I'm pretty sure this was 2005 in Canada - a triple with my dad, best man in my wedding Travis and me
If you are an angler reading this and have your own Facebook fishing page, you can likely scroll through your follower list and not find my name. When such pages first became a thing a number of years ago, I quickly realized that the bulk of the content on those pages was purely promotional. It was a way of spamming a select audience. In a way, those pages did me a favor. I already have enough posts to scroll through and ignore in my feed (I'm looking a you, non-stop politics guy). Plus, I found that the really interesting stuff found its way onto my feed anyway.
Don't take it personally. I don't have one of those pages, and I don't even follow the pages of some of my good friends - anglers I talk to on a regular basis. Off the top of my head, I can only think of three fishing pages I closely follow on Facebook, and one of those started as a pseudo-personal page and has morphed into an international gem. Those three sites are Tactical Bassin, Jeff Little's pages (he has/had a few), and Juan Veruete's pages. These three break down skills, techniques, gear, etc. in a very detailed and informative manner. They talk about experimenting and trial and error. Really, they provide promotional info in a non-promotional way that makes me want to buy stuff, except a Torqeedo, sorry Jeff.
This photo was taken in summer 2003 with my dad and pro skateboarder (and avid angler) Mike Frazier. I added this one because I know Jeff and Juan will know exactly where it was taken. Also, I won the smallie pot that day - $10 richer!
Another big part of this decision was getting to know different anglers over time. For example, I remember seeing a completely random post on Facebook about some guy who caught a record spotted bass on a fly rod from a kayak. I thought "wow, that is cool", gave it a like, and kept scrolling. A couple days later I was brainstorming with Ric Burnley of Kayak Angler Magazine about an interview feature and that post came to mind. I eventually found the post again and tracked down Todd West. Todd was super humble and deserving and made for a great interview. We quickly became friends. After we linked up on Facebook, I didn't take long to realize why we had hit it off. Despite one of us being a backwoods Georgia boy and the other a dirty Yankee (Go Sox), we have a lot in common, except I have long hair and he has a long beard. The same goes for many other kayak anglers out there. I already know that you are a good angler. I want to learn more about you.
A photo from what I think was my first fishing trip in New Mexico. This was a fairly slow day drifting nymphs on the lower Jemez River. Note that this is a rare picture in which I'm wearing a Boston hat that is not completely washed out. It must have been new.
So, take it as a compliment. I don't follow your fishing page because I'd rather learn about you as a person and see the cool stuff you do beyond fishing. My love for fishing runs deep, but its not my only hobby, nor do I want or need to give the impression that all I do is fish and paddle. Like I said, the fishing ALWAYS finds its way to my feed anyway.
The ultimate throwback. I always have been a fashion trend setter. I am not sure if this was at Sayers Lake or Raystown Lake. Regardless, it was a sign of things to come.
I promise this site will take a turn away from retrospective ramblings and toward actual technical content soon. Winter isn't helping. Until next time, tight lines!