Thursday, January 21, 2021

An Angler's Coming of Aver-Age

 In the grand pantheon of the angling obsessed, I’ve liked to think that I’m among the fishy. I grew up out-angling my peers, I owned books, had magazines subscriptions, fish-emblazoned clothing,  and regularly fished alone. I decided I wanted to be a fishing writer at age 13 and I wanted to do all the kinds of fishing for all the species in the world. I even had a Babe Winkelman poster on my bedroom wall. I fished for whatever lived where I was, by whatever means necessary.

So... heavy... 

But as I age, I'm starting to accept my averageness (it’s okay, I’m good with it). And I question if I’m even in the top 25 percent of the fishing population in terms of obsession. The more books and articles I read, the more people I see on the internet living their fishing dreams, the more people I meet in person in the Yellowstone area, and the more anglers with whom I fish, the less fishy I feel.

I went steelheading in Idaho and all I caught was this lousy sucker.

But that’s okay. Imma still fish when and where and why and how I see fit. Imma still try to write and photograph as circumstances allow. Imma stop competing and trying to prove that I’m fishy, and Imma be happy with all of that. Because it turns out I think I’m a pretty average angler (and human, really). Most of us are. And that’s okay, if not fantastic. Coming to terms with average-osity is part of aging for many of us, and I’m just now maturing to that realization and acceptance. And honestly, it feels good to let go.


Tom said...

Piękne ryby i blog !!! :)

Josh Bergan said...

Thank you! I happen to be fluent in Polish. Just kidding.