I’m always really grateful to have a stellar boat-mate when the merde hits the fan and I was lucky enough to have that be true when I hooked up with the big tarpon down in Cuba.
I think most of my instincts were right when it came to actually fighting the fish, but when it comes to hooking a tarpon, it is a different set of actions than anything else I’ve done in fly fishing. Basically, set hard and keep setting hard until the fish jumps (of course then you bow to the king).
Jim was a calming presence, letting me know I was doing things right and giving little suggestions. He could even tell me what was about to happen, which kept the surprises to a minimum.
When you get through a moment like that with that kind of support, you come out the other side a bit wiser. Hopefully the next time I connect with a tarpon like that my IQ will only drop 5-10 points and not the 50 or so it was dropping before.
I think back to my trip to Belize in 2010 with Shane. Kind of the same story. He had so much wisdom to drop that I certainly emerged a better angler. These days, sometimes I’m going to be the better angler in the boat and when that is true I try to give as much advice as I can (hopefully not too much, that’s annoying). Sometimes I’m going to be the lesser angler and in those situations I’m going to listen hard.
Life is about learning and there are so many people to learn from.
Any of you guys/gals have a fishing friend that has been particularly helpful to your growth?
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