This post is partly inspired “The Happiest Angler”, a client that went sailfish fishing with us recently.
Happiness and enjoyment are the two feelings that we most want to experience every time we come home from a trip and throughout the trip.
How can anyone possibly always experience happiness and enjoyment from all their trips? It is plausible that you may already know the answer to that.
We cannot possibly have good weather on every single trip.
We cannot possibly catch big fish every time we get on the water. There are trips we don’t even catch any fish, and that happens fairly often!
For me, just being able to get out there is already something to be happy and grateful about.
If I have buddies with me then there are others to share the happy moments and jokes with-and we haven’t even gotten to the river yet.
Unnecessary Pressure Quell The Pleasure
I know of too many people who turn ugly when things don’t go the way they expected. Perhaps they don’t even realise their displayed behavior. These are often moments when they don’t catch fish, although it can also be caused by unforeseen circumstances such as unfavourable weather, gear failure, and many more things that we often have no control over.
The silliest however is perhaps sulking when friends are having more success than them. We should share the joy. Just as we’d be happy when others around us celebrate our success. Don’t you think so?
Not Everyday Is a Sunday
Another mistake some people make is they go on a successful trip and due to that they signup for another trip. The problem comes when they expect the fishing to be just as good as or maybe even better than the last trip. Having that kind of mindset will only set themself up for disappointment.
If the subsequent trip turns out good, that’s super, but never expect that is what is going to happen. Just go and enjoy the trip and the company, the food, and the experience.
Being Critical of Others
I often lament ‘It’s just fishing’. Some people expect others to do certain things in a fixed manner. Do things their way or the highway.
They don’t like the way you cast. They don’t like the way you dress. They say a fly must look a certain way and must be fished in a certain way. If it’s not dry fly wading from the river, it’s not fly fishing-and many more.
Everything is by the book or you’re doing it wrong.
These are egoistic fly fishers. They think they know what’s best for others. They are the know-it-all masters. They should loosen up and let others enjoy what they’re doing.
The more a person judges the way others do their fishing the more that person is missing out on the joy of being out there…fishing. I feel for these people but to each his/her own.
Success and Happiness
One key component of getting to fly fishing happiness is certainly success in catching fish. Whether that be a certain species, a trophy fish, or any fish!
And that’s the thing about fly fishing…many anglers cannot cast if their life depended on it. Okay, that’s an exaggerated way of putting it.
“There’s a saying, fly fishing is casting. If you can’t cast the fish won’t see your presented fly.”
Success in fly fishing very often means being able to place the fly where it stands the most chance of being eaten. And that can only happen if we are at least fairly competent at fly casting.
All the momentum acquired through picking the fly line up and throwing it to the back and then forward, and letting it carry the fly over the water with grace is often lost by the one’s esteemed eagerness to whip the rod back and forth.
How To Be Happy With Your Casting?
There is only one way to be good at fly casting, practice. And practice some more.
There is one important point to remember, fishing is not practice. Practice must be done away from fishing either alone or if you’re really serious, with a qualified professional instructor.
We all wish we could omit the technicalities and difficult chores that come with mastering fly casting and just go straight out there to fish, which is the fun part of fishing.
But getting frustrated by poor casting is not fun either. And learning to cast can be fun, if you want it to be.
It is worth your while getting help from a competent casting instructor. That will put you on the right track. Ask around for recommendations.
It doesn’t matter if the casting lessons come free of charge or you have to pay for them. The important things is you must be willing to listen and learn. And follow up with practice.
It’s no good being a mediocre caster and certainly no excuse being stuck in the ‘beginner’ state forever (what’s wrong with you?!)
When you go fishing, your friends that can cast better will nearly always catch more than you. It could be just one fish, and that one fish could be all that makes the trip a successful one, and success leads to a feeling of happiness.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress– Frederick Douglas
If you think about it, that’s reminiscent of life isn’t it?
We should be grateful with what we have and are able to do.
No one forces us to do something we don’t like. And if we like doing something, like fly fishing, we might as well be happy doing it. Otherwise don’t do it. There is always an option.