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Old 03-19-2007, 06:34 AM
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Default Measuring Success in Fly Fishing

From my article this week:

It snowed this weekend in New York City, in what I hope will be the end of our short by cold winter. No matter how brisk the weather remains in these next two weeks of March, I know that April, and the start of my fly fishing season, is but a few precious days away. I am already getting prepared. This week, I pulled out my vest and waders from the closet, packed away since the fall, and smelled the scent of the stream once again. I took inventory of my gear, and spent a few moments day-dreaming of the hundreds of dollars I want to spend on fly fishing stuff that I cannot afford. And most importantly, I spent some time thinking about where I want to go for my first fly fishing trip of 2007.

After six months of winter, I want my first trip to be a success. Perhaps that is why I will head to a river that is fully stocked, because I know that if I do not catch a single trout, I might be disappointed. In thinking about my desire to do well on the stream, I asked myself: What makes a fly fishing trip a success? When do we come out of the river, pack the waders in the car and say to ourselves: “That was amazing”?

For some, catching fish is the only measure of success of a fly fishing trip. Maybe that is why Orvis sells scales and rulers to calculate the length and weight of the trout we land. If the measure of your fish is the only measure of your success, then what happens if you do not get a bite? Did you waste your time on the river if you did not land a single trout?

When I first taught myself to fly fish in the trout parks of Missouri, I would go hours, and days without catching a trout. It was frustrating. Yet even on the hardest day, when there were no fish to be seen, I still relished the time spent in the stream.

Rabbi E
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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Default Re: Measuring Success in Fly Fishing

Good question, and everyones answer will probably be different. It really depends on what you want out of the trip. I think most people go through several stages in their fishing career.

I fish often with several different buddies that expect different things from our outings. The guy that has been fishing least amount of time is very focused on numbers. He likes a big fish, like anyone else, but if he does not land x number of fish he is dissapointed.

His brother has fished a few more years and has quite a bit more experience. He is very concerned with the trophy. If it isn't a certain size, it basically does not count and he is bummed. And please don't let it be a whitefish or sucker. He seems to think one should be able to control the species of fish that takes his fly.

Now for me. I have fished seriously since I was 10, going on 26 years. I'd like to tell you all that matters is a glorious day out on the water even if I hook a fish or not. That is not quite true. I am there to catch fish afterall. I am a very competitive by nature but it does not carry over into my fishing. I fished bass tournaments for years, when I was younger, and decided I fish for different reasons. What is a success to me?

A successful trip would be one where I remember to bring all of the gear I need. I don't break a rod, or drop it in the water (never have, but seen it happen several times). The truck is waiting for me at the boat ramp when I get there (the shuttle service did their job) and I am not rowing 3 hours in the dark cause we took too long. I get to enjoy the company of good friends, especially my young kids, and I get great photos ( I am a picture guy). No one gets hooked. I don't loose all of my flies the fish are hitting on. It is not too windy and the mosquitos aren't hungry. Everybody gets home safe and sound. If I catch a fish, great. If I catch a big one, even better. A bunch of big ones, look out, drinks are on me.

Good luck on your outing, I hope they are all a success. Best fishes!
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Success in Fly Fishing

The measure of success for me is that fly fishing is still my number one go to for stress relief. I find that now after casting a smaller 3 wt for a few months it has increased the distance and style I can cast my 9ft 5wt....whether or not I catch anything is a moot point, just that I can find time away from my full time life...

Bruce
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Measuring Success in Fly Fishing

I agree with STARMedic. I myself enjoy getting away and being far enough away the cell doesn't work. It is about taking that calming deep breath and saying to yourself "I needed that...I really did". If you catch a fish or two that is icing on the cake for me. I enjoy the sounds I don't get to hear very much and at times I sit next to the stream and just watch and toss rocks into the stream. Maybe even stare at a beautiful rod that doesn't quit seem as nice under a light in your den but comes to life under the sunlight. After that I feel like I have a whole new lease on life.
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