What Are You Looking For?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who makes time to read The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. Some of you have been muddling through my stuff for quite a while now. Some of you found your way here via The Outdoor Blogger Network; some of you were pointed this way by friends and some of you were invited in; some of you stumbled across this blog by sheer dumb luck and liked it enough to subscribe, and most of you probably wonder sometimes just what the heck is going on around here.

As away the old year passes, I’ve been pondering an appropriate year-end wrap up. A “Best of 2011” post crossed my mind but a lot of bloggers do those. I thought about posting a list of resolutions I plan to stick to in the upcoming year but I write fiction, not lies. In the end I decided to bring 2011 to a close by looking at my Search Term stats (provided by WordPress) to see just what sorts of things attract readers to the shores of Fish in a Barrel Pond.

I was just as surprised as you by what I found and, like you, I also sometimes wonder what the heck is going on around here. Thank you all for stopping by, whatever the reason, and the very best to you in 2012.

~Quill Gordon


We might as well just get it out of the way. The number one search term that brought eyes to these pages in 2011 — with more than twice the views of number two — is just what fans of Fish in a Barrel Pond would expect: Gordon Ramsay! That’s right, Gordon Ramsay. Celebrity chef, television personality and all-around nice guy, Gordon Ramsay. Maybe he Googles himself a lot? When I Google Gordon Ramsay, “Eugene, Purly and Chef Gordon Ramsaycomes up on the first page. Who’d a thunk it?

At number two is my pen name, along with my real name. I suppose it narrows down the search and distinguishes me from a venerable old Catskill dry fly or the greatest high school football player of all time. Still, it seems a bit suspicious.

The third most common search term that brings people here is “tenkara flies”. “Tenkara rods” is number five, so we will deal with them together and get to number four in a minute. I got drunk creative last year and decided to have a little fun with the ancient angling method, tenkara, which seemed to be taking the fishing world by storm. Unfortunately, my post “Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Rods” languished, attracting very few readers. My follow-up “Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Flies” kind of sat there, too, quickly losing its relevance when Steven Tyler stopped wearing dry fly hackle in his hair, but I had amused myself and that was the important thing.

Then, one day, I noticed referrals coming in from the message board at tenkarausa.com. I followed the link and discovered my tenkara posts had attracted the attention of someone for whom English was not their first language and had created a bit of confusion. One commenter went so far as to suggest I was simply ignorant and therefore not worthy of a laugh. Imagine that. Maybe my posts weren’t as funny as I thought, but ignorant? I signed up to comment over there and did my best to assure the folks at tenkara USA that it was all in fun and to defend myself. I did my best to smooth things over, letting them know I make fun of pretty much everything, and things settled down a bit, but I think they’re waiting to see what I have to say about fancy shadow casters and mincing dry fly purists. Give me time, I’ll get to them.

But the tenkara thing will not go away! Now I am getting referrals from the message board at tenkara.ru! I can’t read Russian and while Google does an okay job translating, it does a terrible job of interpreting so I don’t really know what they are saying. If you speak or read Russian, I’d sure appreciate some help with this one. My tenkara spoofs show up on the first page of results when I Google “tenkara” and, yes, I am amused.

With numbers three and five out of the way, we can get back to number four on the list of search terms that bring folks to this blog: “otter poop”. Yes, otter poop. Originally posted as a reward for readers who made it all the way to the end of ” … teach a man to fish … ” I don’t think many of the people looking for a picture of otter poop  actually got to the end of the story to collect their reward so I will save everyone the trouble and post it here (even though you really ought to go read the story anyway):

Otter Poop

Number six on our hit parade is “testament of a fisherman” which leads folks to my post “Testament of a Fisherman, Deconstructed“. Do words written nearly fifty years ago still ring true? You tell me.

I’m sure miniature pond enthusiasts are disappointed when they search for “barrel pond” and expect pointers on home landscape ideas, but that is the seventh most popular search term in my stats. “Yellow mushrooms” comes in at number eight, leading to — what else? — a photo of yellow mushrooms on one of my posts, somewhere around here. Numbers nine and ten in our countdown are related, at least in the context of this blog, with both leading to the same post.

A search for “running man” could, I suppose, bring up Richard Dawson or a former Governor of California but, along with our tenth most common search term, “bear poop” it will bring you to my post “Running Man” and, lucky you, this photo of bear poop:

So, there you have the ten most common search terms that bring visitors to The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. I am not sure what, if anything, they mean for me or my blog — other than disappointment and befuddlement for potential readers — but what of the dozens and dozens of other terms people have used to find their way here? Is there any useful information to be gathered from them? I will let you decide.

Many people have searched for “beaver baffles” and ended up here; a search for “jet sled” might just bring you this gear review; two dozen people looked up “bear spleen” and were directed to this story involving my good friend Eugene, and quite a few folks searched for “weasels”, “chickens”, “weasels and chickens”, etc. and were directed to my post “Weasel in the Chicken Coop” which, while not very helpful is quite graphic.

It is interesting that, despite my best efforts to be a semi-serious writer, going on and on about fly fishing, anglers, and the natural world around us, so many of the views this blog gets are due to a celebrity chef, pictures of poop, and fishing with a stick and a string the ancient Japanese fishing method, tenkara.

Like the song says, any love is good love so I’ll take what I can get. I am pleased that The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond has become so many things to so many people and I am looking forward to more visits from more readers, even if they are looking for (#28 on the list) a “monkey with a gun!”

That monkey has a gun!

Many thanks to everyone who reads this blog! Maybe in 2012 we’ll finally figure out just what the heck is going on around here.

Happy New Year, y’all!

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “What Are You Looking For?

  1. My favorite incident regarding you was trying to get on your blog from a recent freelance job. I could go to any outdoor blog on my list and then some, but when I got to you, I was blocked. Finally figured out it was because you had the audacity to name a post “That Bitch Irene.” I’m assuming the filter thought it was some kind of porn site for some bitch named Irene. They need to put a content filter up, that was such a great series of posts.

    Wait till Josh Mann and I get done with our Spinkara Fishing tests this year. Using spinning gear with only 15 feet of line out to catch smallies on jigs and twisters. No, really, that’s what I do. Little bit of that, a bunch of Zen keywords thrown in. Gonna be great stuff.

    I’m looking forward to the spike in readership. Even if I can’t read Russian.

    • I’m glad to know it was just a title that got me blocked, although some of the comments I get might come close to raising a red flag …

      Spinkara! I’m laughing at that one. I hope you wear the proper protective gear. I’ll help spike your readership when you get that one posted!

  2. HA! I loved the recap. I’ve just chalked it all up to bad water filtration.

  3. Jonny and I sometimes mull over the searches that lead people to our blog as well. The most common ones aren’t terribly surprising (“things in a culvert”, etc.), but sometimes we’d like to see the look on the person’s face who typed “anal hunt” into Google, and ended up on a (sort of) fly fishing site.

    You don’t happen to have a photo of the look on your face from that day, do you?

    • Does your mother know you’re using the computer again?

      Look; it was a typo. I was searching for ana l hunt, a girl I knew in east Texas. She performed with a traveling troupe of Bavarian slap dancers. Did all the embroidery on their leiderhosen, too. Nice girl, so you can imagine my horror when I found myself in the Culvert. No photo could ever properly express what I felt, even if I hadn’t already soiled my webcam.

      Cheers to both you and Jonny. Thanks for keepin’ it in the ditch.

  4. Search terms are a never ending source of amusement. Approximately 85% of mine involve the word “scat.” I must write about shit a lot….huh.

    I take your writing seriously, whether Google does or not. 😉 Cheers to the New Year, Quill. Cheers…

  5. Looking forward to another year of following along…despite what search terms may bring me over…

    Happy New Years, Cheers!

    • Thanks, man. I’ve been wondering who searches for some of that stuff!

      Hey, I hear North Dakota is really quite lovely this time of year.

  6. Went searching for terms to describe my response to this… “Otter poop” didn’t go anywhere, so nice job at nailing down an End for this year, and happy trails for the New!

    • Thanks, Walt. “Otter poop” is one of those terms that can mean so many things …

      I’m looking forward to more walks with you on River Top Rambles!

  7. How did I get here? I was looking for possum poop…

    • Owl, there has been strange activity in the barn this last week. Climb up the ladder, into the loft and take a look for me, would ya? I think you might find what you’re looking for up there, over in that dark corner …

  8. Don Bastian

    Hey Quill:
    It’s funny that those “Japanese” didn’t think your tenkara rod blog was funny. I thought it was hilarious, but I like Gary Larson and redneck Blue Collar Comedy. It’s also quite funny that “poop” is one of your top ten search terms. The number one search term that leads internet explorers to my blog is just the use of my name. How uninteresting compared to all the fascinating terms that lead them to Fish in a Barrel Pond!
    For the record I have absolutely NO interest in tenkara rods or methods; the flies, maybe, but only for my interest in the style of tying; but the technique – I’d have more fun getting in the water and fingering the trout out from under rocks where they hide like I did on occasion as a boy – and once as a young man in my late-twenties, where I was full-body immersed (swimming) in a small tributary pool and decided to reach back under a large slab of rock. Seemed like ever fish in the pool was hiding there. One by one I carefully grasped and pulled out 5 or 6 browns much to the amazement of my swimming companions. It was a show and tell – kind of like being back in fourth grade when I took a garter snake and a milk snake to school, and the teacher actually let me take them out of the small cage for a “demonstration” in front of the class. Back to the swimming hole; I held the trout up for everyone to see and to demonstrate my prowess with this primitive technique. The trout were all unharmed and released alive, possibly made much the wiser for a probable future encounter with a mink or an otter, lest they end up as otter poop.

  9. Don, at least you have your good name to trade on. I must rely on celebrity chefs and animal scat for now.

    Kind of makes me wonder about all the gear we collect and effort we put into fooling trout when they can just be pulled from under rocks like that. Bring your Speedo along when you come up next time. I’d like to see a demonstration. If nothing else, I’ll take pictures to post and we’ll see what happens your good name …

    • Don Bastian

      I laughed to read your reply! Ha! I don’t own a Speedo…it would have to be my underwear or something else…I’m sure that would do me a world of good. Thought it may indeed boost my readership.
      On the occasion mentioned previously, a group of men were cutting firewood in July, chainsawing and loading a couple pickups with wood. So sweating and smelly, yes, and where we were camping, there was no shower and we were in need of one. The 8 – 9 of us trooped off to this little crick where a local knew here was a hole. About the size of your living room. With about 2000 pounds of man-flesh thrashing around in there, I think every trout in the pool was under that big rock. It was like having “Fish in a Barrel…”

  10. that guy

    we ain’t seen nothin yet…….. I tune in to see what one of the nicest people I know is thinkin about. Also doesn’t hurt to see if Eugene has any road trips planned for the west coast, I do so with a mix of trepidation and excitement. Cheers Fishman.

  11. For a long time, one of my biggest search phrases was “Underwater Porn” (probably from an “Underwater Fish Porn” post).

    Always nice to be recognized for my genius.

    Thanks for an entertaining 2011; 2012 promises to be interesting.

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