Question: what’s millions of years old, 20,000 feet tall and sporting a brand new name? If you guessed
Mount McKinley Denali, you’re right. But the changing face of one of the continent’s signature peaks is just a sign of the times.
There’s nothing new about that sign, by the way. It’s been the same sign for thousands of years. It stood outside the gates of Rome, greeted travelers along El Camino Real and hung from the rafters at Independence Hall.
Bob Dylan knew its words. Ron Burgundy did not. Tackle store owners? Some know it well; others do not. The most successful ones? They hang it on their door.
As Dylan says, the waters around you have grown…you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.
A changing of the guard has begun in the tackle industry. We are, perhaps, at the forefront of those changes now. The faces of professional anglers, outdoor writers, tackle shop owners and everyday anglers are growing younger as they grasp the torches built by their forebearers with decades of hard work. Nothing can change that.
But change is not a bad thing. And for a while, there is time for both the rookies and the veterans to learn from each other.
To do it. You’ve got to break down the wall.
Young bloods, listen up. You didn’t invent fishing. You are inheriting fishing—an ancient, sacred sport that has been whittled down, refined and cherished over generations.
Old heads, you did the whittling. Your elders did the whittling before you, and the new generation—with all of their gidgets, gadgets and social media—will eventually be carving in your stead.
Everyone is sculpting together, but sometimes it feels like there’s a divide. On the water, you can feel the tension when a pair of young anglers blast onto a GPS marker with no regard for the fishermen already there. If you work in a tackle store, you may hear that story weekly. If the kids had listened to an old timer, they would know not to do that.
Or maybe the tension comes from a different place, a place like a giant online retailer. You know their name, and they’re taking your sales. But if you had listened to the kids, they would have told you to set up your own online store years ago. Some of them can even help you set one up right now.
There are lessons on both sides of the fence. But you’ve got to cross it if you want to learn. You’ve got to adapt to the changes. You see, we’re all climbing the same mountain—even if it goes by a different name.