mirror, mirror | Hatch Magazine
There is a mirror near our front door. It’s the last thing I see before heading to the river, and I usually give it a quick glance to make sure everything is okay. Two shoes? put a mark. Wrinkled jacket? put a mark. Counter-culture Rastafarian neck warmer that no one ever noticed, cool hat, glasses, etc. I nodded to myself, smiled at the ridiculousness of it all, and headed for the door. This is me in the mirror.
Maybe when You Does the handsome, moody, middle-aged Trout Boom, who bears a striking resemblance to John Gierach wink at you? no? That makes us two, which bothers me. Who doesn’t want to have a gracefully aging trout? We bought the book, who is that in the mirror? (Ladies, if this really sounds like an annoying, pale and old male, please be patient. There’s a way I’m distracted.)
I thought I’d begin my quest to validate trout with the slow cucumber and ask for the mirror’s endorsement. It is best to do this when the rest of your family is out of the house. So, when the coast is clear, try my version of the famous question: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best reasonably qualified recreational angler ever? Silence. No surprise there because if you were a mirror, I won’t talk to you either. As everyone knows, talking mirrors are strictly first-class, and when they say something, it’s a first-class taunt. They won’t waste their time telling me I’m just a reasonably good hunter. Anyway, I already know.
It’s taken me a while to sort this out, but, in my heart, I have to admit that I’m trapped in the trout bomdum trap of eternally underachieving. This is a real state of mind – so much so that it represents a global marketing demographic.
Think about it: That mirror man you see is not a homeless person. It’s two or even three times larger than surfing, skiing and skating bums, and there’s rarely a hint of strange smoke drifting downwind. And there is a lot of it. I suggest this is more so than any other form of male fly fishing. Most importantly, he usually has real money in the bank. This is why processing companies like it so much: Wannabe Trout Bums buy a lot of stuff. Alice Cooper did not sing “I want to be a trout”. Or something like that?
So, once companies have convinced us (they have our data), we prepare for sales pitches.
“We tailor our ads to target vulnerable readers, thereby minimizing advertising expenses and maximizing the impact of investment dollars.”
– Addressing the company’s marketing strategy
It’s not just processing. We, as the sales world sometimes calls us customers, also seem a little broken. It makes me male, pale, old And nasty. That’s why my mirror always shows me this confused old man in a comedy hat. Note to self: I should Google hunting hats and buy a real one. Second note to self: What is A TRUE Fishing hat?
The original gentleman for all ages (Image source: West Margin Press).
So how do I know there’s such a large tribe of Trout Boom wannabes out there? Well, every year, the Outdoor Foundation, along with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (which is a very small organization), publishes a report on fly fishing. It reveals who goes, how often, what they earn and the like. It’s US data, but I expect the results to be broadly similar in Europe. Big fishing companies run the same ads on both sides of the Atlantic, targeting the same ideal version of the fisherman. I am part of a global version.
And thanks for waiting, ladies – now this is about you:
The 2023 report says fly fishing is the most male-dominated category of all forms of rod and line fishing. 69% male. Fortunately, the gap is narrowing – in 15 years, the number of women has doubled.
I think women who take up fly fishing, being younger, are also younger. This may be a disadvantage because young people have less money and, as we all know, sellers are irresistibly attracted to spending power. So the collection designed for women is still shamefully limited in scope and availability. Has anyone ever seen a fishing catalog in which a third of the products are aimed at women?
This is probably because we males can afford more expensive tools (see below) And Are you smart enough to know how good a penis is just by reading the brand name? This makes us the easiest brand to showcase sales.
The gap in numbers should continue to narrow as women take up the sport faster than men, while attrition due to age-related mortality erodes boomerang trout numbers. So those marketing departments really need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Fly fishermen (Image source: external organization).
In all probability my“Reasonably competent recreational fisherman.” The case also hangs around your neck. It’s an all-encompassing collection that dominates almost all but the best and worst. Which brings me back, in a roundabout way, to my quest for… TRUE Fishing hat. I once thought a hunting hat should stay in the wind, keep my head dry in the rain and make me look like John Gierach. Not much to ask, surely? It turns out I was wrong.
Here’s why: If you look at fishing catalogs, you’ll notice a ubiquitous element in almost all photos of clothing: pockets. They’re everywhere.
Apparently, this is because our purchasing power for smaller items from the collection is limited only by the number of pockets we have. Fortunately, we have hunting vests capable of holding more items than most people use in a single season. And because that’s not enough, our pants now have multiple pockets too. And because that’s not enough either, there’s a so-called fishing shirt that features an array of zippered pockets, buttons, and Velcro closures that serve my banking needs that I haven’t developed yet. Every piece of hunting clothing comes with pockets, pockets and other pockets.
But a fishing hat with pockets? of course no. Yes….
Fishing pocket with hat attachment (Photo: Richard Wilson).
So here’s an idea. Before we start indulging in victimhood and Miss Jeep Big Sale ScandalSo, let’s start at the beginning. Who buys all this collection, pays for the permits that fund the fisheries, subscribes to magazines, donates and volunteers to conservation organizations, and generally keeps all the top dogs flush with cash? Who actually buys the rods that fishing gods and casting champions get for free at photo shoots?
That’s why I say let’s hear it for the unwashed greats. The various hatters who support the whole bloody edifice and without whom there would be no Mega-Weba Online Fishing Superstore or fly lines with 53 cutting tip options. And there are no short-bellied Speys No. 3 that quite match the 7-inch Nanomeister Brookster, Singapore Grip Edition. Especially the lack of hats with pockets. There won’t be any.
So, to all you brands out there, we, Bum customers, carry the weight of tool making on our shoulders, and we won’t be well served if all you do is salami – forever shredding our credit cards – more complex details; Whether it’s a bird’s nest of interconnected stripes, sock pockets or multi-functional hats, they’re all in men’s sizes. And while I’m on the alert, what about the flies? How much did you say?
So, this is it. I said what I had to say and I have a feeling that nothing has changed. Hey ho.
And yet, despite everything, I still feel a twinge of disappointment when I look in the mirror and see the same bad hat-wearing rage attacking me. Maybe I can be a real bum for a day? How cool might that be? please …
So if the mirror answered my question and said:Hey! You are the man. Kind father, Mr. Trout Pommery, I’ll take a long shot of my Trout Bum spliff, wonder what and why, and then whether or not I’ll do it. I will smile with deep meaning and ask: “Now, where am I? Oh yeah, I went fishing.
How about just once? Is it too much to ask the mirror? Even as a last wish?
When I finally get to be a Trout Boom, perhaps by joining that heavenly chorus in trout heaven, I expect you’ll find my body somewhere on the riverbank. And just so you know, my stash is in my hat pocket. This is its purpose. right?
(With apologies to John Gierach, the great writer)