Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

What A Skunk Teaches Us

By: Matt Walters

Yep, I admit it, I got skunked while fishing for a couple hours the other day on the water.  This is an occurrence that has not happened in a while.  My saving grace was that I hooked a fish, but was not able to bring it to net, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

My immediate thought was what in the heck am I doing wrong?  Second thought was, what will I tell my buddy upstream and thirdly what great explanation/excuse can I use to make myself look better. 

Let's face it, we've all had bad days on the water, some worse than others, but when it comes down to it, how bad can a day on the water be?  Sure, you have a streak of good fishing days, weeks, or even years going and suddenly the bottom literally drops out from underneath you.  Whether it is Mother Nature's fault or there was too much fishing pressure or possibly the fish just weren't biting, you name it as there are a ton of great excuses out there, but the fact remains.

In that moment as I made my last cast that day I accepted defeat and went on my way.  Yes, it's frustrating and yes it makes you question your tactics and skills, but it isn't all that bad.  

I told my Dad later that same day that I hadn't caught a fish in a rather depressive tone and he said sincerely with a smile on his face, "well it's better than a swift kick to the ass."  I laughed for a little bit and realized, he's right.  Here you are on a beautiful stretch of water with excellent scenery doing what you love and something as small as not catching a fish can ruin it for you.  

This got me to thinking, is it only about the fish or is about the experience while out there?  I had to back up and think about my Dad's comments.  I think we as anglers get caught up in numbers and catching (for good reason, it's fun) that we forget to stop and smell the roses along the journey and actually realize our surroundings, the landscape, the birds, and other species we encounter while fishing.  I'm not saying that catching fish does not bring the ultimate joy, but we should allow ourselves moments during the day to just sit on the bank and breathe it all in.

The next day I headed out again with a refreshed attitude of enjoying the entire experience and ended up landing a few decent fish (nothing spectacular), but "it was better than a swift kick to the ass."