I’ll piggyback on the eloquent comment by Chad Love, and subsequent post by Mr. Petzal on the Gun Nut blog titled: “Meditations on the Melancholy State of Outdoor Writing.” Go check it out, come back, and read on …
I’m not ready to surrender the flag on the state of outdoor writing. At least not as far as fishing writing is concerned. While I certainly respect and admire the wonderful works of writers from bygone eras, I think the flame now burns brighter than ever. Granted, blogs and the glut of vertical publications on all things fishing make much of the writing we read seem like warbles at “open mike night.”
But there are still pure voices. And great angles. I, for one, think the fishing world is more exciting now than ever, because we’re better at it, and we’re not afraid to challenge the ragged edge. Take flyfishing for mako sharks as an example. Zane Grey caught many makos. But he didn’t do it out of a kayak, nor with a fly, nor release his fish. (He was probably too smart for that.) Bass writing is better now than ever. In 50 years, there will be a blog … and a post … and a comment … that laments the lack of great writers like Monte Burke (Sowbelly). Mark my words.
I refuse to believe fishing writing, nor our universities that crank out sharp young writing talent by the legions, have become a collective “Waste Land.” That’s from T.S. Eliot, by the way.