‘Confessions’ and other Changes to This Blog

By Gabe Cross

It is no secret that Jeremy Hunt has made a concerted effort to expand his Web site this past winter. He has diligently studied and implemented different promotional strategies while making every attempt to improve the layout and content of the site. By all indications, this “revamping” has been working better than expected, and it is refreshing to see that discriminating anglers are drawn to the large amounts of fresh content that is being offered on Taneycomotrout.com .

Let me just say that Jeremy has had some help with this extensive Web site endeavor. See, Jeremy is a very expressive guy, but he lacks the ability to write content up to contemporary Internet standards – and believe me, Jeremy is not alone. This is not to say that he didn’t try his best to produce engaging articles and clear fishing reports, but it takes a real innovator to change course when their best efforts in a particular area may indeed be counterproductive. Over the years, I have helped Jeremy with a good bit of his content, but it was not until recently (November ‘09) that we started collaborating at a professional level. It took a complete site overhaul to kick start this process, but Jeremy is the type who understand his weaknesses, and having a friend like me who is a freelance writer with past White River fly fishing and guiding experience is definitely something he has wanted to take advantage of for a long time. It took some time and certain things needed to come together, but we finally figured out a way to work together in a highly productive way.

My name is Gabe Cross, and some of you may know me from my nine years as a White River and Norfork Tailwater fly fishing guide. I loved the “easy” life of an Ozark trout bum initially, but over time, I began to feel that devoting all of my time to guiding on the White and Norfork at my relatively young age was not the best career choice for me. So I “retired” from the professional fly fishing ranks in December of ’08 and moved to Boise, Idaho in search of greener pastures. It has been a personal and professional struggle (to say the least) for me out here, but I am slowly finding my way as a professional content writer. Hopefully, I will be able to focus on writing about fly fishing, but this beggar is in no position to be choosy. In some ways, I do miss Arkansas and the guiding lifestyle, and I often wonder if I made the right decision in letting my business deteriorate to the point of no return. I will definitely go into the reasoning behind my desire to separate myself from the guiding industry in further posts – there is no doubt in my mind that I could write an entire book about that topic alone.

One thing that is nice about blogs is that the writing style that works best is very informal, so I don’t feel that I need to over-apologize for jumping back and forth so frequently like I am about to do now… Jeremy and I have been close friends for over twelve years, but this is not to say that we have always been on the best of terms. We are both stubborn and headstrong, so every now and again, things can get a bit edgy. When Jeremy moved down to Arkansas almost two years ago, we became very close again, and it was at that point that I decided that I was going to help him because he has always been a true friend to me through thick and thin. I also made the choice to try and focus on Jeremy’s many great qualities and really learn about who he is. This has helped us keep our relationship on a continual upswing.

Before I moved out West at the end of 2008, I finished up some major content for Jeremy’s site, but there was so much more that needed to be done. Please do not think that Jeremy does not have any input on the writing on his site – this could not be further from the truth. We talk daily, and I firmly believe that Jeremy is one of the few in the Ozarks who has a pure passion for all aspects of fly fishing rushing through his veins – there is nothing I could write that he doesn’t already know about. I’ve come to learn that Jeremy is smart when it comes to business, and he knows exactly what he wants out of life: the chance to earn a living in the fly fishing industry as a guide, tier, speaker and entrepreneur. Although I do work with Jeremy on all of the Web site’s content, I also have taken on the role of “Project Consultant”. This has given me the opportunity to put my nine years on the White and Norfork to good use, while also allowing Jeremy the chance to gain valuable insight from someone who wants to share their successes and failures.

Some changes to the blog

I learned long ago that to create a successful Web presence as a guide, you must stick to mainly upbeat copy and “Chamber of Commerce” style articles. Of course, Taneycomotrout.com takes serious pride in providing the most up to date and honest information out there, but a guide service site is not an appropriate place for opinionated and political content. Still, there is a time and place for everything. As a consultant in all of this, I took it upon myself to learn about blogs as marketing tools, and Jeremy kept stressing that the blog is the best spot for the edgier and one-sided writing that many of the site’s seasoned readership craves. Up to this point, we have not really utilized the blog for this purpose, but that is about to change. Of course, we will still post the informative articles and the other content that you are used to reading on the blog, but I will also be personally posting a bunch of content about a myriad of subjects. This will truly be a dynamic informational resource, and Jeremy and I are both excited to see the life of its own this project takes on.

It is now the time for me to get some things off my chest, and I think that this blog is the perfect venue for that purpose. I also want to educate anglers and share my unique experiences. Be prepared for frank opinions and offbeat musings, but I will never slander any businesses or individuals. Still, as far as I’m concerned, public entities like government conservation agencies and politicians are fair game for criticism.

I want to encourage everyone to participate in this blog process by posting comments. It is my intention to answer all fly fishing questions, and it would be great to get some lively discussions going. Please forward the link to this blog to anyone that you think would be interested. Jeremy and I are very creative guys, so there is no doubt that we will figure out how to have a lot of fun with this new format.

A few final questions

Please let us know what you think about this entire concept, and both Jeremy and I look forward to providing yet another source of fresh and interesting content for your enjoyment. Even though Boise is now where I call home, my tenure in Arkansas provided many special memories that I will cherish forever. No river system is close to perfect, but I will say that when perfect conditions and hot fishing come together, there is no finer place in the world to fly fish than the prolific tailwaters of the White River Basin.


~ by troutdoctor101 on March 25, 2010.

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