A Fish Porn Intervention

fish chile by helicopterA few months ago I got crucified by some fieldandstream.com readers who thought a Chile-by-helicopter adventure story I wrote for the website didn’t have enough “big fish” pictures in it. Granted, I’m no photographer, but when I was shooting snapshots of the trip I thought the real angle was the exploration of places that had hardly been fished before. Whatever, I whiffed. I traveled to the virtual bottom of the world in a totally unique way, fished in previously inaccessible regions for wild trout, and, in the end, it was still all about the grip ‘n grin. My bad.

Or not.

The thought of an angler de-sliming a beautiful fish as he fumbles for the camera for a hero shot repulses me. Which is why I'm worried; is the pressure on magazines (and blogs like this) to run nothing but fish porn feeding our addiction to this stuff?

I understand having an exciting big fish image often cements the memory of a wonderful experience. If you get to snap the photo, great, you should. But do it right. And if you don't get the shot, that should be okay also. Let's not mandate the grip 'n grin as the ultimate measure of a good day's fishing. And while we're at it, let's lose the myth that a hero shot suitable for the office wall makes you a great fly angler. We know better.

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The Slippery Slope

KirkmardigrasBy the time "Russell" realized he had a problem, grip 'n grin syndrome (GNGS) had already seized control of his life. "It started simply enough, a photo with a rainbow or brown trout here and there ... but then I grew obsessed with having my picture taken with salmonids. After a while, even the big fish werent' enough. It led to cheap jewelry, role playing, making my own fish lingerie ... I'm ashamed to admit I even took photos with fish under the legal catch limit. Thanks to Fflogger, I got my life back. I don't feel 'slimy' all the time anymore. I can even flyfish, just for the fun of it again."