Hey there guys and galls, happy to have you back. And since you're here, let’s talk about fishing trips. More specifically DIY fishing trips. I’ve been blessed in my life over the years to have been on some pretty amazing trips, and have seen some pretty amazing things. I’ve caught lots of fish, both salt and freshwater. Traveled to some pretty remote locations, and bore witness to some of the prettiest country that exists on this planet. None of it required me to tap into my non-existent trust fund. I rarely had a hotel room, let alone a private lodge. I never had a guide, or at least one I was paying with anything other than lukewarm natty lights. And yet, somehow, someway I managed to do it. I get it. If you’ve gone to a film tour in the last 5 years, you’d think that the only “fishing trips” are to places like the Seychelles, or Mexico, or Patagonia, or (insert far flung destination here), etc. And those places are cool, don’t get me wrong, but not everyone can afford those trips; I know I can’t. So most of us settle for the closer to home option, and make do. Well, some of us do anyway.
No, my rant today won’t be some misguided attempt to bash rich dudes who get to travel to places I don’t. I won’t put the lodges, guides, outfitters, or even the filmmakers that built these places on some altar of my own self pity. No, I want to talk about something else. Like I said, I, like many of you, am restricted in my travel, and fishing budget. So I tend to do DIY trips to the places that catch my eye. I’ve fished the Everglades, Keys, mountains, Bahamas, and numerous other streams/lakes/flats in this country, usually with nothing more than gas money, a tent/cheap motel, and whatever intel I can scrape up from books, online, or friends who live in the area... or have been there… or maybe seen it once. This means I have to travel there essentially blind and just figure it out when my feet hit the ground. And, like I said in the beginning, I’ve been very lucky in my life to have been pretty successful on most of these adventures and when I get home and share my adventures the conversation usually goes something like, “man I wish I could do that”, or “man, you’ll have to take me one of these days.”, or some variation of the two. This drives me absolutely nuts. YOU CAN DO IT! YOU DON’T NEED ME! You live in America! We have millions upon millions of acres of public land. You can literally just go! Anywhere, anytime, you can pack your stuff in your car, pick a spot, and go.. It’s that easy.
The reason you don’t is because you’re lazy. You like the idea of going off on a DIY adventure, but you don’t want to do the work. Sure you’ll blame things in your life. Your job, your wife/kids, whatever. But we know the truth, you and I. You’re lazy. Period. You live in the greatest country on the planet, with ample opportunities to catch any number of amazing fish. A lot of these opportunities don’t require a boat, just your legs and a little effort. You may not catch fish. You may end up in an uncomfortable position. You may sleep in a soaking wet hammock being assaulted by mosquitos for 3 days wondering why you ever left your house. But you may just catch a fish of a lifetime. You will definitely see some cool stuff, if you keep your eyes open, and in time you may learn a new place, or something about yourself. But you won’t be able to do any of these things if you just sit around your house and say stuff like “I wish I could do that”. So to conclude this little diddy. If you’re not willing to traipse off into an unknown situation to try and catch a fish that you know nothing about, in a place you are completely unfamiliar with, if you’re not willing to put yourself in questionable circumstances to most likely get skunked, then no. No you can’t come fishing with me. And let’s face it, deep down inside you know the truth. You really don’t want to anyway.
As always, Mike's views our his own deal. Thanks for tuning in!! Let him know what you think below.
Well said. I have an intense reluctance to hire a guide. I think it is a pride thing. Good article.
Mike, when you’re right you’re right. Good motivation to get my lazy ass up and learn the fly game. I have the equipment, just need to stop finding the excuses not to learn. I’m in love with the idea and the spirit of the lifestyle and want to be a majorly active participant in it, so why not just get up and do it. If I look dumb while I’m learning so what? We all gotta start somewhere.
You are the man. So brave and so strong. I love the way that you just get up and do it.
I wish I could go with you some time.