It is a very confusing time to be a fisherman.
It’s tough to wade through all the promoting and get down to the facts and figure out who to trust, what to use and where to go.
The best advice I can give you as a humble, fumbling, fellow-angler is figure out what you are, what you like, and what you want out of the sport. There are trout people and there are swordfish people. There are fish-for-meat people, and there are catch-and-release people. There are even people in the middle. You don’t have to name yourself, but understand the merits that define your passion for that type of angling.
Be honest and know what you’re getting into. You can’t love fishing before you know anything about it. Loving the idea and passionate words of others is void of substance and only dilutes the word love further that it already has been. You can’t say that you love fishing for the tranquility, then spend all day sitting on a bucket blasting music and drinking beer, annoying everyone around you and scaring the animals away. If you love the ocean and catching halibut, don’t move to Wyoming then wonder what happened. You end up looking like a fool, and by the time you realize it, you’ve probably wasted a lot of time and probably a lot of money. Don’t be embarrassed if you choose a certain type of fishing, be embarrassed if you can’t give a single reason why. The angling world today is a result of the tireless efforts of those who brought you improved graphite, smoother drags, stronger line and better gear. Don’t cheapen it with ignorance.
Speaking of high-module graphite and premium waders, fishing is a lot of fun and can be really expensive. At some point you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to get another credit card and max that one out, or whether you need to stop buying gear and live within your means. On the one hand, if you can still afford the minimum payments, maybe there won’t be a day of reckoning if you keep piling up debt. But if there is, you could be in serious trouble. If you do believe in fiscal responsibility when it comes to fishing, then yeah, you’ll probably be forever deprived of the really fancy good stuff that people use and wear in full-page advertisements in fishing magazines. You’ll have to get some control on gear lusting, but your financial house will be in order, and you won’t have to wonder about being a financial wreck.
When planning a trip, if someone else calls a lodge or area by a derogatory name, though they have never fished it, they are probably not a credible source of information.
It’s cute sometimes to make jokes about competitors, but as an angler you have to understand the bias and not buy into it. There is a chance they may be right, but your brain isn’t just there to hold your head in place. Figure out for yourself what the truth is and avoid those without the decency to at least try to be professional or objective.
Another consideration when contemplating an excursion is how much control you desire. The more money you shell out to other people, the more you give up control. If you stay at lodges you pay the money but your day is dictated by the host, cook and guides. They will call the shots, tie the knots for you, put on the right fly or bait your hook. It takes a lot of the thinking out of it but doesn’t guarantee success. You will also know though, in the end that someone else got you into the fish and in no way can you compare yourself to a true outdoorsman. But many people are okay with giving up more money and power, because all those worries are now the responsibility of the people you paid. If you trust them, then give them your money.
If you want to do it yourself, the rewards are greater, but it won’t be easy. There is a learning curve and it might take a few seasons to figure things out. You might struggle mightily, get lost, and have to have cans of soup cooked over a fire. It takes time to do things yourself but many anglers find a greater joy in self-sufficiency.
Don’t ever buy a fly or lure just because it looks pretty. This isn’t a box of crayons and you aren’t in first grade. Ask around, do some research. Buy what works.
Don’t stay inside all day watching TV, then go to the closest body of water, cast for five minutes then say, “I went fishing.” Technically yeah you did, but it was pretty cheap. Expect more out of yourself and the whole situation. Get out, do some work, be proud and prepared to tell a full, in-depth story if asked.
With that in mind, you’ve got less than two weeks to fish for the right candidate before Election Day. Good luck.
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