Gone Fishing: A Cautionary Tale

I’ve been trolling around the blog-o-verse a lot lately, looking for ideas and inspiration. Especially in the middle of this Every Day in May insanity—pretty sure I’m reading a lot more than writing and fishing put together. I look at the big, popular blogs to figure out what makes them so good, and I look at little blogs, too, to see if they can teach me anything. Tonight I ran across this:



Time to shut it down! Goodbye for now.

Photo illustration for "A Cautionary Tale"Yeah tomorrow I’m takin’ me fishin’
Hang a sign on the door of my life
Tell the world that I’ve gone missin’
An’ I won’t be back for a while
—Eric Church, Livin Part of Life

Yeah!… That’s right! I’m going fishing. When I started this blog I made a promise to myself not to let this blog get in the way of fishing and having fun doing it!. Well… the damn thing has done just that… it’s no longer fun. So… I’m shutting it down for a while. It probably won’t be forever. I’m just tired of going fishing and hassling myself with the burden of catching fish and worrying about taking the perfect dumbass artsy fartsy photo, and coming home and sitting in front of the damn computer and coming up with some stupid ass poetic bullshit that describes my fish catching experience. It’s kind of starting to feel like I’m fishing for others in some weird way. I’m not fishing for my own self enjoyment anymore. This will not do!

So… goodbye for now. I’m going FISHIN’ Thanks to all that have shown huge amounts of support and following this thing for the last couple of years. You know who you are. For real… THANK YOU!!! I’ve learned so much from you all. But for now… The ” Fly Fishing for Wiener Dogs Jesus “… is out!

He’s gone fishing! I’ll drink to that.



That was posted on 4 May. See the actual post right here. I don’t know who this dude is. Looks like a younger guy. I found him in some blogroll. Let’s be truthful: his early retirement from blogging is not likely to attract the attention of ESPN or even OBN. I read a bunch of his previous posts and if I were in an exceedingly generous mood I’d say they’re not bad. If you caught me on a different day I might say he needs to learn the difference between “your” and “you’re,” and lay off the all-caps, ellipses, and especially the exclamation marks (four and five sentences in a row? seriously?).

After looking at his final few posts, it’d be easy to assume he just ran out of things to say. And you could easily say his blog wasn’t likely to go much further without some serious remedial English tutoring and at least some basic instruction on photography and image processing. However, the clarity and truth of this line is hard to argue with: “I’m just tired of going fishing and hassling myself with the burden of catching fish and worrying about taking the perfect dumbass artsy fartsy photo, and coming home and sitting in front of the damn computer and coming up with some stupid ass poetic bullshit that describes my fish catching experience.”

If I’m not mistaken, he just described what I’m doing at this very moment. I’m heading out to fish tomorrow, and while I probably should have tied up some salmonfly nymphs and then climbed into bed, I squatted in front of this computer into the small hours reading blogs and hassling myself with some dumbass arty fartsy stupid ass poetic bullshit ideas for tomorrow night’s blog post.

I’ve read a lot of articles about how to grow your blog and attract readers. One common tactic is appealing to your readers with crap like this: “Let us know how YOU feel! Leave a comment!” This is supposed to get you more responses, which drives more page views, which prompts more responses. Yeah, we don’t typically pull that around here—seems like a cheap trick. But right now I’m honestly curious: ever get the feeling you’re fishing for your blog instead of yourself? Ever ask yourself what you’ve really gone fishing for?
Every Day In May graphic.

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11 thoughts on “Gone Fishing: A Cautionary Tale

  1. Parker James says:

    Yea–I can relate to what the guy is saying, but I didn’t let that sense carry on for long at all. I suppose that I blog because it is a fun distraction and I think it’s cool that people from all over the world read a little of my posts. I don’t worry about writing well. I don’t stress about that. I enjoy it when I do and on occasion, if there is something of substance that I am trying to say, I hope that others do also.
    The other side of blogging to me is the spreading of a good word and advertising for good folks making a living. I can’t imagine anything more fun than making a living around fly fishing and I applaud and am somewhat envious of those that do.
    Watching the counter click…Parker

    • Good points. I love to write and I suppose if there were no such thing as readers, I’d still write for myself, but it’s a lot more fun when there’s someone reading your stuff.

  2. thosnut says:

    I’m new to this blogging stuff, but I can see how this could happen. I’m starting to notice that I’m taking the views number a little too seriously, and I have to tell myself to relax. I hope it doesn’t get that way for me. My goal is to try and keep it simple and fun.
    Also, grammar has never been my strong side- my mind gets ahead of myself sometimes, but I trying. I never would have started a blog if my Dad was still around. He was an editor and author. He once edited my fourth grade paragraph to death. I never went back for his help again.

    Thanks for the interesting story.

    • I’m an editor by trade, which means I have professional training on how to be a dick about grammar. Good grammar and construction are not strictly necessary to do stuff like write a blog or e-mail message, but if you’re going to write extensively, like any other pursuit, hobby, avocation, etc., it’s good to have respect for the craft, the underlying skills, and so forth. Even those who with no English training can and should learn to wield the language properly (P.S. — I’ve read your blog and your writing’s just fine. Heh heh.)

  3. […] child rattled brain, Chadd, over at How Small A Trout, asked an interesting question in a recent post that has kept me from having to come up with something creative on my own: I’m honestly curious: […]

  4. Marc Fauvet says:

    hey Chadd ! sorry for the quickie but i just wanted to say how impressed i am with ‘little blogs’ link !… D’Oh ! :mrgreen:

  5. Thanks for “Gone Fishing.” I don’t know about you, but I”ve been fishing 50 years and blogging for six months. It’s fun to share some of the experience. If blogging upstages the outdoor experience for me it’ll be time for a shut-down. (But yeah, I also am getting a little too preoccupied with “views.” I commend the guy for hanging up the sign!)

  6. It was certainly an interesting and revealing post. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  7. […] while we are trying not to be overly concerned with our page-view counts (for reasons hinted at in an earlier post), we have gotten vastly more views, comments, and such by posting more frequently. (And while […]

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