Over the past two years, our cozy little website has conjured up over 75K unique visitors to its fun and fish filled pages. Between our first year and now- our reach has doubled...wow.
It's no surprise that so many people dig the FlyLife though. Who can deny the allure of great music, cold beer, wild places, big fish, and above all else, staying fly?
But then again, some people do (those sick bastards). We're not huge yet. Not rolling in the dough by any means. But it was never really about the dough. I guess that's why we can't quit... there are more people out there to brainwash. More masses that could use a friendly reminder to take a deep breath when times get hard, breathe, and take their next cast. No matter how impossible or fruitless it may seem. Seriously though, when considering the humble origins of this cyber publication - it's amazing to think how far we've come in two years. But if you’ve fished enough, you know that truly losing yourself in this sport will help you find yourself outside of it.
FlyTimesDC started in a Latin American studies course at Rhodes College in the fall of my junior year as a doodle. That’s right. A doodle. An original logo that hath since been revamped, the hammerhead/flytimesdc hybrid logo was dumb (albeit drawn on just about every single beer pong table at Rhodes College from 2011-2012).
A confusing, mangled assortment of lines that if you glanced upon it at the right angle, somewhat resembled a shark with FlyTimesDC crudely scribbled on its back - that silly logo stood for the pursuit of a dream and the commitment to a lifelong passion that grabbed me by the reins at 3 years old and steered me to places I honestly never thought I’d be…the snowy banks of the Salmon River…Boca Grande Pass…Smoky Mountain National Park….and the list goes on. I’m sure Brogan, Connor, Clarence, and Kevin would agree that they’ve experienced a similar pull to the sport. We vicariously fish through each other after all.
At the time of said doodle, I was a relative novice to fly fishing. I owned a fly rod. Sure, I could cast and catch a fish. But there was no rhyme or reason to it. I was a semi-pro bass fisherman, more accustomed to ripping lips and fishing fast and recklessly on 65lb braid - not 7x tippet.
I didn’t understand the nuances of the game. Yet, it fascinated me. So naturally, I urged myself to get better with the stick in my hand. I fly fished every single day my last two years of college until I graduated….and kept on fishing…..Here I am now.
I ventured out to the Little Red and Spring Rivers in Arkansas to chase trout on free weekends. We organized small expeditions to harass urban bass in the dead of the Memphis night with friends. Carp, bass, catfish, and sunfish were all constantly messed when not in classes or baseball practice in the ponds behind my apartment.
The tug was and still is the drug. It’s what prompts me to hit the outgoing tide at Gravelly Point at odd hours of the night or makes it a goal to learn every fishy hole in Rock Creek Park on your own. Those first few milestones (first carp, big trout, bass, bonefish) were the budding chapters in a story that hopefully isn’t even close to being entirely written. We added a few more chapters with our first steelhead encounter this past winter. Yet, as the milestones get bigger and my quarries more elusive (f*ck you, snakeheads) the further down this road I go, I will always remember those precious first few steps.
Two years later, FlyTimesDC.com emerged from the ether of the Internet as a crudely pasted together compilation of HTML, poor grammar, and random fish pictures in an attempt to convince my parents I didn’t need a real job coming out of school. As you can expect, that lasted for all of one month before threats of disownment starting coming down the line from the higher ups. Eventually I got a “corporate job” to get them off my back but all the while, FlyTimesDC kept evolving.
As my passion for fly fishing continues to grow and I become more adept on the water, it has become harder and harder for me to imagine myself doing anything else the rest of my life. No passion will rival that which I already have for this sport. The places this sport takes you physically, spiritually, and emotionally change you…in a good way though….
Fly fishing forces you to at least reconsider those things which you first thought were “priorities”. Beers, girls, work, etc all fall to the back burner when there is a prolific hatch, fantastic weather, or run of fish. I’ll be the first to admit that my life usually unravels when the fishing is on fire. The annual #SHADNESSMADNESS and #NOSHAVESHADRUN are testaments to that. But if you’ve ever seen bonefish tailing on the gin clear flats of the Bahamas, a Smoky Mountain star show out performing a night at ULTRA, or witnessed the wild par markings of a native brook trout swimming in the same place it’s been since the dinosaurs – you probably get it.
If you haven’t –you should probably fish more.
So as we hopefully continue to get weird with some fish words and instagrammed glory shots for some time down the road - I'd like to extend a big thank you to not only the fly fishing community at large and our sponsors Urban Angler and Trout Unlimited, but to all the friends, family, and followers who have had to deal with me speaking in tongues about tippet, tying flies, the wonders of trout, and my snakehead conspiracy theories to ultimately make FlyTimesDC a part of their life.
Thank you. We're not done by any means.
Remick Smothers is a native son of the District of Columbia and the founder of FlyTimesDC. A self taught fly fisherman and fly tier, Rem graduated from Rhodes College with a double major in fly fishing and English in 2012. He has been celebrating the fly life ever since. Just remember, if it's dark out, there's a shark out. Above all else, stay fly. #flytimesdc