attraction, the increased traffic has huge effects on the flyfishing economy. Shops thrive and guides abound. The love of the river by so many makes conservation and restoration efforts not only better supported, but also economically feasible. Moreover, the creation of a destination for flyfishing increases our local and national exposure and creates a tourism economy locally. Look at Craig, Montana. The prominence of the Missouri River as a world-class trout stream has had massive impacts to our industry in this area. Forty-ish year round residents reside in the unincorporated town of Craig, yet the town supports 3 fly shops and upwards of 55 guides are on the river at any given time. Not all of this fame is attributable to social media, but all of the flyfishing economy is attributable to the famous river. So, while we need to be responsible about our use of social media to only promote rivers that can support the increased traffic, the increased traffic is not, by itself, a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably a good thing.

Photo Mike Dvorak

Photo Mike Dvorak

Many years ago I was in bed with a 4-beer buzz reading a John Gierach book and trying to translate it into hints as to how to catch carp on the fly. Three weeks ago I was in a drift boat being rowed by a man nicknamed “Musky Jesus”. Bob White (the painter) and Mike Dvorak (the photographer) were in the boat behind us and John Geriach was in the bow casting for musky. We alternated shots, alternated jokes but didn’t alternate fish. John outfished the hell out of me. But I spent the day in a boat with the man I could call me hero all because of millions of events that happened online or as a result of being online. Don’t tell me social media is ruining the sport.

Dan Frasier
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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33 thoughts on “Social Media, The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Fly Fishing

  1. Best thing ever? Social media is a good sales tool, it doesn’t matter if you are selling the next greatest bobber ever invented or a dam removal. But it is just one tool.

    Sooner or later someone has to pull on a pair of waders or sit down at a vise or none of this happens. The first thing I do when I need volunteers for a stream project is post the event, but eventually I get most of the help from the guys at that stuffy meeting, phone calls or direct email, usually followed up with a phone call or running into a buddy at Home Depot.

    The down side to social media is it can be passive. One of my buddies owns a fly shop and his take on it is this, where you and I sit down at a vise to tie a fly, a lot of people seem to get as much enjoyment out of watching a video of someone else tying a fly. We see the same thing at my business, the people most active on social media tend to be the least active in the real world.

    Don’t get me wrong, I try to use social media as effectively as I can. I attend social media workshops all the time trying to keep up with trends, which there always seems to be a new one. It is an important tool but just one in the box.

    The reason you don’t bite off mono is because it chips your teeth as my dentist explained when I split off a peice of one of my lower incisors

    • 100% agree. Social Media in a tool, but I think it’s an extremely powerful tool. The “customer facing” part of our industry is no longer limited to the guys in flyshops and possibly a few magazing articles. Social media is allowing us to address both the flyfishing community as a whole and the wider outdoor community from a multitude of different perspectives. The result of all of that, hopefully, is more people at those meetings and longer lists on you direct email address.

      And yes, learning to flyfish will save my incisors. If nothing else, I can thank the sport for lower dental bills.

  2. Excellent read Dan!
    You’ve had those phone calls with Louis as well?? Crazy.
    I fully agree, for the most part, we have had a positive effect on the industry. Keep up the great writing.
    Tight Lines,
    Koz

    • Thanks buddy! Of course I’m making this argument on home turf; a social media driven blog. Nothing like setting yourself up for some affirmation! hahaha.

  3. I can honestly say that I am fly fishing today because of the internet. My life around the water has mainly been offshore. I grew up surfing and sailing and any fishing I did was offshore fishing. About four years ago, I was helping a buddy bring a 47′ sailboat back from St. Thomas to Islamorada. On a stop in Puerto Rico, I found a very cool, Bahamian looking flats boat for sale. And I bought it. My buddy, the captain told me though, in no uncertain terms, “We will tow her but if she flips, we are cutting her loose, and shooting holes in her.” So we towed that little skiff back to Florida with a little stop in the Jimento’s where we fished for bones, but with spin rods of course.
    After getting this boat back to Florida and restoring her, I now started fishing skinny water. So like the author, I soon was on line and on Facebook watching videos and friending people. It wasn’t long before I landed on the videos of the guys from Skinny Water Culture and after watching them land reds, tarpon, snook and bones on the fly, I picked up my first fly rod for a trip to the Bahamas and I have been hooked since. Salt water fly fishing was my new passion.
    Then 2 years ago, I was invited on a trip to Montana. I was never really interested in fishing for those little trout when I was landing 37″ redfish but I went anyway. That was 2 years ago and 2 weeks ago I just returned from my 4th trip to Montana. And since that first trip 2 years ago, I have since fished not only Montana, but Wyoming, Colorado, the Smokey Mountains and this summer, Australia.
    And every trip was fueled by the internet and Facebook on where to go and when. I even met friends on line before my trip to Australia who I eventually fished with when I was down there.
    So yeah, depending on how you look at it, the internet has made converts to this sport. I know because I am one. If it wasn’t for the internet, I probably wouldn’t be fly fishing today. So thank you.

    • This is a great story, and I don’t think everyone understands that people like us exist. Or at least how many of us exist. So many people have tales of learning the sport from their Dad or Grandpa or someone. There is a growing population of us that are first generation flyfishers thanks to the internet.

  4. Very well put, it has had a rather positive effect in my opinion as well, but there are however some things that are negative, but that is normal. Overall, I think because it is relatively new, many of us have just gone through several growing pains with the whole process of how much content, and what kind of content you want to put out there. The only thing that I do think makes many of us get a bit flustered at times is it only takes one negative experience to cause a ripple effect as now not only is an interaction between one person and another, it could be potentially be seen by thousands maybe more. I guess overall we all have to be mindful of what we write.

    I will say this however, a majority of the problems that arise from these things are generally as a result of the medium by which they are presented. Our society has shifted in regards to how we communicate with one another. I see people communicating entirely via chat, text, etc and less and less via human face to face interaction. The downside to that is you have absolutely no clue about the meaning and inflection that one may in fact be trying to convey, so the person on the other end of the conversation could very easily misunderstand your intentions. More often than not, this is the brunt of the many negative situations that arise online.

    • Yep… the leverage effect, or the multiplication of reach works both ways. With positive and negative interactions. Mindfulness is a good idea. I’d also argue that we need to remember the shortening attention span of people. In others words, they are like children sometimes, they shriek and scream and say terribly things and then forget about it 15 minutes later, or never really meant it in the first place. For the record, not everyone is like this, but I think a lot of the internet trolls are.

  5. Love it or hate it, the “longrod athletes” are here to stay. The interwebs are certainly bringing more folks awareness to the pastime of fly fishing & those that understand the reach and frequency of internet marketing will benefit.

    The undisputed loser will be the loss of “special” habitat that for decades had been a closely held secret amongst very few who understood that lack of angling pressure made it so. It only takes one slip-up and it will be exploited for “likes” & “shares” with a hip hop soundtrack.

    • So true. We all have a responsibility to understand the capacity of any habitat to support increased pressure. And ONLY share accordingly.

    • I have never understood the “spotburning” hysteria that grips some people when it comes to talking about places on the internet.

      I mean, the biggest spotburners of all are the states themselves, most of which now post classifications, descriptions and maps, with access points too, of all approved trout waters.

      The only stream in less than a two hour drive from me which supports natural reproduction of trout is one I found by looking on the state’s website; imagine my amusement at the local flyfishing forum, where mentioning the stream by name is verboten; the cat is definitely out of that bag! I don’t hear any of these guys talking about not purchasing any more fishing licenses until the states stop publishing this info on the internet!

      • That’s a good point, but I will say that I’m sure some places see increased pressure from repeated Social Media posts. The question is, can we responsibly promote the water than can handle it and protect the water that can’t? Tough to say.

  6. Like most technology, it’s a win and a loss. It’s certainly a win for my fly tying. On the other hand, no on-line tutorial has ever helped my casting as much as 10 minutes with someone who knew what he was doing.

    As a mostly self-taught fly fisher in the land of bass boats and worm fishermen, I’ve relied on the web to learn about lots of things: insects, how to read streams and all the arcana of gear, line and tippets. I recall looking at a fly catalog for the first time and being completely befuddled. Do I really need all of these flies in umpteen sizes and colors? So, yes, in the web helped tremendously, but only in terms of information.

    In terms of actual fishing ability, not so much. For that I had to spend time–a lot of time–on streams, often getting skunked or catching nothing but chubs. I’ve felt like a fool many times. But I would come back to the river the next day and be foolish again. As with any complicated thing, there is this stage of stupidity you unavoidably must get through.

    When I was younger I took up a lot of projects and pastimes but dropped them when they did not come easily: musical instruments, martial arts, writing short stories, drawing… The list is long and a bit wince-inducing. Now that I’m older I find that I don’t mind the obligatory stupid stage. It’s fun and oddly pleasing to figure it out.

    Oh, yes, I know it’s helped the industry with marketing and sales, but on a personal level the internet hasn’t helped with the parts of the sport that truly matters.

    My son’s going through a similar struggle with his viola lately. His nightly practicing is accompanied by stomps and muttering under his breath whenever he muffs a note. I keep telling him it’s okay to stink, but not okay to give up. I’m not sure he sees it that way.

    A guy once told me, “Whenever it goes right, you’ll be really anxious to cast the line in again, but don’t. Just stand there and think about catching that fish. Figure out why it worked this time and not the 500 other times you tried. Learn that one thing.and you’ll go from zero to knowing at least one thing.”

    For me, the best part of fly fishing is that you’re purposefully off-line.

    • I totally agree that there is no substitute for actual time on the water. Unfortunately for most of us, that time is less than we’d like. It’s fortuitous that the information now exists so readily that we can spend less of our precious time on the water trying to gather information and more time actually trying what we’ve learned. That access to info has really shortened the learning curve for many anglers, and opened up the possibility of tactics, places and species that they wouldn’t have come to on their own. Good a good supplement to learning by experience.

  7. As a died in the wool “grandpa” and one who runs and attends stuffy meetings (and some pretty exciting ones as well), I heartily agree with the premise that social media is expanding the sport in many great ways for those with a passion for it. I teach technology and eDiscovery to lawyers and judges, and a key challenge for all of them learning about the rapidly evolving revolution (not evolution) exchange of information and the culture of communication. Those who reject or abhor the wave or bury their heads in the sand will lose the tremendous benefit of seeing and hearing some awesome things about a sport they love. I say embrace it. A perfect example is digital video of fishing adventures now available from folks like Louis. Sure, we are voyeurs rather than participants, but it motivates us to do more ourselves. For me at 68 it may be a ten mile round trip to a brookie stream. To a 20-something, it might be a descent into a precipitous gorge for steelhead. Either way, watching what is being shown by the pioneers is real and not like spending two hours watching the Rock do ridiculously impossible things on the big screen. Just my two cents.

    • And thank god for grandpas and meetings. They are a very important piece of the overall pie. But I’m glad you agree, to ignore what’s upon us, or just screech barbs rooted in a fear of change isn’t helpful or intellectually honest. It’s here, It’s good, lets embrace it and use it in the most effective way.

  8. I am 17 years old. At age 13, I discovered fly fishing online, taught myself to fly fish and tie with the help of YouTube, and now work for a fly fishing media site (www.badfish.tv) and create my own fly fishing content. If it hadn’t been for the prolific nature of fly fishing in social media, I would never have learned about the sport I love so much.

    Nuff said. Completely agree with you, Dan. Great article.

  9. The Internet completely changed my idea of what fishing is. When I was young, from the age of nine, I fished and trapped, mostly to get a break from having spaghetti for dinner at night (there were eleven of us in the family). I fished the Hudson and some local streams feeding into it and came home with a huge stringer of bluegills, catfish and perch just about every day in the summer. It was subsistence fishing and I carried that mentality into my adult years until I started watching videos of people catching and releasing fish that I envied.

    Then I started seeing videos where the fishermen were very careful in not stressing the fish anymore than was necessary, releasing the fish so it could be caught another day. That was a concept that was completely foreign to me, but it started to make sense.

    Now, except for camping trips where I will keep a couple bluegills or crappies, I release everything. And the learning curve to tie a new style fly from an Internet video is much faster than using a book only.

    I agree that social media is a tool, and like all tools that have the ability to do as much good as harm, we all have to learn how to use it wisely. Personally I dont take pictures of the fish I catch and I will never create a video of the places I fish. There is enough pressure on the fish and on the environment surrounding these places, and I dont want to add to it. A few of my favorite places are frequented mostly by kayakers and canoeists that are there for the tranquility and the wildlife…I would feel horrible if I posted a video of my fishing adventures and ruined it for them.

    To me, fishing includes the failures as well as the successes. There are fishermen and there are Fishermen; the latter being one that is willing to venture out to new horizons in their quest for the next ‘big one’, knowing full well it may be a bust. The former (fishermen), being those that sit home watching Internet videos looking for the next ‘quick fix’ to satisfy their insatiable appetite for pulling the biggest fish out of someone else’s fishing spot.

    Life is about choices…and I choose to leave as small a footprint as is humanly possible for me to leave at the places I fish. Videos and pictures are good for the economy, but how good are they for the fish and the ecosystem surround them. Just my opinion.

    • This is a really interesting comment. It almost feels a little personally conflicted. On the one hand you are the prefect story about how seeing videos and pictures changed your treatment and respect for the fish and resources. They made a real and meaningful difference in your behavior. On the other hand, you argue that you refuse to post videos or pictures because they aren’t good for the fish or ecosystems that surround them. Meanwhile some 9 year old is learning to keep everything he catches of “throw” back the fish that are too small. There is a balance that needs to be struck, certainly, in terms of showing a location that can’t support increased pressure, but I’d argue that, on the whole, people producing those images that you consumed did more good than harm. John “Montana” Bartlett always comes to mind for me during these discussions. Between his blog (carponthefly), Facebook page and Instagram John has posts literally thousands of pics and videos. But never once has he given up a spot. He knows the spots can’t support a ton of increased pressure, but people seeing his fish and how he treats them will encourage more people to try carp and to handle them with respect rather than disdain. John has found that balance. I wonder if that isn’t possible for everyone.

      • I am not conflicted at all. Many of the places I fish are less than 20 acres and cannot support the added fishing pressure.
        I do my part to promote the sport of fishing when the opportunity arises. Over the years I have helped troubled teens by setting them up with the tools and material ( and at least one book) and teaching them to tie flies and fish them using their spinning poles.
        One wanted to learn to fly fish so I bought him a pre-packaged outfit and took him fishing several times until he was confident enough to go out on his own.
        In every case there was a huge transformation in their attitude about school, chores and the kids they chose to hang out with.
        We all have our way of promoting the sport, this is how I choose.
        There are plenty of videos for kids to learn the ethics of fishing; I prefer to do it one kid at a time where I can ensure that they get the message of conservation.
        There is a popular bumper sticker around here: “Kids Who Hunt, Trap and Fish Don’t Mug Little Old Ladies”. I try to add another kid to that list whenever I can.

        • That’s awesome. Sounds like you’re really making a difference. I love that. And I agree, some water certainly needs protected from pressure. I know some folks that still post a bunch of pictures but very carefully make sure the location isn’t identifiable. But that’s a lot of work and not for everyone. I’m glad to hear you’re spreading the gospel in a way that suits you best. Interestingly, I was just asked to write trip reports for my local TU newsletter. They asked for specific location information, which I refused based on pressure concerns, but we worked out a compromise. Anyway, the point is, I feel you concerns. We’ve gotta be thoughtful about our water.

  10. The proliferation of fly fishing knowledge via social media and the internet is a net positive for sure. The more people fishing and taking advantage of natural resources, means more people will be willing to preserve/conserve/enjoy it in the long run.

    • Exactly right Larry.. In a world where our leaders are looking at selling public land, mines are being built and rural populations are collapsing, it’s the outdoor enthusiast that will stand up to save what we have. The more the merrier.

  11. If i hadn’t stumbled upon a fly fishing instagram page two years ago, I would not have found this awesome sport/hobby/frustration/inspiration/religion. I am one of your 16 year old followers. I found fly fishing, tried it, and fell in love. Now I take my dad fishing and teach him about trout and what they eat and where they live and why we use barbless hooks and #keepemwet. Now this passion for not just catching fish but taking care of them has led my college and career search. Just yesterday I saw a kid wearing a simms t-shirt and he saw my repyourwater hat. We were both excited to meet another fish nerd (as my family and friends call me) and swap tales. I have met new people, found new interests, and set out on a life long search for fish and wilderness, all because of Instagram and curiosity.

    • I forgot to mention what Fly fishing has led to for me. Now I am interested not only in fish, but the outdoors as a whole. Now I wake up a five AM to hike and see the sunrise. I have camped more in this first year of fly fishing than I ever did in a year before. After taking countless bad pictures of my first few fish, I have started to worry less about getting pictures of every fish than getting good pictures. This has stemmed from the amazing instagram pictures that got me interested to begin with. I now focus on taking care of the fish and taking a good picture of remarkable spots or colors, or an underwater release photo (my new favorite). Fish are why I get out, but getting skunked isn’t so bad in some places. Fishing has taught me to slow down, look around, and see the beauty in the small things, like an adipose fin or the way the sun hits the mountains on my drive to school. Finding Fly fishing is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and, as I said before, I would have never even considered it if it weren’t for the internet.

      • This is a great story and exactly what I’m talking about. I think, from the inside, we forget about all of the people being brought in and influenced who would have never had that exposure without Social Media. Tag me in one of your Pics on IG… so I can be sure to follow you. Thanks for your testimonial and tight lines!

  12. I have to agree with you Dan, overall the effect of social media has been positive. The exceptions being the hot spotting which I detest for mostly selfish reasons, but as Larry Littrell points out there are habitats and resources that will not be able to withstand the pressure, social media can bring to bear with the simple click of a mouse.

    But I look at one of my own son’s experiences with the internet and social media, and it is unbelievable what it has done for him.

    When he was fourteen he was on Google Earth locating every farm pond or piece of running water in the county. He would then look at tax plats online and find the owners and their phone numbers. He would call and ask permission to fish (amazing how people are more likely to say yes to a kid). By fifteen he had decided he was going to be a guide. He gets on Facebook, finds a local guide and shoots him a friend request. The guide accepts but asks him how he knew him. My son replies “I don’t but I want to be a fishing guide, I thought this might be a good start.” Then he proceeds to join a forum of the crustiest fly fishers in North America, who begrudgingly adopt him. A good thing because by the time he’s seventeen he probably has more time on the water than his old man. This social media network made it possible for him to fulfill dreams much quicker than could ever be imagined by an old guy who can remember when there was no internet.

    I also have to agree that the impact of social media has been huge when the troops need to be mustered for environmental issues.

    Thanks for an articulate look at an issue that usually generates a knee jerk reaction.

  13. People are people, we talk, we posture sometimes, we get together, we push and shove a little, we hug, we share ideas and fun.

    Social media is only a tool for communication. If anything gets ruined it’s because we’re people. If anything gets shared and improved, also, because we’re people.

    The only difference between now (post social media) and then (dino ages) is the amplification of our communications. That has benefits. And I believe that’s what this post so eloquently explains.

    Well said, Dan.

    PS. Crazy coincidence, but ‘ve been thinking a lot about this concept recently. Just wrote on it over at Bumpy Water.

  14. You were smart to call the Edison quote “attributed” – Since he never said it. It has been wrongly assigned to Ben Frankin, too, among others. Good company, at least.
    It is, perhaps, the most too-often used snippet in the modern English vernacular.

    It was first widely seen in a mediocre crime fiction piece from author Rita Mae Brown’s, called “Sudden Death,” published by Bantam in 1983.
    And when I saw, “widely,” I mean not so much. The novel was something of a stinker.

    However, [the Wikiquote page for Rita Mae Brown](http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Rita_Mae_Brown) has this interesting tidbit: An even earlier version of the quote can be found in the Narcotics Anonymous “Basic Text,” released in November 1981 ([PDF](http://amonymifoundation.org/uploads/NA_Approval_Form_Scan.pdf)).

    So, its not old, it’s not sage, and it’s patently untrue, according to psychologists.
    We may repeat actions many times, and never even realize the folly.
    But that doesn’t define insanity; it only makes us human

  15. Very interesting! Began fly fishing/fly tying at age 10, 66 years ago. Some old timers helped me get started. Enjoy it more than ever. Amazed at youngsters that have picked up fly fishing and fly tying on the internet. Had a 14 year old great caster tell me he learned it on utube. I frequently will Google a fly pattern to see how it is tied. Information available is incredible. Go to any big fly fishing event and see how much grey hair is there. Internet is mostly a plus!

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