People are different. We aren’t compatible with everyone else, and I guess we’re not supposed to be. My nature isn’t a great match for some anglers, and that’s obvious as soon as we hit the water. I don’t need to fish with a clone of myself to be happy, but I do need a guy who will put in a few hard hours and walk a couple miles to find good fishing before suggesting that it’s quittin’ time.
I enjoy fishing with guys who have a reason for doing what they do. I like innovators, and I like a good tactician with a reason and a purpose for everything he does on the water. Understanding the why and the what behind how another guy approaches a fishing situation is fascinating to me.
I’m also looking for a partner who won’t count my fish, but I don’t care if he counts his own. I can accept minor exaggerations I suppose, but I want a friend whom I can trust. This bullshit about all fishermen being liars, and the notion that it’s somehow funny, doesn’t work for me. Just tell the truth. Among the Troutbitten guys and my best fishing friends, I know I can count whatever they share with me as something I experienced first hand, and they know to expect the same from me.
I guess trust is a big part of it, really. I trust the info my friend provides about fish numbers or stream conditions, and I know I can trust him to keep secrets too. Most importantly, I trust him on the river, and I know he has my back. I know he’ll stay late just because I want to, and he knows I’ll float a river that I’d rather wade because we’re friends who care about each other.
I also know that my best fishing friends hold me accountable. I work late on Saturday nights, but I love to fish on Sunday mornings. So I rarely get much sleep before the alarm dings at 6:00 am. If I know I’m fishing alone, it’s too easy to cut the alarm, roll over and pick up a few more hours of sleep. Then I don’t get on the water until noon, and I miss half the day. Ultimately, what do I really gain from the extra hours of sleep? On a Sunday of fishing? — Nothing but missed opportunity and skipped memories. So I like to line up a good fishing friend for Sundays, someone I know holds me accountable, someone who I’m committed to because I know they’re good to their word. And when the alarm sounds at 6:00 am, I rise because I won’t let my friend down.
It takes a while to find good fishing friends, but the search is worth it.
Enjoy the day
T R O U T B I T T E N