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Being social

Social media can be prone to exaggerated claims, so honesty is the best policy when it comes to adapting flies


The author's adaptation of Frodin's Mikelli Blue, used with great successin the Faroes with a brighter Glo-Brite tail.
The author's adaptation of Frodin's Mikelli Blue, used with great successin the Faroes with a brighter Glo-Brite tail.

I read with interest Howard Croston’s letter regarding social media recently (February issue) and it started me thinking on the pros and cons of this platform that, like it or not, is now such a big part of our everyday life.

Just to be clear, I am a regular user of Facebook, using it to post my wee fishing and personal updates, as well as promote the various fishing brands, events and organisations I am involved with, or let everyone (who cares to even look) what I’ve been tying or where I’ve been fishing. Not to forget various photos of my various adventures with my two mad Labradors.

Harmless enough, and merely a way of reaching many people easily as many others do.

But it’s also fair comment to state Facebook (and all other social media outlets) are prone to provoking a little bit of emotive response now and again, as Howard so aptly puts in his letter warning of the dangers posed when posting something online in this way.
Once it was the Forum that reigned supreme with many an emotive subject discussed at length between those who have a passion for the particular subject they’ve chosen to join, and – as you would expect – angling is certainly one of them.

For such a hobby (obsession for me, I must confess) angling is something that forms a kind of ‘direct link’ between the angler and what they’re doing, becoming ‘personal’ to all who participate, so when we all discuss it all of us can draw on some degree of personal experience. As a result, I’ve read many a ‘frank discussion’ between those participating which could certainly run a while (Hell has no fury like an angler scorned).

Back in the day, many moons ago we would all meet up in our respective clubs or, better still, tackle shops and discuss at great length the subjects relating to our sport, reminiscing on things past, looking forward to what was yet to come, relating all those tales of the ones we lost, and the dubious stories of those that we (allegedly) landed in actual real human interaction. Even this, however, was no real measure against the possibility of someone being creative with the truth even if it was to simply bump up the size of fish or enhance the catch details a little bit.

Howard details more directly with another issue though, the one concerning the merits of a particular ‘new’ fly where he notes this “suddenly becomes the hot topic and rapidly becomes the killer of the moment”.

I agree we need to be careful of how we unveil our latest fly-pattern ‘thoughts and tweaks’ in case we either over-sell or mis-inform, especially when it might be a pattern that’s untested. Be honest and say this, noting your thought process behind your creation and how you might envisage it working. I’ve plenty of ideas that simply didn’t work the way I’d hoped and in some cases took quite a bit of more thought and alteration to reach where I wanted it to be. That said, it never stops us looking to alter and ‘improve’.
As Howard so aptly puts at the end of his letter; “If you can steer your way around the red herrings, social media can be a great melting pot for ideas and genuine good advice.”

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