Bike racing was easy, you toe the line.
Someone with a microphone and a
stopwatch yells "GO!"
And then you see how fast it takes to
ride from A to B to C and back to A,
for the most part. You can challenge
yourself by the rig you chose to pedal,
but the basics are pretty much the same.
Who can get round that loop the fastest?
Fishin', this fishing stuff is different.
It can give the same satisfactions, but
methods, paths, are different. How do you
satisfy that competitive streak? What, who
are you competing against, how do you keep
score? If at all.....
I don't find fishing to be competitive, but it
sure can be. You see the grainy old grinning
pictures of bushels of fishes..
"Look how well we did!"
There is the ego, the one upsmanship.
All of that is there buried in those long ago
smiles. And you can see the posts online;
'Caught a 21"er last night on a blahblaahblah'
'Fished a Class A, brought 30, 40, 50 to hand.'
(not that I'm 100% ego free mind you...I do have my proud moments)
Last wknd bumped into a fella on the stream,
standard etiquette dictates that you ask:
"How you been doin' this morning?"
"Caught 16 so far, couple browns, one @ 13 1/2",
the rest brookies. You?"
"uhhmmm, yeah been catching enough to
keep it enjoyable, dozenish or so I guess....kinda
lost track...beautiful morning eh?"
Truth is, I usually quit counting after I catch 3.
Three is enough to eat, three satisfies that root
core reason to be fishing in the first place, can
I feed myself if need be?
Sometimes I keep track up to 5 or maybe 6.
Though one night on the Letort I brought 12, or
was it 14?, to hand...now that was a remarkable
evening. Will never forget that one and as far as
I know, that's the most I've ever caught in one
outing, anywhere...I just can't/wont keep track.
But anyways, so I'm not much of a fish counter,
or measurer. Sometimes I wonder if I should'nt
cut that pointy bit off the hook of the fly and
just be satisfied with the take. Maybe that's a little
toooo zen and shit though...
I'm satisfied that I made the cast, that I rose to the
challenge of making that technical presentation.
Waving that fancy bendy stick 'round just right
does take some skill after all. Dropping that fly
into the proverbial teacup, with that just right
amount of slack in the leader & line to get that
ideal drift. Inducing that unflinching unquestioning
take from that peabrained evolutionary instinctual
relic, it is quite the challenge at times.
And that's the game I like to play.
So don't expect to see too many trophy grip n grin
pics 'round here, that's just not my style, just not
my focus right now. Not that I don't like catching
some big trouts here and there when I can, when
luck is on my side. But the tried and true methods
for that just aint my cup of tee. Throwing those big
meaty flies on 1, 2 or 3x with 6/7/8 wts, swinging
sink tip lines down deep or at night.... might be
something to try as a novelty, but I doubt that'll
ever be my day to day goto.
I prefer lighter lines strung up on nicely crafted,
sweet casting bamboo sticks. Be stealthy, find
that trout on the feed and make that cast,
up under those branches or across these glassy
currents, getting that fly to drift oh so prettily.
That's my game for now and the rewards
are often simple and always beautiful,
I've earned my trophies elsewhere...