My friend Todd told me about this Swedish YouTube show called Experiment Ensam, where the protagonists conduct a social experiment by doing communal activities alone. He sent it because of the most amazing episode of the show, where Bob Dylan performs for an audience of one. That is insane.
But the series of YouTube episodes, which also involve doing things like walking on coals and karaoke, brought me back to my personal fishing habits, especially of the past year. Recently, on many of the days where I found time to fish, I fished alone. Due to whatever circumstance (and for God’s sake don’t register this as a complaint) most of my fishing came in stolen moments–times where I slipped out with a rod and a fly box and took joy not necessarily in the catching but just in being able to do it at all.
I posted several years ago about the virtues of solitude. I still dig it.
There is also no doubt that part of the appeal of the fly fishing community is taking part in the fly fishing community. Is fishing alone worth it? Is there value in experiences that are not shared experiences, that live and die within you? I say, Yes.
But there’s this new twist: In this era of social communication, does fishing alone and then posting about it constitute a shared experience? Maybe. After all, our man’s “solo” experience with Bob Dylan has (as of this typing) 502,420 views. But then again, according to this Rolling Stone article about the video, he refuses to watch it.
He doesn’t want to ruin it in his mind.