Let the extreme weather games begin. We’ve seen it all lately, from blistering cold to spring-like heat waves. Fortunately I’m dreaming of a brownish green Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. In terms of weather related angling choices, I just seem to find myself on the wrong side of history. Though in a shocking turn of events, I finished my holiday shopping early (so to speak). I generally throw down an end of year jubilee which serves as my gift that keeps on giving. This year I found it within myself to furnish you with the yule log a few days early. Having a blog is a funny thing. If you don’t feed and burp it regularly, ultimately it will choose the wrong path and be banished to the cozy confines of irrelevance. We’ve all surfed the remnants of the land of misfit toys. Not every website can be the Rolling Stones. Day after day, year after year forging ahead, even in the face of adversity and age (not to mention heavy drug use). Most of us wither and die prematurely. It’s because there’s just not enough hours in the day. Perhaps if we switch to the 27 hour plan I can give it all that it deserves? In the meantime why don’t I just drop a midwinter photo bomb as an attempt to fill in the cracks. The angling will heat up again soon enough, and hopefully I can provide some fresh content. As with all my B-roll filler, this one will be light on the storytelling, heavy on the cream. While y’all don your red and green X-mas sweaters, the true color of the season is brown (an awful line, I know).
While I’m bummed out that the childhood promise of living on a moon colony hasn’t come to fruition, in many other ways the digital age has been wonderful thing. Namely waterproof digital cameras and the resulting photography. The days of returning from the Fotomat with a largely useless pile of paper is a thing of the past. Much to the chagrin of the professional photographer, we can fill our memory cards with crap and cull a handful of greatest hits from a mountain of misses. It’s these little misses that I’ve been fascinated with lately. I’ll leave the art and style of the grip-n-grin hero shot to others. The wet lens, the errant misfire, the poor metering, a lack of focus, it’s all good. There’s a reasonable mix of solid trout in this post, but don’t be mislead. This was the cream of the crop, pulled from a massive shit storm of misfortune. For every one big fish there are the legions of littles (not to mention the fishless hours) but I never met a trout that I didn’t like. I like to log the miles, but I mean you have to ask yourself, how many new and different ways can you fondle and photo a fish? This thing reads like a broken record.
This kind of post just seems to get me in trouble. I’ve taken heat from detractors and friends alike for some reason. But I figure if I’m not evoking a response (good, bad or otherwise) then I’m not doing my job. The truth of the matter is that this mile-long extravaganza is nothing more than a higher-powered placebo, or really just a copycat of last year’s season ending “of Mice and Men,” (without the tactical “mousing” tomfoolery). As my google analytics bear out, it’s all pretty quiet on the western front these days anyway (other than a nice plug of my recent Milwaukee post by my old friends at North American Fisherman). I usually consider my fodder to be anti-social media, but I did get 769 likes on their Facebook page. Is that a good thing? What’s the point of this cast, catch, photo, release, post pics cycle anyway? In the misguided arms race to be “internet popular”, other anglers were eager to show off their big fish in the comments section. The eastern Wisconsin/Lake Michigan crowd was well represented with the prototypical “braggin’ board” beasts. Perhaps they were playing the childhood game of “mine’s bigger” or just exhibiting a light touch of bravado? Certainly I’m as guilty as the next person. Maybe I’ll file it under the auspices of shared community and experience? I guess I’ll never know. But as much as we like to think that we’re unique individuals, we’re really more similar than we care to admit. We do the same things, to the same fish, in the same places, and clearly we’re dying to tell the world. It’s all just, “in through the nose and out through the mouth” (and the occasional wind knot). Maybe next time I’ll stick with a simple, “ditto”.