Some anglers always fish for panfish. Others are dedicated bass chasers. There are those who only fish trout and only with a fly rod. In Minnesota, walleye are the state fish and some folks try exclusively for them whether they are biting or not. God bless them all. I’m an equal opportunity fisherman. If I can get something to bite my hook, I’m a “that species” fisherman.
It seems to me that living life in the moment beats living it in any other way. I can’t change the past and I have no control over the future. Therefore, I like to fish for what I think I can catch now. I’m not sure if I was born that way or if it took two strokes and a bout of cancer for me to learn that life is never really scripted and that we have so little control over what happens.
Some folks wait patiently for the perfect set of circumstances to coalesce, longingly envisioning that walleye bite that never comes after trolling over the same spot with the same jig and minnow countless times. Others try to “make things happen”, only to find themselves dealing with tangled messes that didn’t need to occur, like trying to cast a dry fly crosswind on a blustery day. Meanwhile, there are fish out there, in the waters I’m presently fishing, eagerly awaiting something that looks like an easy meal. I just need to be adaptable.
But adaptability is not something humans seem very wired to allow. You see, we have the largest brains of all fauna but they are not large enough. We can use our brains to think a great many thoughts and conceive a great many plans but we are not smart enough to realize our human limitations and we don’t have enough humility to know when enough is enough. So we sit, staring at our metaphorical bobbers, wondering why we ever fell in love with fishing in the first place. Then, behind us, a fish jumps. Will we regard it as an opportunity or is it merely a passing distraction?