Lessons I Relearn Every Now and Again

Someday I’ll learn.


The fish is a bit spooked, clearly. It is agitated, switching directions quickly, looking for an escape route.

Why, at this point, do I make a cast to the thing? Why? Pure and blind optimism, which is just another way of saying “naive.”

All that ends up happening is the fish bolts and spooks any other fish hanging around. I’ve read about fish eating in these situations, which might be why I find myself casting at them every once in a while, but I haven’t had it work… ever. I want to stop doing that. I’m going to try to leave the spooked fish alone.


The fish are moving away. They are cruising, not panicked. I don’t have a good shot at them, and yet, I find myself lobbing a Hail Mary in their direction.

The fish see the fly moving toward them, which is as unnatural as a rabbit hopping up to a mountain lion looking to snuggle, and they G.T.F.O. of there, never to be seen again.

Really, I should give the fish some time to change direction or should look in the direction those fish came from. I shouldn’t make the futile cast. I’m going to try to stop doing that too.

Hurrying up, when I should slow down.

Hurrying up, when I should slow down.

For more ideas about how to step up your bonefishing game, check out advice from the guys over at Gink & Gasoline. Those guys are good.



  1. When I don’t take those Hail Mary shots then sometimes I wonder, what if I did and … If the fly isn’t out there regardles of how the fish is, you have no chance at all. You used the right word, optimism, something every fisherman has. I guess that’s why we always say to ourselves, “Just one more cast.”

  2. Butch, that’s really the trick, isn’t it? Knowing when it is worth it and when it isn’t. I’m coming to think that it is almost never worth it. It is more worth it to give the fish a chance to get happy again, to settle, to calm down.

    One of the guiding principals has been “when you feel like speeding up, it is time to slow down.” Seems like good advice.

  3. What!!! You aren’t the perfect bonefisherman?!? I am shocked. I may never be able to read this blog again. Then again, if I am not seeing any fish, I blind cast from boredom.

  4. Rule #3: The angle is everything.
    Rule #4: Do not blind cast.

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