‘That’s why they call it fishing and not catching.’
I’ve heard that before but it seems I prove it more often than not. I’ve never calculated it mathematically but my success rate fishing is something less than, well, good.
For example I took the Northwoods Bateau (see the Boat Page), a great, small fishing platform, out to Walton Lake last week and spent a good deal of time rowing from perfect place to perfect place. At least they should have been perfect based on all the ‘experts’ in the magazines. The fish should have been right there. First I tried my fly-rod. I still need practice with casting, at least that’s what I told myself, as I switched to the standard, east coast plastic bait. Cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve. Nice day. No fish.
Wait, what’s that? I’m casting to the right side of the boat, a little here, a little there. There’s a splash, on the left side of the boat, a bass as thick as my calf, and at least a foot long (really this isn’t a fish story). Did he smile at me as he dove back under the surface? I think he did. Who rules this lake?
Quick, cast on the left side of the boat. Catch this monster and I can prove to Kat my outdoors prowess. Nothing. This is almost as bad as last year in almost the same spot when a bald eagle dove into the water not fifty feet from my boat and flew away with a fish flapping beneath his wings. I went home empty handed. We know who ruled the lake that day.
There have been a few victories, like the bass I caught rowing back to the beach. I didn’t even know he was on the line until I pulled it in.
And of course there were the trout(s) (yes plural) that I caught floating the Flathead River in Montana. They were particularly expensive fish since the guide led me to all the right spots. It was great day and if you ever get the chance I can recommend, Josh Berreth ( email@example.com )
The real reward isn’t the fish but the chance to get away from pavement and electricity; away from email and tweets and twitter. To take a small boat under your own power and explore out of the way places. The real reward is the voyage.