There are these sayings one hears (I’ve heard them come out of my own mouth even) that can really drive you mad.
Maybe it is a tolerance thing and you hit it at a certain point, say, day 3 without a tarpon really even looking at your fly. Maybe it is 4 days. Regardless, there is a point when you you can see it coming, you know someone is going to say one of these things and you want to run up the tracks and flag down the locomotive before it hits the washed out bridge (you, fishless, or rather me, fishless on day 3-4 is the washed out bridge in this case).
Two of the most egregious of these sayings are:
- “You can only catch fish when you have your line in the water.” Yes… true, but the other side of that is the “There is a fine line between fishing and waving a rod around in the air like an idiot.”
- “That’s why the call it fishing, not catching.” True… but I’m out there to catch things, not just share their water. I know I’m supposed to enjoy “just being here” and all that, and I do, but I am there because I want to connect with the sliver king, because I want to do some catching.
These are thoughts you have when you mostly don’t catch anything. I had lots of time to think about these things since my hours on the bows of various skiffs was mostly not taken up with casting to or fighting fish.
Sure, I can laugh at it all too, so don’t take anything above too seriously. At the end of the day, I don’t. But a good rant is cathartic.
- If you liked the story above, check out these stories below
- Day 5 of Tarponless Tarpon Fishing with Bill and Dan (0.972)
Tags: Bill Horn, Dan Dow, Florida, Florida Keys, Tarpon
I totally get it. “I enjoy just being out here…” is my motto when I fish 45 mins from my house, just to get out of the house. If I’m flying and spending a bunch of money to fish somewhere, I’m going for an experience. That doesn’t mean I have to catch fish, but I don’t want to feel like spend one of my paychecks to stand on a boat and stare at turtle grass. When I was in Key West last time, my goal was to tarpon fish (about this time of year). My guide said that tarpon had really slowed down. However, he said permit was a much better option. So I said screw it. I’m here to try and catch something, and I’m not going to to spend a bunch of money and not even see fish. So we chased permit. I saw more that I thought was possible and had some very close calls with a fly. (I may have even cheated the last hour of day 1 by chucking a live crab and successfully hooking up). I left the Keys feeling like it was an adventure, and not dwelling on how I spent time and money on just to get my ass kicked. Not every trip requires me winning a war against the quarry. Winning a small battle often will suffice.