“The bigger issue of course is that the ability to afford cameras, lenses, flashes and camera housings, has far outpaced their owner’s ability to use them creatively, and sometimes even competently. Forget that they are uneducated. Forget that they haven’t “paid any dues.” Forget all that.”  TexasFlycaster: Flyfishing Culture on the Skids

As a reflection upon how I vacillate between traditions and what…non-traditional, this fish porn business cuts both ways for me. Tattoo’d bums seemingly transported into the fly fishing world overnight, talk trash, have huge followings and aggravate the traditionalists. Way back, I took exception to the stick up their collective asses traditionalists and their arrogance. Yet, the bum mentality + new media grates because of the “paid any dues” issue. Envy on my part? Sure. But, also going in a new direction with out purposely hiking your leg would seem more tasteful. Civility is challenged. These abrupt swings create resentment.

For myself, I am what Texas Flycaster refers to as someone with more gear than brains…but, whatever. I enjoy the freedom to create and experiment. I am no commercial threat. I could be a culture threat. I do grow weary of fish held high to block a face like some frigging bandit. I know tatted up guys that look like they work at Miami Inked standing behind a fly shop counter. Yet one of the most gifted Steelhead fly fishers I know has the identical look…that keeps me in check. I hesitate, to judge. Bottom line, he does not hike his leg on traditions. He tries to bridge the gap, to teach. So, is that part of the problem? Lack of respect for the past; too much beatdown of the tweed crowd? I, of course, cannot be a hypocrite. I have highlighted tats, possess tats and occasionally insert skin into my postings. I do it without regard to a bigger cultural picture. My posting decisions  assume adults can decide to come and go elsewhere. I like their input.

Is the fly fishing culture that fractured? Is it fractured on enviro issues like habitat, water quality, fish runs? For all the varied images within the culture, the core principles of stewardship bind us. For that the uneducated and educated can be thankful.