Please take a moment to watch the short video below.
It’s only 39 seconds long, don’t worry, I’ll wait….
OK, I assume most of you have been there yourselves. That video is of me with a very nice rainbow on the line somewhere on the Big Thompson River. Just as I was about to net it, SNAP, my tippet gave out. Now, my wife and I use to work in the film industry so we easily could’ve cut that into something a little closer to this:
Why didn’t we? Why did I share my humiliation instead of conceal it? The reason is simple; things aren’t always going to work out perfectly for you when you fish. We are all going to be skunked, we are all going to lose nice fish, but you shouldn’t be ashamed of those moments.
The very first time I went fly fishing was with my wife in Telluride, Colorado on the San Miguel River (post to come). For my 30th birthday, my sisters had gotten us a guide and we decided to try something new. We spent 4 hours on the river and our guide did everything in his power but we couldn’t catch a fish. My wife and I could’ve quit right then a there and said, “Enough of this s***, it’s too hard.” But we didn’t. We went out by ourselves for the rest of the day and low and behold my wife caught a brook trout.
Now some guys would’ve been pissed that their significant other had a better day on the water than they did, and to be honest I was jealous of that little brookie, but I didn’t quit. I went out the very next day on my own and caught 5 fish, and I’ve been obsessed with fly fishing ever since.
I recently gave my father a fly rod as a retirement gift, since I thought he needed a hobby for his newfound free time. He went out by himself numerous times to no avail. As the weeks passed I could sense his frustration on the phone as we searched for answers. One day out of the blue he sent me a text message with a photo of his first trout. When I spoke to him that night I could tell he was grinning ear to ear as he told me the story of his first fish on a fly rod.
My wife got the better of me again just this last weekend. She landed a nice rainbow in Cheesman Canyon, which is a gold medal water here in Colorado and is renowned for being a very difficult and technical tail water to fish. I hooked a nice brown down there myself but lost it and ended up skunked for the day. This happens to all of us, we have great days and we have bad days, but we need to remember how enjoyable it is to spend the day on the water, enjoying the outdoors.
My advice is simple. Enjoy the time you get to spend on the water whether it’s by yourself or with someone special. If you can find joy in the beauty of a place like this:
Even when you’re getting skunked or only catching this:
It will make the moment you land this:
…that much more enjoyable. Until next time, happy fishing!
– A. Egli