Kiss n Tell videos and books; there’s there’s way more to it.
One of my favorite things to do, is fish behind another who’s having a tough go of it, and pick up a few nice ones. For me, it validates (along with many other things) how far I’ve come along as a fisherman. I find more and more that it’s not the spot, lure color, brand of rod, what line you used; it’s about experience, and feel; stuff you cannot get in a book or video or even from a guide.
Once upon a time, I went yak fishing with a really good friend and fishing buddy. We were using identical yaks, rods, reels, gulp, jig heads and line. We anchored in a channel opening in the late afternoon to fish the tidal movement. Our boats were side by side, literally, no more than a paddle length apart. I was pulling up fish after fish. He was getting frustrated. He kept asking more and more detailed questions and I frustratingly tried my absolute best to describe what exactly I was doing. Over and over came the questions: “How are you deciding when to lift the tip and set the hook and how do you know there’s a fish there?”, he asked. I was starting to get really frustrated. “Sometimes it’s a subtle bump,” I replied, “but sometimes I just know”. We literally switched rods, then at his request, we switch spots! We actually switched everything because he “just knew” there had to be something, some advantage, I had that made the difference. This day taught me an important lesson. It taught me several actually. I bet some of you old salts (regardless of age) probably can guess what those lessons are.
By day's end my friend did finally manage to catch a few. Our “his to mine” catch ratio was probably along the lines of 1:25. And, the strange thing is that I actually felt bad about it. WTH? In the years since, he’s worked hard and he catches a lot more, and nicer fish, but still I don’t think he’s ever *really* got it to be honest. Maybe I’m just a lousy teacher, along with all the other guides and friends he has fished with over the last 30 years?
On Fishing Spots
It’s funny to me how I rarely feel that my fishing success is because of the spot I am in. I may feel awe at the place, I may react to its beauty, but it’s very rare that I associate fishing success with a specific place (Passes and Dams not withstanding). Not a month goes by where I’ll be fishing anywhere on a bank or pier or jetty or beach and after a fish or two, almost on cue, other fisherman move in to keep me company
I never say anything, though I find it annoying sometimes. So, I move to give myself space, and keep on catching fish. My point is that, to me, the fish are where I am, with rare exception. Doesn’t everybody rig up just *knowing* the fish are there? Just *knowing* that creatures are waiting for your offering?
Everybody has been taught to fish
I cannot even begin to name every person who has helped me learn to enjoy fishing and catch fish. Heck, there are hundreds of you reading this stuff! The manner of sharing and learning has definitely changed a lot over the years. I envision some sort of Virtual Reality 3D immersive possibilities on the horizon that may actually be able to teach the “feel” that is difficult to convey without trial and error, experience, time, and perseverance. Let’s just hope the technology isn’t the only way future generations have left due to resource abuse and neglect!
Whether it’s ESPN Outdoors, or YouTube, or a Seminar at a fishing show, or a book, or TKF, whatever the media, or motivation: Thank you for tips that helped. Fishing success means a lot to us all. Success means we keep doing it. Success means we want to share our experience. Success means we keep buying stuff. Success means licenses, and protected places and access to them. We need more fisherman, not less. It begins with exposure, however, that exposure comes packaged; DVDs, YouTube, Twitch, ESPN, whatever. Just *please* be responsible about copyrighted content, attribution, and the ecological fragility of some places before putting stuff out there.
One last thought:
If you return to the same old spot every time you go fishing, man, you’re in a rut. You’re missing out on more fun than you can imagine. You really need to get out and explore.
Sorry about the ramble. I tried hard to just take it all in. I just hate it when we have our family spats...but we are family; it comes with the territory sometimes. I think I’ll go fishin’ now.