Have you ever seen this hilarious Diet Dr. Pepper commercial with the “I Exist!” support group that includes Santa, Big Foot, the Easter Bunny, a Leprechaun, and the Tooth Fairy? Well, clearly they forgot to invite another oft-dismissed, vaguely defined, and seemingly mythical cast of characters: Fly Fishing Bloggers.
[CLICK HERE to watch the ad on youtube. It's really pretty funny.]
When I heard there was a meeting of Fly Fishing Bloggers at a recent industry tradeshow, my first thought was, “Wait, we’re a real thing? Fly Fishing Bloggers?” It took some soul searching, but I began to realize that my own self doubt was part of the inherent problem, I was enabling a culture of disbelief. Thank heavens there are braver, more progressive leaders out there who are champions for our credibility. They pulled together at the trade show at a meeting that I’m sure felt a lot like the “I Exist!” support group and decided that if we could exist in person face-to-face, we would be even existier…you guessed it…on Facebook. BOOM! It’s sort of like a big coming out party. We’re still workshopping our battle cry but I think these are contenders…
We’re Here, We Drink Dark Beer, Get Used To It!
Or maybe something a little less angry?
We Come In Peace, We Wear Lots of Fleece, It’s All Good…
At any rate, these powers that be created a Fly Fishing Blogger group on Facebook and yours truly was invited to participate. I know! Right? Of course I was flattered since a long series of impulsive life choices typically leave me on the outs with most appropriate social circles so I treasure any chance to belong, even if it’s with the outlaws, thieves and fishing bloggers. Oh, who are we kidding? Especially if it’s with the outlaws, thieves and fishing bloggers.
Please don’t ask me for an invitation to the group, I’m not in charge and who knows if you can even handle the rigorous initiation process. We’re unsavory sorts from the streets after all. Or from the keyboards, whatever. But I’m sure you’re curious what we talk about so I’m here to give you a peek behind the curtain: Conservation. That’s right, we focus on something of substance. Those other mythical figures wile away their days making toys, hiding eggs, stockpiling dead teeth, and tromping around in the woods. Come to think of it we actually tromp around in the woods too. But we are also trying to change the world, one conservation issue at a time.
Chris Hunt from Eat More Brook Trout organized a brown bag lunchtime conference call (yes, basically another “I Exist!” support group) where we learned about a conservation campaign led by TU and Orvis. It’s called “1000 Miles” and it is really simple yall.
I know what you’re thinking, I smell the look of doubt on your face. A simple conservation effort? Yes, that’s right! This isn’t highly politicized, it isn’t pie in the sky, it isn’t controversial, The Man isn’t going to lobby against us at every turn. We can do this one friends.
1000 Miles aims to create one thousand miles of new, fishable water in the next decade by removing poorly installed and useless culverts. Culverts don’t bring the multi-year drama of dam removal, these are relatively easy projects to approve, and reasonable to remove. Voila! Almost instantly fish begin to move freely into fresh, reconnected waters. CLICK HERE to visit the campaign site and learn more about the details of this effort.
Do you really want your favorite stretch of your favorite trout stream crowded with fisherman on the one morning you play hookey from work and sneak off to fish? Of course not! The answer is simple: more water spreads out the fish which spreads out the fisherman.
So I am asking you to make a donation to this endeavor. Please consider pledging to this very realistic, tangible campaign. Want some more good news? Every dollar you give to this TU effort will be matched by Orvis. All you have to do is click this icon to make a quick donation:
Fly Fishing Bloggers are posting this badge on their websites to show support and drive donations, so I’m sure you’ll see it around. If you’re a writer, blogger, flyshop owner or angler with a website, feel free to add the badge to your site as well. We are getting realer by the minute, people! And I hope you will consider being a part of this worthwhile campaign.
It’s conservation without the calories. It’s conservation without the controversy. Believe in it…it exists.
(Copyright 2012 by Christine Warren)