A new year ahead of us…everyone talks about and posts messages about hope and happiness and good wishes. I believe that we, fishermen know a LOT about HOPE. We always hope to catch a bigger fish or more fish…sometimes only one fish 🙂 We always hope that the next spot will be better or the other shore will give you us our PB (personal best catch) 🙂

From a fisherman’s perspective I can tell you that HOPE is not always the only answer. Yes we need hope but along with that goes knowledge, experience, patience.

In my fishing tournaments days I used to have a battle plan for each venue and hard preparations were done ahead of time. Maps were put to work, specific flies were tied, rods, reels, lines were all prepared for that venue. Sure the hopes were high and even some expectations were to be fulfilled….

And even so,  with all of that,  the weather can turn and everything changes in a blink of an eye. And maybe the plan includes that …or maybe not. Either  you have all the equipment there, maybe not that very specific jig you could use in that dirty water…but you have yourself with all your knowledge, experience and patience so you can improvise, you can adapt to that new unpredicted situation…and you have the HOPE with you too.

Or sometimes you put yourself in …not so good situations 🙂 like this one time when I was foolish enough to go up north at the end of April, to hike and camp deep in the woods to fish a long forgotten lake. The weather was extremely warm and the prediction was good but… it did not happen like that. A snow storm came overnight and continued the next day too. Temperatures were deep in the freezing range. I remember my waders were standing up by themselves in the morning … 

Obviously we were not really prepared for that and the return trip was not really easy with all the landscape changed overnight. But the experience took over, the knowledge helped and we made it back safe and sound.

I even got a trophy picture that I framed , not only because of the beauty of the fish specimen but to remind myself that this could’ve cost me more than the gas money and a day off work. And here it is, I am sharing it with you:

My HOPE was to catch a monster fish in that far and forgotten lake and I did and now I have this memory as a reward. 

All I want to say my friends is that… even if this last year was not the best, even if these Holidays were weird and somehow a bit nostalgic,  even if so much negativity is  still around us…keep your HOPES high!

But don’t just hope … use your knowledge… use your calm and patience to fish in the muddy waters of today.