Coping With The Loss of Big Fish
Sleep is a foreign concept, nightmares of broken tippet, bent hooks and “long distance releases” result in rough nights. You re-play and overanalyze every aspect of what went wrong; did I get a poor set? Should I have ran after the fish, let out more line, what could I have done differently? The bottom line is that sometimes its just not meant to be. You can do everything right and that two foot tank of a brown trout still wins. Other times, your fly is hanging out of the boat while you’re having a PBR and the brown comes up, smokes your streamer and hooks itself. That’s the beauty and curse of big fish, they give and they take. But if there is a silver lining here, fishing wouldn’t be all that exciting if we landed every big fish we hooked.
Although not something I’m very proud of, I’m somewhat of an expert when it comes to dealing with the heartbreak that is losing the brown of a lifetime. Here are a few of my tips when it comes to carrying on with life after.
First and of the utmost importance, keep fishing! Don’t second guess yourself. The worst thing you can do is fish without confidence, and I know that’s easier said than done, but you just have to keep grinding. Whether or not you believe it, if you were able to hook one big fish, you’ll eventually hook another.
Next, suffering in silence never works. Have a couple beers with your fishing buddies and swap stories. Come to Troutfitters and tell us your tale. I can promise you every staff member at the shop has been right where you are. You might not remember every fish you’ve landed, but you certainly don’t forget the one that got away. Being around people who have felt your pain will help you cope.
Last tip before I begin to ramble, and this in my humble opinion is the most difficult; appreciate the opportunity you had. Many people never get the chance. Yeah, you lost the battle, but not quite the war. You got to tangle with a big bad fish that is very rarely hooked. In getting the fish to eat, you did something correct, and you can use that information to make hooking big fish a more common occurrence.
Losing big fish is never easy, but its what keeps us coming back. Go stick a big one so you can disregard this blog!
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