Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back To The Basics!

The other day I had a great conversation with another angler that I've known for some time. He, like myself, takes his fishing very seriously. We spoke about what we have become as an angler and how we look at our sport compared to how we use to look at it. We spoke about how things have changed so much over the years, and how we have matured as anglers and sportsman. This got me thinking a lot about what we become after a while.

Take steelhead fishing as an example....

When I first started fishing these fish it really didn't matter how I caught them. Bait, lures, eggs, didn't matter! I was after one thing and one thing only....The fish! I didn't care about what kind of rod I was using as long as it was strong enough to catch one.
I didn't care what kind of waders I was wearing, as long as the kept me dry! Most of those years I didn't have two pennys to rub together so I fished with what ever I could afford.

Some how over the years those "basic" things about fishing I had forgotten all about. I evolved into that "not challenging enough" type of angler most become with time. Me fish with bait? No way, to easy! Me spin fish for steelhead? No way, anyone could do that!

So for the last few years I've challenged myself with all the expensive gear, lightest tippets, smallest hand tied flies! But in the last few weeks I've found myself loosing a little motivation to get out there and catch some fish. So today I went back to the "basics".

I was browsing in the fishing department at walmart while my wife did some shopping and came across their bait fridge. I noticed they had some nightcrawlers so I decided it would be fun to fish "old school" style this evening. I grabbed a container and put them in the basket. My wife looks at me with a strange look on her face and ask "What are you gonna do with those things"?
Anyway, I got home and grabbed up my gear! But not the expensive fly rod, not even the noodle rod, but rather my cheap old ultralight rod I normally use for perch! Night crawlers in hand, I go to a spot about 10 minutes from my house....
Just like when I was a kid, I tied on a big slimy crawler and was ready for action! Yes, even us fly fishing yuppys get our hands dirty sometimes!

I didn't get 2 drifts in when my trusty bobber goes under....
My first fish in a LONG time caught on a nightcrawler under a bobber!
After I released that one, it was one fish after another for about 2 hours!
I had one of my best times on the creek remembering back when fishing was just!!
No expensive $400.00 rod, no Sims waders, no Costa Del Mar sunglasses, no ridiculous fly patterns, or $60 WF fly lines...Just me with a spinning rod and a bucket of worms!

But here's the part that made me want to write about today's fishing...
Even though all my gear was different, even though my bait of choice was different, even though a bunch of things were different about the way I was fishing...

There was ONE thing that was the exact same..........

The huge smile that stretched across my face for 3 solid hours!!!!!
For a little while today, I was a kid again! Not a worry in the world, not a ounce of pressure, not a single bad thought was in my head while I landed fish after fish!
It was just me, my nightcrawlers, and a hole bunch of hungry, hard fighting fish!!!
Today was a day to remember!

I guess it took 2 dozen night crawlers to make me realize that it really isn't the fish I've been after all these years!

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