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A Fisher's Life

 

A fishing life usually starts like this. A new angler decides to go fishing and to begin with any species or fishing opportunity will do. The real goal is simply getting out and catching a fish, never mind what type or how many. A bend on the end of the rod is the measure of a good day. That’s how I started and I can’t count how many days I spent fishing the banks of the Fraser River near Chilliwack, BC. I caught suckers, bullheads, pike minnows, carp and on very rare occasion, trout. My experiences were very typical of a new angler.

After an introduction and some success under their belt the angler often looks at catching numbers of fish. Once they have had the taste of landing the numbers and are confident they can do it the quest in many cases will change to catching larger fish. They want the largest of a particular species. There are unwritten benchmarks for such things, the 10 pound walleye, 20 pound pike, 6 pound rainbow, 7 foot sturgeon, 20 inch stream trout and so on.

I’ve had my licks at catching big fish and thanks to my good friend, Mark Laynes, of Cascade Fishing Charters, out of Chilliwack BC. I can include very large sturgeon in my scrapbook of past successes. This desire spawned from a childhood experience where I hooked and lost a massive Fraser River Sturgeon. I fought the fish for over a half an hour before it broke my line.

Marc knows the Fraser River Sturgeon like no other and has literally got us into dozens of these monsters. Some of which would push six feet but Marc has had experience with even much larger members of this specie. He has hooked fish so big that they can’t move them. You know you’ve hooked them and can feel them swimming around but no amount of pressure seems to even faze them. He has had occasion where he has sat on one of these monsters for hours without success and Marc has guided anglers onto sturgeon for decades. He has definitely landed his share of super huge fish, some even exceeding 11 feet!

In many cases the desire to catch big fish diminishes in time. It never goes away completely as catching big fish is always fun, but it no longer drives the decisions on where and when to go. Some anglers go on to become species specialists and pursue one fish to the exclusion of all others. Others become tackle specialists, choosing to catch fish with specific tackle only, like fly fishers. In the end many experienced anglers discover that catching the most or the biggest or the specific type of tackle is not all that important.

Fishing has come full circle and enjoyment comes from the sum of the whole. The total outdoor experience is the measure of a day. Days in the field are savored simply for what they are.

I’m glad to say that fishing is not an evolution, because an evolution might imply that we graduate from one place to the next as we evolve and get better and really, that isn’t the case. There is no ‘better’ when it comes to fishing. There is rather, an accumulation of experiences that over time defines and redefines what fishing is and why being outdoors is important.

So I asked myself, where do I fit in this scenario? Well, I find myself everywhere along it and possibly you probably do as well. I still like catching a lot of fish so I often trek down to the river to catch a bunch of suckers and goldeye. If I have a little more time I’ll head to the local potholes and cast out a bobber with bait to catch trout or perch. It’s all good fun. I like introducing others to fishing and I regularly take people out. I still try to catch big fish and you will find me plying the waters at Obed Lake looking for my first monster brown or dropping tip ups through the ice at Gull Lake in hopes of connecting with a super sized pike.

Fishing is an outdoor activity enjoyed all life long. It can be solitary and a safe place to detach and think or it can be a social outing for you and your friends.

We are fortunate enough to have an incredible opportunity in this country to enjoy the outdoors and it would seem to be a shame if we did not take advantage of it. So I suggest that we forget about where things are headed in the whole evolution of fishing and just enjoy the day, learn something new and if it strikes your fancy take someone with you.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) Old Man River

(2) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River

(3) Small stream BT fishing

(4) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started

(5) In The Walleye Zone

(6) Zoo Trout

(7) Fly Selection for Beginners

(8) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(9) New Waters

(10) Big Bad Burbot

(11) Looking Back

(12) Out of Africa

(13) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(14) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(15) The Browns of Autumn

(16) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(17) Walleye Town

(18) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(19) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(20) Going With The Flow

(21) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(22) Swinging The Fences

(23) A View From The Aerie

(24) Dixieland Delight

(25) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(26) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(27) Montana's Cool Missouri

(28) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(29) Toothy Critters

(30) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(31) Top Ten Flies

(32) Northern Exposure

(33) Home Water Lessons

(34) Chicken Of The Sea

(35) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(36) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(37) Keep It Up!

(38) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(39) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(40) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(41) Hawg Holes

(42) Saltwater Salmon

(43) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(44) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(45) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(46) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(47) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(48) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(49) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(50) Fall Walleye

(51) Wet Flies

(52) Versatility the Key to Success

(53) Grayling of the Boreal

(54) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(55) Size Matters

(56) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(57) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(58) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(59) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(60) The Point Of It All

(61) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(62) Fall Fly Fishing

(63) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(64) Big River, Big Fish

(65) Bottom Bonanza

(66) Fishing Small Flies

(67) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(68) Four Seasons of the Bow

(69) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(70) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(71) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(72) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box

(73) Edge Walleye

(74) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(75) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(76) Four Corners – Four Waters

(77) Chasing Pothole Trout

(78) Springtime Stoneflies

(79) The Torrents of Spring

(80) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(81) Bust Them With Bait

(82) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(83) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(84) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(85) Terrestrials

(86) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(87) Rocky Mountain High

(88) Reading the clues

(89) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(90) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(91) Fly Fishing 101

(92) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(93) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(94) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(95) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(96) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(97) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(98) Trust Your Electronics

(99) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(100) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(101) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(102) Walleye can be Humbling

(103) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(104) Winter Flyfishing

(105) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(106) Hot Fall Pike Action

(107) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(108) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(109) Frequently Asked Questions

(110) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(111) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(112) Deep Water Perch

(113) Post Spawn Brookies

(114) A Fisher's Life

(115) The River's Last Stand

(116) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(117) Coho on the Coast

(118) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(119) Summer in the Mountains

(120) Peak Walleye Season

(121) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(122) Last Ice Rainbows

(123) The Burbot Event

(124) Tackle Matching

(125) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(126) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(127) The Lure of Brook Trout

(128) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(129) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(130) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(131) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(132) The Vesatile Plug

(133) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(134) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(135) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(136) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(137) Daily Fish Migrations

(138) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(139) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(140) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(141) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(142) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(143) The Fun in Ultra Light

(144) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(145) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(146) Never Stop Learning

(147) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(148) Jigging through the Ice

(149) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(150) Rainbows on Ice

(151) The Season of Ice Begins

(152) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(153) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(154) Facts On Cats

(155) West Coast Adventure

(156) June Walleye Frenzy

(157) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(158) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(159) "Northern Exposure"

(160) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(161) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(162) Man Overboard