fishing for words (ffw) was born on April 19, 2006. However and without knowing it, my blogging started fourteen years prior to that.
During the mid ‘90s — the beginning of the end for most grunge bands — I joined the few civilians who could make sense of this thing called HTML to launch a website with the unoriginal title “My Little Corner of the Internet.” It was a kooky little site for which every new entry required incorporating text into hand-coded HTML.
The trend at the time was to post a relatively static website about one’s self, and looking back one can see that the early “posts” — stories about trips or family events — popped up once or twice a year from August 1997 through July 2003. There seemed to be more to write about starting in 2004. I don’t know if was the fact that the kids were growing up and it didn’t take a trunk full of diapers, bottles, food and a stroller to travel more than five miles, or the fact that my new wife actually encouraged me to enjoy some adventures on my own.
My writing was largely directed at family and a few friends. Though a student once thanked me for my page on Aloha shirts (apparently it aided him in writing a term paper), I suffered no delusion that anyone would take an interest in what I wrote if they didn’t know me personally.Things changed in 2006 with this stuff called CMS and easy-to-use blogging platforms — both of which coincided with my first experience brandishing a fly rod over a Sierra Nevada stream. It was all in place: a website/blog that could easily be fed and a hobby that could provide material.
Now, 139,512 words and 458 posts later, I still resist defining my blog. It remains a place for family and friends…with a loose definition of “friend.” Over the years, nearly everyone in my immediately family has made an appearance in my blog — whether they liked it or not. Friends run the gamut: fly fishing club members, fellow bloggers I’ve
surprised by actually showing up on their doorstep met face to face; folks who thanked me for suggestions on where their kids might have a good first fishing experience; even a few buddies met online with whom I eventually shared a fishing trip or two. Every reader is a potential friend, just like the older gentleman and younger guy wearing waders that were too clean and waving barely used rods.
While ffw doesn’t subscribe to any specific definition, it’s definitely been about sharing a personal story. It’s about stepping out of my little universe to share encouragement, a laugh, an experience, a tip or a trick. And every once and a while I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that my words do encourage or earn a chuckle.
Some folks might lament about how much things have changed in five years. I’d say that it’s only our methods of our interaction that have changed; the folks behind it remain much the same. Take a look at the Outdoor Blogger Network, for example — a group of good folks coming together over common interests. They’ve got to be good folks; they let me and my little blog join in the fun. And fun it’s been, sharing my
misadventures and adding a couple of new readers every year.
As for the fly fishing, the places I fish usually are not covered in the slick pages of magazines. These are places that can be reached with relatively modest means and without a 4×4. (I did learn last year that a 4×4 would be helpful on the roads to and from Yellow Creek.)
My hero shots find heroism in fooling small wild and skittish brook trout with a fly tied with my own hands. (This summer, hero shots may include a fly rod built with those same hands.) And though the “body count” isn’t so important to me anymore, it’s still about duping that first
dozen fish and the story that comes with it.
I’m hoping that there will be many more fish to write about.
April 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Happy Birthday, FFW! I love that insight it gives me, and keeping up with your adventures!
April 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
The idea that you’re gaining insight into your brother is a bit worrisome… Maybe I’m revealing too much?
April 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm
I think up until just now I’ve missed the double meaning of Fishing For Words. I always thought it meant that you were at a loss for words…you know, fishing for words, as it were, and I never quite agreed because you never seem to be at a loss for well scribed words (which is to say that you write good). What can I say? I’m slow. Happy Birth Anniversay to Fishing For Words. As a gift I’d like to present you with a ®. Fishing for Words® deserves it.
April 20, 2011 at 8:53 am
Glad you got the double meaning. I thought myself pretty clever on that one…maybe too clever… Thanks for the ®!
April 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm
FFW is always a good read. Congratulations on 5 years in the blogging business. I’ll certainly keep following along.
April 20, 2011 at 8:54 am
Thanks Mark…and I’m following you as you trudge around in the snow looking for fishable water at higher elevations. I’ll probably be sticking below 5,000 feet Opening Day week.
April 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm
Even though, I have only recently started following your blog, I have enjoyed what I have read. I enjoy your perspective and how you put it into “Fishing Words”. Congratulations on (5) years and let’s get to work on (5) more!
April 20, 2011 at 8:55 am
Thanks Mel. Looks like you’ll be facing the same high water situation we’ll have here for at least two months!