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What does a fisherman look like?

by: Chad LaChance 1/23/2014

Here at Fishful Thinker, we always preach diversity in your angling. Diversity in techniques, diversity in locale, and diversity in species all lead to a fully rounded angler, and I’d argue that a really diverse angler gets more overall from our great sport. Whenever I’m preparing for a live seminar or tank demo, I always focus on topics that will appeal to diverse anglers; rarely will I host a “bass demo” or specialized technique, instead preferring to cover something a little more universal in angling.

Well, I’m just recovering from four days of working a tank at the Denver International Sportsmen’s Expo. It’s exhilarating to work a live crowd with the ultimate visual aid in the form of a 6000 gallon tank full of fish I get to actually play with. It’s rewarding when someone comes up afterwards, saying they learned this or that, or that they learn from FTTV. 

It’s also mentally draining and basically exhausting to work expos for days on end, but let’s not digress…

You know what stands out to me from this year’s ISE show? The diversity! Not the diversity in techniques, locales, or species…the diversity in the anglers. This year more than any other I’ve worked, I was approached by a huge range of people from all walks of life, but with one common theme connecting us; we all love to fish.

I had folks ranging from old bearded guys in flannel to very young kids in over-sized baseball caps, complete with signatures on the bill. Speaking of hat bills, I had 20-somethings in flat brimmed, west coast style hats, and hardcore ranch kids with perfectly curled, fabulously dirty oil cloth hats, and of course a few cowboy hats, too. I met teenage derby kids in their pro-looking sponsor jerseys, lots of girls that love to fish with their boyfriends, a few single moms that fish with their kids for cheap entertainment. I even met a couple of beautifully tattooed ladies with piercings that if you encountered anywhere else besides a sports show, you’d swear never spent a single minute in the woods or on the waters. But never judge a book by its cover; these ladies had bass, catfish, and other sportfish tattooed on them; true lovers of the outdoors to be sure. I met people I could hardly understand due to foreign accents, but that I could communicate fishing with, not to mention southern drawls, Minnesotans, and Boston-types, too.

All of this diversity makes me happy. Meeting fans and hearing their stories is part of what makes my job great. To see anglers this diverse yet connected speaks to the heart of the matter…that spending time interacting with nature is great, no matter your gender, age, race, or background. ‘Nuff said…CL

Blog content © Chad LaChance
Member comments
Tiny Stevens, CO   1/23/2014 1:03:59 PM
Excellent Chad! I'll bet you are all talked out for awhile! Great to see you and talk with you at the show. Keep up the great work. Tiny
Coyute, CO   1/23/2014 1:15:44 PM
CL talked out?! Good one Tiny! As a budding curmudgeon, I admit I rail on some of the more petty things in the sport. Me being me. :) However, had I realized at a younger age (and still single) that there were groupies involved with being a big-shot angler, my path might have been different and I'd probably be sporting a flat brimmed hat and bedazzled jeans. You are certainly a diplomat of the sport CL, I appreciate that.
anglerwannabe, CO   1/23/2014 1:37:04 PM
good stuff. Am going to try and make it to the ISE next year just to see what it's all about. Thank you for answring the questions I occasionally send you, especially about the Mann's lures. Have seen 3 of your shows now and you have used them in 2! Was especially fun watching your buddy slay the bass using my favortie lure. Discovered a new Mann's 1-minus.. a super stretch. Can't wait to try it
team FMFO , CO   1/23/2014 2:28:12 PM
great blog ! :)
Girls In The Outdoors, CO   1/23/2014 3:07:24 PM
Love this post!
FISHRANGLER, CO   1/23/2014 8:35:21 PM
Rock star. Thats why everyone loves you Chad.
Troutkillah, CO   1/23/2014 10:46:31 PM
That was an AWESOME time!
Catman1979, CO   1/23/2014 11:40:03 PM
That's funny. My cat partner and I had a "fishing" garage sale tryin' to get rid of some of his accumulated tackle. One of the folks laughed when I shook his hand, him sayin' that I didn't look like an angler. Still tryin' to figure out if I need specific shoes, or some kind of hat.
pikeNcolorado, CO   1/24/2014 8:19:38 AM
Catman, you need to go buy a cute vest, hat, and nice pair of waders for the next garage sale. Ha Ha, who cares what he thinks. I'm pretty sure you could outfish that guy in a second. As the story above goes, "you can't judge a book by it's cover" and you can't judge a fisherman by their looks. That's for sure. Great Blog Chad. Thanks for taking the time to catch up at the show.
Abel1, CO   1/24/2014 10:02:58 AM
Definition of Diversity The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. Chad I think you and others who were at the show may have seen the visual of what you read on the Fish Explorer on a daily basis. If you want to Diversity trying fishing off a Seattle Pier. The idea of fishing was great (the act not so much) but the people we had discussions with in the meantime from far away places was the real catch. It was a new adventure every time.
JOHN_COSprings, CO   1/25/2014 6:43:09 PM
I need to get myself some camo gear, all those darn euro carp folks are decked out in it. Then again, I could not be without my lucky hat and a red-shirt - call me superstitious.
tbblom, CO   1/25/2014 6:55:07 PM
I like the tatted ladies... Mine has tats, but I can barely ever get her to fish!
the fishing dj, CO   1/25/2014 7:33:05 PM
I get constantly ridiculed about not "dressing like a fisherman", and especially with my flat brimmed hats, but I like that looks don't matter if you can catch fish! Also, it was nice chatting with you down at ise Chad, and I'm looking into those trout rods you showed me.
Chad LaChance
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