Posted on October 05, 1999 at 23:24:16:
Hardcore fly anglers will stick it out through November combating frozen guides, legs and fingers in pursuit of just one more fish on one of Maine's special regulation waters. Others will be content in reflecting on some of the memorable moments of still another season past.
If your anything like I am your most recent memories are more accurate representations of the truth than the more distant ones. Fish have a habit of increasing in size as time goes by as do the numbers of fish caught. I never quite understood how this happens. One of nature's great mysteries I suppose.
What kind of things made your season a season to remember? Was it the kind angler who asked you to take his place while fishing a busy landlocked salmon pool? Or, the young girl who you helped catch her first trout on a dry fly last July? Take time to reflect on what made your season memorable.
As a professional fishing guide and fly fishing instructor my memories are not often that of fish but more of special events while in the process of fishing. This season was full of great experiences far too numerous to mention here as well as a few bad ones which certainly contributed to my further education as a guide. As I reflected upon this last season I came to a realization that was so overwhelming that I had to write about it. Most people who are new to fishing have a genuine desire to do what is right not only when it comes to streamside courtesy but also in preserving our sport's future. The new generation of angler comes to us with a strong foundation in conservation and a desire to seek camaraderie and acceptance among peers. In my experience students of all ages are very inquisitive when it comes to the "do's and don'ts" of streamside courtesy or the accepted methods of catch and release. In short people are ever more aware of "the big picture". This is good news! I'd rather share a pool with 100 courteous anglers than a few discourteous ones.
Make a point of introducing someone to the sport of fishing next year. Show them what is right and what is wrong. Don't be afraid to tell them a few secrets about what works for you as you will quickly find that your passion for the sport will rub off on them! As you reflect on seasons past you will find that your contribution as a teacher has made the fishing better for all of us.