Questions I ask myself:
What if a trip to catch Golden Dorado or Milkfish is not reachable. What if GT’s and Jurassic Lake are beyond the reach of your pay-cheque?
Will you dream instead of fishing?
Or will you stick to the best “front-page waters” your pay-cheque and leave balance can get you to, in the hopes of getting closer to the success boasted by the exotic destinations. You have two Saturdays to fish this month. Will you risk them on the club water than no one has fished this year. Will you go beating your way through bush to find the water, or will you go to the water that you know fished well last week, and has nice clear banks?
Are you guilty of envying the guy who explored and uncovered a water that was long forgotten and is now producing whoppers, but despite that envy, you follow him to the water already uncovered?
Have you thought about the difference between a fly-fishing adventurer, and a fair-water fisherman? Will you divide your time between exploring and following the best results, or will it just be a pursuit of the tug on the line?
And whether you follow the best fishing stats, or are an adventurer, what will you do to support the lore, the wonder, the appreciation, and the excitement about your home waters. What will you do to put up a flag for our own waters? Will you make the “local is lekker” voice strong enough to be heard over the clamor for Alphonse and Patagonia?
When you explore and uncover and succeed, will you splash it all over facebook, for others to follow the GPS co-ordinates? Or will you post with integrity, to follow the fine line between ruining fishing spots and building up appreciation for what we have on our doorstep. Will you stick to mentioning the valley, but not naming the water? Will you delay and mix the posts to stop people beating a path to a single water?
And when you sit at your desk, will you click on the big fish pictures, skip comment longer than a sentence or two and move on? Or will you seek out the meaningful, the thoughtful, the detailed and the authentic content? Will you follow a few writers and actually read what they say, and learn from it?
That’s a lot of questions, but I think you get the idea: There’s a lot of noise out there. A lot of competition, flash, and bling.
How does that saying go?…”Be still, ……… study, and go fly-fishing” ….something like that.
I like that mantra.
Something I like to do from time to time, is to go and find a “new” piece of water, to give it a look over, and to “plan the attack”, so to speak. These expeditions steal precious fishing time, so they are best undertaken on those hot blustery days when, if you were out there with a fly rod, you would be sleeping under a tree anyway.
Stillwaters seldom need this kind of work….they are by their very nature, easy things to look over. You can arrive at a stillwater with your tackle and a packed lunch, and get right to it. Small streams on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. Maybe there is something to be read into that: Streams meander along hidden valleys, sometimes inaccessible by road, or choked in thick bush. You can get a pretty good idea of a stillwater on google earth, but a stream is not so easily summed up. You have have no choice but to walk in and go and see for yourself.