November 19, 2014

An Ode To The Underground

Well...actually not technically an "ode"...because an ode is a poem.  And I don't write poetry.  If anything I lay down white boy B-Rabbit vs. Papa Doc in 8-Mile.  Ugh...not really...and totally off topic already...what the heck is going on again?  OK...deep breath...let's call this a "tribute post" and leave it at that.

So as I was trying to say...a few days ago Tom Chandler fired off what could be the final post at The Trout Underground for the foreseeable future...and in doing so, a little piece of me died inside.

Now I can't blame Tom.  He's been writing The Underground for almost 10 years...which might as well be 1000 in blogger years.  I think most blogs probably last 2 or 3 posts, and that may be generous.  Plus, if you read his goodbye post, his motivations are clear and sincere.

When I first started reading blogs about fly fishing...there were two that were a constant theme within everybody else's blogrolls...Moldy Chum & The Trout Underground.  Therefore when I started writing my own took a while to find my own style...and well, I'm going to be totally honest...I eventually tried to blatantly rip off emulate both of those blogs by sort of squishing them together.  Unfortunately, my writing skills are nowhere up to par with TC/TU, so this blog has evolved more into an affair of sight gags and pop culture references...somewhat of a long-form Moldy Chum, with a far more haphazard blogging cadence.  That said, I've always enjoyed (and envied) the Trout Underground from the a fanboy.


See, it's rare to find a fishing blog that can balance actual writing skill, topical references, and entertainment value so well...with just enough snark to not be over the top obnoxious and/or douchey.  Don't get me wrong, there are many good writers out in the blogosphere (I hate the phrase 'blogosphere' BTW)...but let's be honest, how many get caught up with using superfluous vocabulary words (like superfluous) that come instinctively to few for the sake of "reading" smart?  Or they ramble on and on and on and on, jibber jabbering away about something or another...far surpassing the attention span of the typical internet content consumer.  Sort of like this post is now.  Are you still there?

Those of you that have read this blog for a while also may know that I've included references to what I've called "Subterranean Trout" in some posts over time.  Whether it was in support of the campaign for inclusion of in its blogroll, to the mention of the bromance with Singlebarbed, to the time on April Fool's Day when I altered the entire visual theme and layout of Troutrageous! to match that of Trout Underground in satirical tribute...  Why?  Because the Underground was and is relevant in our little fly fishing community...and more importantly seems to transcend demographics.  Like Denzel Washington.

Heck, I think the high point of this blog was when I wrote a post that Tom actually commented on in a complimentary fashion.  It was akin to having Obi Wan tell you that he was impressed by the way you swing your lightsaber.  Thanks 'ol Ben.

(And I'd be lying if I said I didn't geostalk my Google Analytics for about a month afterward to see if any traffic came in from a certain town in Northern California after I wrote what I though might have been a subsequent good post).

Anyway, I guess my point of all this is that if it's truly riding off into the sunset, I'm gonna miss the quirky Trout Underground.  The humor...such as the escapades of Wally the Wonderdog...and fish falling from the sky.  (May he rest in peace).  The practicality...such as the ultimate fishing hat.  The causes and actual serious topics...things like internet & blogging freedoms...and the evils of Nestle Water?  I mean, who knew...I thought they made Crunch bars...which are soooo tasty by the way.  And the human touch...Tom has a beautiful family that he is rightfully proud of.

Heck Tom, I even gave Ubuntu a try because I read about it on your blog.

So I wish the former Mr. Underground luck on all of his future endeavors.  Please don't be a stranger.

See you around, (hopefully when you write just one more post...), Troutrageous! Mike.


  1. Weird, I never really checked out that blog. I'll have to read some of the posts now. I've been so busy with "life" lately I haven't had a chance to really focus on blogging or other blogs.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately the Underground has been running on fumes for a while...but the few posts that went up were still gems. Going back a few years it was one of the defining voices in fly fishing blogdom, which seems to be a dying thing itself. There's some really good stuff if you read any of the archives.

  2. I think we start out blogging trying to emulate someone else's blog (like you said), but fall into our own style as time progresses. Without the wit and humor this wouldn't be Mike's Troutrageous!. There will be the sound of taps, at dusk, in Northern California in honor of TU.

  3. I'm glad I read this post because I missed your 'ten Sacred Cows' entry from, like, a few years ago. Like TC of TU, I too, wish I'da come up with that post.

    1. Thanks, I've never had a post before or after that one that generated so much comment conversation.

  4. Tear.....I have enjoyed the happenings of TU. If I could just have half the longevity that was in that blog.....