Find the right balance for the picture of your fishing success

Balancing your fishing pole on your shoulders is a new pose that some anglers are using to depict their fishing success. (Photo by Mike Schoonveld)

A person catches a fish. Perhaps it’s a nice specimen. Perhaps it’s the first fish he or she ever caught. Or perhaps it’s the first muskie or lake trout (or any other species) he or she has ever angled from the depths. What comes next is almost inevitable: the hero photo.

You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them. I’ve been behind the camera and in front. For the most part, they are awful. At best, they are moderately interesting.

A friend of mine posted a hero shot on Facebook recently. He’d caught a nice muskie on a fly rod and posed for the inevitable happy-snappy session to record the catch for posterity. The comments on Facebook were the normal, “Nice fish,” “Way to go,” “What did it weigh?”

I don’t usually make comments like that. However, in the hero photo posted, he’d made one alteration to the usual grip-and-grin pose – he’d positioned his fly rod behind his neck, balancing it on his back over his shoulders.

“Interesting pose,” I thought, and decided to make a decidedly different sort of comment on his Facebook post. “Nice balancing act with the fly rod,” I wrote.

Few of the comments I make on Facebook go viral, regardless of how astute, asinine, insightful or germane they may be. This comment engendered a long list of follow-up comments.

Who knew the “over-the-top” pose is now mainstream normal? I’ve seen hero shots with fly-rodders holding the rod and reel in their teeth. Those are weird. Posing with rod in one hand and fish in the other is common. Almost as common is the “marching rifleman” pose with the rod balanced front to back over one shoulder. But plenty of fly-flickers let me know the balance-on-the-back pose is now widely accepted.

What’s good for one is good for all. So when my fishing companion for the day caught a steelhead on my boat recently, we went with the new-age pose for the hero photo that accompanies this blog.

How do you like it?

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