Thoughts of failures

I was laying in bed last night trying to go to sleep in this craziest week I’ve experienced as an Adult American Human and my thoughts drifted off to Christmas Island.

So, what did I think about? I thought about two things. First, I thought of the day I missed 20+ bonefish shots… second guessing my flies and strip and wondering what I could have done differently. Was it the UV flash that reflects an odd color in the sun? Was it treating the flies like shrimp instead of like minnows? I don’t know. I can’t know. I won’t know. But we focus on the failures more than the successes, don’t we? Our brains are wired like that.

Second, I thought about the last fish i cast at… a very nice GT and a great shot and the fish that just didn’t eat. The guide was urging me to strip fast and I was… but was it too fast? Not fast enough? do you need to let the fish eat? What could I have done differently? Really, I’d need a dozen more shots, or more, to start to answer the question.

The trip has wonderful, beautiful, fantastic moments, but as 11:30 morphed into midnight and then to 12:30, I kept going back to those two days.

Wishing you all sound sleep and few regrets.

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  1. I believe it s called fish lockjaw. It is a real thing. I had a wonderful day fishing with H2O on north east end of Grand Bahama ( I’ve done the enough to know that most do not care about my “good days”. Few if any ever care about numbers, as in one’s golf score). So I had this finel day and caught exactly 11 bonefish, more than one a “good ones” . The two Brits with on the trip caught 2 and 3 respectively. ( I fished alone, as always) I was obviously a fishing god That Day. For the next two days I made a number of long and short, elegant and accurate casts. The fish would not eat. Period. It was not the stripping, the placement, the shadows, the whatever. (nThe tiede? no. The barometer? Don’t think so. The frigging obstinate smelt? maybe). The fish would not eat. Period. I considered asking Greg Vincent, my friend and owner of H2O if he could spare any light explosives (dynamite, C-4?) or perhaps an old fashioned crank telephone (which we used for trash fish in southern Illinois, as a kid) to shock a patch in order for me to get revenge. He said he had nothing. I didn’t believe him. But that was that. On the forth day the ywoke and I caught, but it was not great and it was frustrating as hell. It had happened before. I am not a golfer, but I considered throwing my fine rod into the sea. Fish Lockjaw is real. Don’t lose any sleep over it….

  2. Please not above is typical when I get excited and type as fast as possible because it is so important. Plus, it is really a good word game: What the Hell Were Those Words. Apologies (and fear) to Sister Mary Dominic. She would have had my knuckles.

  3. I sucked on my last two bonefishing trips to the Bahamas last year. I don’t know if it was my casting or my stripping. I had a guide. Four fish for the six days and three in a three day trip. I’ve been doing annual trip for 10 years and practice casting all the time. I’m reasonably accurate. On trips I’ve been very successful. WTF? I’m sorry you’ve got a self doubt thing going on like me. I try not to sweat it and hope for it all come together the next time. Thanks for sharing your musings.

  4. Entertaining as always, Marlow. Yeah, ya know.. some days are just like that. I find they stand out in my memory far more than all the good days, for whatever reason.

  5. Yeah, I don’t really mind it… I think it is simply the way the brain works. When something goes wrong your brain tries to figure it out, tries to remember it more so you can adjust the next time. It is straight cave-man brain.

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