I was reflecting recently on the label I sometimes am given… that of “expert.” I’m not. I try to be pretty clear about that. I am just profoundly interested in the subject, which does not make me an expert anymore than being a die-hard fan of American Idol would make someone a singer. I thought I’d list the reasons why I’m not an expert, just so everyone is on the same page.
1. Any bonefishing guide knows 100x more than what I know. When you are on the water a lot, and I mean daily/weekly, you have an understanding of a species, a place, a mindset that cannot be replicated by those who are not there. I saw this even on my own rivers in Nor Cal. I only guided a single season on the trout streams of Northern California, but for that season I had the pulse of my rivers. I knew what was happening and what was about to happen. I had fish that I knew I could count on.
I don’t have the pulse of any flat. I don’t have a handle on the tides anywhere. I don’t know where the fish are going to be. Simple as that.
2. I’m not a FFF certified casting instructor. I have not won a shootout of any kind or even entered a distance casting competition. I have personally fished with several people who could out cast me pretty much any day of the week and twice on Sunday. My casting has improved a lot since I started chasing bonefish. A lot. I still have some rough edges.
3. I’m not an outfitter. I have heard about a lot of places and almost every single one of those places is a place I have not been myself. People ask me about flats in Abaco or Exuma or Honolulu or Placencia or wherever and every single one of those places I could find on a map and tell you there are fish there and the conversation would pretty much stop there. I have no experiences to share from those places because I have not fished them. I know of them. I do not know them.
There are a lot of experts out there. I know some of them and I look to learn from others. Every trip has something to teach, most anglers have something to share. That’s why I like this whole blog thing.