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I’m an alpha male. Everyone knows that about me. When a tree needs to get chopped down, people send smoke signals to my log cabin hoping that I’ll ride down on my stallion and save the day. People ask me, “How fast can you gut a deer?” only to look over and see me mounting said deer above the stone fireplace I built with my bare hand (because my other hand too busy putting a low-ball of Kentucky Gentleman to my lips). My chest hair is thicker than the Amazon.
How did I reach peak manliness, you ask? By following the most manly Instagram accounts I could possibly find.
Through months (even years) of research, I’ve honed my craft of double-tapping photos of other men fishing, hiking, boat building, and doing other testosterone-filled activities that would make most beta males (unlike myself) shudder at. My hands could be mistaken for a life-long cowboy’s hands from the amount of mashing I do on the ‘like’ button when I come across a friend’s pheasant hunt or a tastemaker’s hunting trip to Africa.
I’m an expert fly fisherman.
As someone who’s never going fly fishing before, I’m essentially the greatest fly fisherman to ever grace the earth. I’ve seen A River Runs Through It over one and a half times. I follow Simms, Patagonia Fly Fishing, and Maddie Brenneman. When I see a trout with the coloration of a psychedelic mushroom trip that could only exist during fall in Jackson Hole? Oh boy, do I ever pound that like button with the force of a hammer pounding a nail into a beautiful piece of black maple.
My hunting dog trains other hunting dogs how to hunt.
No, I don’t own a hunting dog. Or any dog for that matter. But when you follow as many Instagram accounts centered around hunting dogs as I do, you start to feel a connection with these spaniels and hounds that you just can’t feel by simply owning a dog. Nothing gets my rocks off like seeing a liver and white springer spaniel perfectly filtered with a pheasant hanging from its jowls. You can’t find a photo on “Bird Dog of the Day” that hasn’t been liked so hard that I risk shattering my iPhone’s screen. Loki The Wolf Dog? Its owners might as well have joint custody with me. Brooks The GSP? Man’s best friend. And by “man,” I mean “my best friend” because I am all men.
Uh, yeah, you could call me a gearhead when it comes to hunting and fishing.
I’m essentially a brand ambassador for Filson and Orvis. Man Outfitters named their entire brand after me. While some use their gear to take the wilderness by storm and hunt like our ancestors, I take a more noble approach – I slam the shit out of the like button which gives them exposure on Instagram’s Discover feed. I mean, it’s not a big deal that I wear their waxed jackets and rain coats while being a man about town – it’s a huge deal. It’s like the old manly saying that I write in all my leatherbound notebooks: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” To that, I respond, “If a ‘man’ wears a shooting jacket in the solitude of the great outdoors and no one is there to photograph him for Instagram, is he really all that manly?” Exactly.
Fishing in Alaska is the most valuable work experience I’ve ever had.
Lesser men would prefer to take tropical vacations where they sip lady drinks on the beach while covering themselves with baby oil while listening to tropicalia music. I laugh at those men with the heartiness of Paul Bunyon and Ron Swanson. I, on the other hand, prefer taking the approach of my forefathers. Sifting through classic photos of Alaskan salmon fisherman is truly the best way to experience what it’s really like to fight the cold of the Alaskan wilderness. From wooden poster bed, I sit atop my linen sheets firing off double-taps faster than firing off rounds during a spring grouse hunt in Georgia. Without scrolling through accounts like Drifters Fish and The Salmon Project, I’d have no idea what it feels like to brave the conditions and feel the beating hearts of salmon on my bare fucking hands.
I’m the change I wish to see in the world.
Kids these days don’t know the value of hard work. They don’t know what it takes to claw for every inch while you go from Point A to Point B. The amount of Instagram accounts I’ve had to follow to come up as a suggested account after you follow Trout Unlimited? Hundreds. The aesthetic I’ve had to achieve in order to justify buying hats with trout on them and not get called out? Nearly impossible for lesser Instagram users. The grind I’ve had to go through in order for people to think to themselves, “I wonder how he got into fly fishing,” even though I’ve never touched fly rod in my entire life? Priceless. .
Image via Filson Instagram