Snap-backs and Tattoos

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In my many years of fly fishing I have been lucky enough to meet a good group of local guys that I fish with.

 

I ended up being the youngest guy in the group and its a role that just became familiar. Versed with a knowledge of the history and the tradition of fly fishing, these gentlemen taught me the ways of the world. I was a dry fly addict. I would leave work early and race to the closest trout stream to catch the hatch.

One day, I come racing into the parking area fresh out of my construction job. I put my truck into park, windows down – Pantera blasting. I jump out and start getting my waders on when I notice two older gentlemen giving me the stink eye. I had apparently ruined their day, inadvertently. To them I was just this young kid covered with tattoos and listening to devil music. Definitely didn’t fit the traditional “fly fisherman” stereotype.

As time went on and I found my “style” as a fisherman, I discovered the great double-edged sword that is fly fishing-related social media. Specifically, The Drake. I was in amazement with this place. It was a shangri la of new ideas and view points that I had never had access to before in my older crew. Young guys across the country were absolutely killing it. I attempted my introduction failed miserably but what I didn’t realize was that “failing” was the best thing that could happen to me.

In the years that followed I kept my mouth shut and kept reading. I changed as a angler, I learned so much about fishing from just stepping back and appreciating a different point of view other than the ones I had become accustomed to. These guys appreciate the sport and everything that goes along with it. One of the best lessons I learned from these guys was the “hero shot” or lack there of. It was never explained but I inferred it to be a sign of respect for the fish. Bow your head and show some humility.┬áNot that there is anything wrong with the typical grip and grin shot, it just wasn’t for me. I quickly adopted this habit and throughout the years I caught some shit from some of my friends for never showing my face.

When I joined Instagram I started finding guys from around the country who were absolutely killing it and seemed to fish the same way as I do. Now, I’m from a very small community of fly fisherman and I stick out like a sore thumb, so it was refreshing to see that I had good company. It’s funny – thousands of miles apart and we seem to have the same principals. These guys fish big flies and hunt big fish and in the process ruin most of my work days with some of the most impressive fly fishing pics I see on Instagram.

 

Without further ado, here are some guys that are killing it these days and continually pushing the limits. Keep up the good work guys.

@catfishric
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@swishersweetswag
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@muskie_hustler
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@ol_dirtyshinobi
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@matslater
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@eightforty
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4 Comments

  1. Awesome article. Well written very articulate.

  2. Great Job !

  3. Love it. Definitely some good change and perspective to the industry. These guys kill it and love what they do. I think it adds a breath of fresh air to the industry.

  4. Come on Justin. You were never a dry fly guy Mr New School Nympher.

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