Sunday, August 25, 2013

08.25.13 I feel a little like Waldo....or Wally...

     If you are a forty something like me then you can remember the late eighties and "Where's Waldo?". WW was a series of books originated in England by illustrator Martin Handford. In England the character was named Wally and in the United States it was Waldo. Waldo was tall and skinny and had

a red and white striped shirt and red hat. Basically the books were two page spreads and the idea was to find Waldo hidden amongst the very busy scene. You would look for the telltale signs of the shirt and hat, but, there were always teasers to draw your eyes to which weren't him.

     I am starting to feel like Waldo. Everyday I get several emails, text messages, Facebook messages, and phone calls calling to ask how I did, where I got them, and what I got them on. The inquiries come from friends, family, old clients, hopefully new clients, and people who I don't know, but say they know me or that we have met or are "friends".
     Hey, I can't complain. I write this blog as part of my business and share stories about trips, fish, conditions, fly fishing, casting, beach replenishment, ect from where I work....basically the good, the bad, and the ugly. A lot of people read this blog with most days it getting 250-300 reads. (Now, just sayen, if each one of those readers hired me one day a year that would really make the blog effort worth it!)
     So back to Waldo. If you read my blog than you are most likely a reader of others blogs or forums on fly fishing or striped bass fishing. On the reports page posters get ridiculed and blasted when they do any kind of spot burn. Spot burn is basically the divulging of a fishing location by name, inference, and pictures- with pictures being the most innocent, but yet most frowned upon. An angler will have to hold up a fish, take a picture, and then at home Photoshop the background away or blacken it out so as to not "violate" the code and get belittled or bullied on-line. It makes for some great images.

     A year or two ago my buddy Al pulled me aside. It was actually the day that I fished with an Orvis representative while going for my Orvis Endorsement. We were fishing and I saw Al and told my "sport" for day that I was going over to say hi. He was familiar with Al as he frequently reads the blog.
     As I say hello Al looks at me and basically says - " Colin, the guys down here aren't to happy with you putting all this stuff up on your blog. Stop it." He turned away, then I turned away and felt like I just got yelled at by my dad. At first I was angry, but as time went on, and to this day I see why he said that. Peoples insatiable quest for information and fishing "success" is ridiculous.

     My blog posts are basically about what I DO or what I SEE happening everyday somewhere on the Jersey Shore or the Upper Delaware. As a photographer I enjoy taking nice pictures and between the two places there's no place else I'd rather shoot pictures and fish. I used to just take pictures of locations and clients with fish composed to make a nice it's different. I now even go as far as Photoshopping out rocks in the surf and on the groins. Believe me there are some pretty sly sleuths out there.
     While I was up at the Bill Canfield Youth Fly Fishing Camp I got a call from an old friend. He reads the blog, calls me for intel from time to time, and is always willing to reciprocate if I ever need anything or a place to stay while I'm up on the West Branch.  So he calls me and tells me that "I don't know if you're trying to be slick but I figured out where that picture on the boardwalk was taken last week.". I had to think, then he told me where I was, then I knew. "You were in Avon.....!!!!!!, he said." and I just laughed.

Yes- this is Avon
     Some people stare at the blog pictures, some try and decipher the "location" from the words- "I fished a cut near some rocks on a long beach.....", others will look for my truck and follow, some just write or call, and I think that's about it, unless someone has attached a GPS tracking unit under my truck. You might think this is a rant, but it's not. Just an FYI. A good example- last week I came upon an all out August 15th bass blitz. After my blog post I received 13 "inquiries" about who, what, where, and why.

     Yes, sometimes it's frustrating having to re-compose a picture so I don't give "it" away. Or other times it's frustrating when you give just a little too much information and the next day a few fly guys are in that same spot at the same time on the same tide.

     And yes, I am a fly fishing guide and I do strive to have more clients than "friends". But if it helps, on any given day, I am fishing by beach or boat from the Raritan Bay down to Island Beach State Park or on one of the rivers of the Upper Delaware system. I enjoy sharing my business with friends, clients, and readers of this blog, and enjoy hearing stories and learning from them as well. I believe when I find my own fish though I feel rewarded that much more. It takes a lot of things lining up in order to catch a fish on the fly. Do the homework, put in the time, and it will make the fishing experience, and victory, that much better. Any if you don't catch a fish, maybe you will see all those landscapes and pictorials that dot my blog posts.

     I did fish this morning after being away for four days. Fished two towns, used a popper, raised four fish, didn't hook up, beautiful morning, lots of swells and surfers, and below is a picture of where I was,
hope it helps!

And don't laugh - someone knows where these pictures were taken!