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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ever Wonder Why You Are Doing Something?

Gonna go a bit off topic here, sorry for the venting act, psychobabble, straight up complaining or what ever it is.  I am at a point in this fly fishing thing where I am sitting back and reassessing just where I'm currently at.   I gotta admit, between the inter webs, social media and the notion that in this fast paced world we live in if you don't stay on top of all that crap you become irrelevant, it seems to me that all of the above is filled with countless posts, re posts and posts over posts of repetitive nonsense just to stay relevant and "cutting edge" regardless of whether or not the content is compelling, almost like a giant popularity contest.   More often than not it's straight up garbage, and what I like to call wasted time and hot air, and I feel as though I am caught in the middle of it all at times myself.   I guess I am having a bit of a social media meltdown/breakdown, or maybe I am forever wondering if all this BS is really worth it as I feel the last couple of years of "Fly fishing success" for me all seem to be pulling me completely away from the thing I enjoy the most,  fishing itself.

Don't get me wrong I love to create flies and tie as much as I like to fish, but I am slowly having some clarity these days, realizing that I do not want to be married to my Regal every free moment that I have.  What to do...... 

Once I complete this book project I am fully immersed in, I am reassessing my direction with Catching Shadows.  I am forever torn with how much involvement I want to have in the "Industry" side of this sport even though it has been extremely good to me as a whole.  Continue tying commercially?  Guide again?  A combination of the two?  I don't quite know the answer.  Maybe it's people overload, situational awareness, the notion that my interests are diverted, new challenges and opportunities in my real career, what it is, I don't really know.  What I do know is I am getting tired of the grind it out long pie eyed nights with  less time spent doing what I am most passionate about......  Fly fishing. 

Sometimes when you reassess your goals, even when you're feeling down, something good or even great comes out of the process.   Giving my eyes and hands a break from late nights at the vise tying exorbitant numbers of flies repetitively has made me think about all of this quite a bit.   I apologize for my candidness, but I feel like I've hit a brick wall face first  and the sting is really sinking in and will not subside.

I guess last weekend on the sticks made me contemplate just what the hell I am doing.  Looking back, I don't quite know how I did what I did in such a short span of time, never mind the numbers of flies I was pumping out with all that I have going on in my life.  Excuse me for a bit while I decompress and let things sink in for a while.  I think I am in need of some water time to cleanse the soul, hopefully I can get some in the days to come.  Until then, I hope you all have a great Easter weekend with friends and family, I'll be back posting sometime later this spring/summer.   Hopefully these damn bugs will wake up and give us something shoot for.  

17 comments:

  1. These type of feelings happen when you turn your hobby into your job (full time or part time). There's nothing unusual about it.

    Playing music is the best job I've ever had, however, the bad days are far worse than all but the worst days of any non-music job I've ever had. It's the price you pay for earning a living doing something you really care about. There's no such thing as "leaving it at the office."

    There are gigs I take just for the money, not for the love of playing. That's pretty much how it works for a lot of self-employed people. At least you have a primary source of income you can rely on. You might be able to stop doing anything commercial in fly fishing/tying and still come out ok.

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    1. To be honest with you Ben, how it all turns out is of no concern to me. I just wanna get back to the root of all this for myself. Hopefully some time away from this side of things will reinvigorate me and get my ship righted. Time will tell I guess.

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  2. I get where you are coming from. My site is just a hobby but if you want to gain any relevancy it takes consistency across several platforms with "new" content and it feels like the moment you stop it will all go away. In some regards I'm glad I'm not in the industry, there is a lot you need to do to make a living that doesnt involve fooling a fish with a hook and feather!

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  3. The whole notion of being in the industry is nonsense. There was a time when people were content to fish their asses off and read Field and Stream on occasion. Now, people spend their time trying to get their ugly mugs on the cover of Fly Fisherman or their shitty writing into the pages of The Drake. Just do what you love, and the rest will fall into place. Like you, I have a fly fishing blog, but the only reason I have a blog is because I like to write. When I'm not fishing I like to talk fishing. The blog provides a means to do that. If it didn't ... I wouldn't keep it.

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    1. BKill, that's you, I guided for 10 years and commercially tied for the last 3 which provided me many opportunities to rub elbows with many of those people in the industry side of things that I now consider friends. My "Blog" is just a small cross section of what it is I do. I was lucky enough to be afforded some great opportunities and great recognition, and, like you, I too like to write but this went much farther than just a hobby. Did I expect it to? No actually I did not. But my passion for all of this exuded and became rather contagious. At the end of the day, it all grew heads like a monster much faster than I ever imagined. I guess it grew too fast too soon for where I am in my life. I hope that sheds a little light on things. I am juggling a career, being a good father and husband, which all take precedence before what you see here. Look I get where you are coming from, I don't think any of it is nonsense.

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  4. While I probably can't relate to your exact situation since I'm nothing more than a hobbyist when it comes to this whole fishing/tying/blogging thing , I definitely can sympathize with your feelings on the matter at hand. I've got some fishing buddies that run themselves ragged trying to keep up with posting on every social media page under the sun. Myself , I realize that I'm just not the social media type of guy (and yes that includes Facebook) and will continue to fish when I can and keep posting my adventures to my outdated blog as time allows. It may not be fancy or the latest "hot" thing but it's simple and I enjoy it...and for me that's really the only reason that matters.
    I enjoy seeing the newest creations you've got going in the fly tying world because you create killer flies that catch fish , so I'll be watching for that next Catching Shadows post whenever it shows up.
    Good luck to you man...Hope you find that happy place you're looking for out on the water somewhere , after all that's really what it's all about.


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    1. I really appreciate your input and support. I guess I am just in need of a break. Thank you for following and offering up your insight.

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  5. Jasper went through the same thing...and stopped eating for a year haha.

    Rich- people know what you are about, they know your flies are worth their weight in polar bear fur...and I think part of your realization is not on the vise end of things, or the guide end of things, but the website/social media end of things bringing viewers new content....just stop. You opened up your streamers to us, and we are thankful. But you don't have to. Drop off facebook, drop the site...ultimately you stop churning in that hampster wheel and everything makes sense. The fly fishing "industry" is a joke. You have people who don't know shit, passing themselves off as guru's. You have people undercutting people, price gouging, etc.

    Fish, tie, and be happy.

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  6. Hey Rich,

    Just wanted to say thank you. Im a 26 yr old living across the country and we've never met; yet your flyfishing and flytying has changed my fishing, opened me to aspects of fishing Ive never imagined, and taken me to some truly unbelievable places. Though your blog posts, videos, social media etc may seem like a chore at times, it has inspired an entire new generation of fisherman. To you they are just words, to me, well... shit, its gospel. Your vimeo tying videos have single-handedly kept me sane through multiple knee reconstructions and months of recovery, all with the goal of getting back out there and catching some hogs on meat.... because of you. You dont owe me or the "industry" anything, you've already provided more than anyone could ever ask for. For folks under 30, we dont talk about Quigley, Kreh, or Wulff... we talk about 7 wts, articulated streamers, and Strolis. You've changed the game.

    Honestly, your commercial tying is a disservice to yourself and flyfisherman. If people want your flies, the directions to make them are easy to find and it'll open these people up to a lifetime obsession with tying. Cause... seriously, 50 headbangers in an evening? That aint human. Go fish and if you ever make it out to Utah, Id love to pay you back.

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    1. Chris,
      Your post really put things into perspective and to be quite honest, was a very bright spot in a rather hectic and shitty day to say the least. Changing the game, I don't know, contributing maybe. Getting people interested in flyfishing and helping others out along the way, that was my goal. You don't have to pay me anything, the thoughtful words and time you spent writing them are the payback. However, if I make a trip your way I would love to spend some time on the water with you out there and vise versa if by chance you ever make a trip to new england. If I can't join you, I could at least give you some insight on where to go. Thanks again and be well.

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    2. Parents have a place up in Wilmington Vermont and Ive been meaning to get back the last few summers to get some days in on the deerfield. Ill be sure to contact you if I can make it happen.

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  7. Hey Rich - I know exactly what you mean and I'm not in as deep as you are. I enjoyed writing my blog until I realized I was spending more time looking for content than enjoying life. I like contributing to great sites like Fly-Addict but it's the same thing...I'd rather spend my time doing what I enjoy than trying to entertain others...even Facebook, the biggest crock of social media going...FB does not paint pictures of real life. I'd dig seeing you guiding again as I learned more about Fly fishing from you than anyone else and I would be back on the client list when that day comes. Vent away...enjoy the kids, enjoy the fishing and enjoy the warmer weather! - Steve

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    1. Thanks Steve,
      you know, my good friend Mike said that maybe I need to get back out there and start guiding again as he thought I was the happiest when I was doing that regularly. Time will tell, I think your advice is sound and some that I will be taking a part of this year.

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  8. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=puIstclBcO0

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  9. Hey Rich,

    I always wondered how you were cranking out all those flies at night, holding down a job and raising your family knowing what it takes to keep up with the fishing side of life and not tying flies commercially. Follow your heart, forget facebook, and post when you feel like it, not when you think others want you to. I think Mike is right, when you were guiding you spoke about it with joy and passion. Get out and fish!

    Best,

    Matt

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