Texas Fly Caster Fly Fishing Manifesto
If you dig so deep as to find this page, then you too may have been bitten by the fly fishing bug. It’s a bug that consumes you, and you in turn consume all you can find about fly fishing.
Now, in 2017, ten years in to the journey of the Texas Fly Caster website, it seems like a great time to modernize and jigger the journey to a more modern, plugged in and younger audience.
Texas Fly Caster was originally established to show and share information about fly fishing in Texas. I founded the site on a bedrock of journalism, old school journalism – “the five W’s and an H.” Ten years ago, I thought the forum of a fly fishing website would also quench my thirst for learning about fly fishing, and most importantly; this website would provide a relatively “safe” place to reacquire my dormant writing skills. As I began to awaken in words, I found that this website, like all websites of this nature, is built on shifting digital sand.
FROM STILL TO VIDEO TO LIVE BROADCAST
At first, there was almost no need to “tweet,” or “instagram” while doing the heavy lifting my stories required. Certainly, there was no need for more than excellent photography and well written, properly assembled words.
But because of my constant state of connectedness, and my photography business’ needs, I was very early to the social networking game, and I realized the power it had to bring more readers to my little nook of the Texas fly fishing internet. The #flyfishing hashtag? It hadn’t been used more than a couple hundred times, and I was in the first couple hundred. Today, it has been used on twitter about 2.3-million times. It was easy to see that advantages could soon become burdens as well. If I don’t tweet, don’t post an Instagram phone photo (not to be confused with a real camera photographic image), and don’t post it to Facebook, DID IT EVEN HAPPEN? And the digital revolution came with a clear and cataclysmic digital divide. Old fly fishers who made up, and still make up, the bulk of fly fishing club membership in Texas, became a homogenous group of isolated white males who never grasped the need to attract a new younger fly fishing generation to the sport, or how to do it in the 21st. Century. I made a concerted effort, locally, to show-and-tell these clubs how to modernize, but they were content to continue doing the same things they always had, and still expecting different results. Farewell.
The technological revolution always continued apace here at Texas Fly Caster, where I am more content to be on the bleeding edge, and fail, than to not have tried the newest technologies overlaid on ancient sport of fly fishing. Unfortunately, my need for bleeding edge attempts almost never extends to other organizations that might help in the process, like TPWD, clubs and venues that are still woefully behind in broadband and connectivity. I’m not giving up, just waiting. Eventually, there will come a time when a club, and other organizations reaches out to youth in the ways they want to be reached. And I’ll say, “I told you so!” when that day comes.
Going forward at Texas Fly Caster, I can only predict to do more bleeding edge digital media – until the bleeding stops, or I completely bleed out.
The words are still the most important communication – PERIOD. Words require your imagination and interpretation. They may be out of fashion now, but they’re what’s left, they’re the dried up bones and fossils of all our external digital extravagances and egos. Words are still etched in stone. There will always be words here, and they should be the first and final resource that fuel the fire – now and forever. Amen.
When someone pours their heart-and-souls into an adventure like this, you can expect more personal revelations, more care for the readers and a very wide, some would say HUGE, range of topics to be covered under the banner of Texas Fly Caster. I try to care for you with topics, like BODY-MIND-SOUL and exposure to characters that deliver us from simply “fishing,” to the art, taste, music and sublime things that make up part of the “soul of fly fishing.” In turn, I have felt the personal care of you – readers and friends, for ME – along the way.
Along the way, as a white middle-age male working and living in North America, a funny thing happened. The rug was pulled out from under my financial livelihood, just like so many of the Texas Fly Caster readers. Adventures, of the fly fishing variety, needed to be aggressively funded. It also became apparent the model of “everything should be free on the internet” does not apply to what was being given away here – detailed stories, videos, photography, hot spots, and more. No matter the “EGO EATS BRAIN” mantra, EGO eats everything. And even though I have tried to keep ego at bay, I am clear about the actual need to eat. The adventure, in 2017, after ten years is getting down to brass tacks. You can help in ways so subtle, and uncomplicated – click on the ads, and especially the Amazon ads. If that isn’t simple enough? Tell me how I can make it more simple to pay Texas Fly Caster, nothing and get something? Buy flies from PoPs Fly Shop if you want to catch Texas warm-water fish on unique, durable flies tested on Texas fish.
After beating cancer in 2015, and (I later realized) nearly a year of recovery, my perspective is a bit different. There is only one infinite, and everything else is finite. The conclusion has yet to be …