You're Unique, Just Like the Rest of Us

     You're Unique, you're an individual, you're one of a kind...we are all get fed these lines a lot.  I roll through all of this on a pretty regular basis in my mind.  We all spend time thinking about how we are different from our fellow anglers.  When I first started actively pursuing large freshwater species from shore I was unique.  At least that's what I was told by others in the industry.  I even believed it for awhile until I gave my first seminar and realized that a lot of other anglers did the same thing.  Then when I started casting for carp with a fly rod, the anglers I met told me I was crazy.  That I was doing something that nobody else in my area was doing.  I believed that too, at least until I started to get more active in local fly fishing circles and found that many other fly fisherman in Wisconsin also spend a ridiculous amount of hours in pursuit of the "Golden Bonefish".  When I decided to start a kayak guide service and that I would go over the top with the setup and rigging of my Native Slayer, people once again told me how unique my ideas were.  I bought into this belief until my first kayak fishing tournament.  Pulling my boat to the beach I stopped and surveyed the sand absolutely blown away by the other kayaks I was seeing.  Other kayaks that were rigged up just as crazily as my own.
     The point of all this is, don't believe the hype.  When I attend events, I am always surprised by the number of anglers that believe they are better than you.  Anglers who must be unique in their abilities.  I am sure you have met them from time to time too.  They never have anything nice to say about other anglers, most of the time they will take the time to explain why they're better than so and so.  It doesn't matter what the other angler does, records he holds, or how many tournaments he has won.  They are better because of what they use, where they fish, and what they fish from.  Fly fishing, bait fishing, boat fishing, kayak fishing, pelagic, inshore, river, lake, all of these areas have those anglers.  They must exist in their own little bubble, never opening a magazine or a web browser.  Otherwise they would see just how much they have in common with other anglers.  We all enjoy our time on the water, where ever it is.  We all love the gear, the philosophy, and the subtleties of our particular style of fishing.  We all use different tools, none are any better than the other.  They just help to enhance your angling experience, improve your time on the water.
     So the next time you think you're the better angler.  The next time you think your style of fishing is better than the guy standing next to you on the bank, remember that you're both after the same thing.  A chance to get outside, fire off some casts, and land a few fish.  Because you're unique...just like the rest of us.
     Tight Lines.
     

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