I Actually Only Want to Catch Fish

Caught...then released to fight again.
     I know it sounds bad, but somebody had to say it eventually.  I am not one of those, "I love the experience" type of anglers.  I don't relish the calm and tranquility of the outdoors.  I don't enjoy driving hours to chase fish, only to come home empty handed.  I want results!!!  Lots of results, in the form of selfies, selfies with large fish.  I can't think of anything worse than coming home with my tail between my legs after planning a fishing trip.  I realize that this isn't the popular thing to say...but hear me out.

"There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." -Steven Wright

     Every angler I know actually wants to catch to fish.  Don't believe me?  What's the first thing you get asked by other anglers on the water?  "Having any luck?"  Maybe, "Seen anything today?"  Why do we ask?  Because we want to catch fish!  Of course we would never admit that to other people.  If we get skunked, well, we just quote Thoreau.

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." -Thoreau

     That's a true statement at times, I often go fishing to explore a new area.  Or maybe I'm testing out a new idea, presentation, or product.  But why am I doing it?  Because I want to catch a fish!  We can't tell people that of course, since we fear being seen as uncaring or shallow.  It's true though, otherwise I wouldn't bother bringing along a fishing pole.  I would just go walk around aimlessly by a body of water.  You know for the experience.
The dreaded sunset aka, I got skunked today picture.
     Sounds horrible doesn't it?  I want to catch fish, actual fish, every time I go fishing.  I don't want to get up at 2am, drive 3 hours, pay cash to enter a tournament, paddle around all day, load up my gear, and drive back empty handed.  In fact I can't think of a single time I've got skunked and thought, "Man I love not catching fish."  Would I ever admit it?  Nope, as soon as I walk in the door I talk about the beauty of my surroundings, how great the kayak paddled on the water, or even show off the dreaded I got skunked today sunset photograph.  Of course it could be worse than a sunset picture, you could get told.

"A bad day fishing, is better than a good day at work." -Unknown

     I call bullshit on this one.  I've had days on the water that were so bad I would rather pretend that I hadn't went fishing at all (Canada).  Conversely, I've had amazing days at work that would rival any day on the water.  A bad day of fishing is just that, a bad day.  Whenever I hear people say this I struggle to actually hide my true emotion.  I know when a bad day is bad, fishing or otherwise.  I realize having a bad day on the water or getting skunked is part of the process, but I make no attempts to sugar coat it.
Fishing with friends, with the goal of catching fish.
     Now before the hate mail starts up, let me tell you that I fish for a lot of different reasons.  For fellowship with friends, nature, teaching youth, satisfying sponsor agreements, the list goes on and on.  I also fish for bragging rights, goal achievement, and glory.  Being known as the guy that catches fish is awesome.  I'm very much goal oriented in all aspects of life, so my fishing follows suit.  I don't tie flies because I like doing it.  I tie flies because I need something that isn't available locally.  I don't enjoy freezing to death on the ice all winter or getting horribly sun burnt in the heat of the summer.  I do however enjoy catching fish.  So I tolerate the side effects, as long I have something to show for it.
PBR of course I took a picture.
     You may be thinking to yourself, "Wow, this guy is fishing for all the wrong reasons."  Am I?  How many times have you hired a guide hoping to just get out on the water.  It doesn't mater if you get a chance at any fish, you just want the experience?  How many huge fish have you never told anybody about?  How many times have you had a personal best and decided not to take a picture?  You see, you want to catch fish too.  It sounds bad right?  Or does it?  What if going fishing because you want to catch fish is perfectly fine?

"The idea of fishing is to catch a big fish.  If you just caught small ones, what would be the point." -Mark Metzger

     Try this the next you go fishing.  Don't cast at all and just stand there for 3-4 hours and see if it's as much fun as normal.  I bet it isn't, in fact you may even find yourself wishing you were doing something else.  When you go fishing whether in the ocean, a lake, a river, or a pond, you want to catch fish.  If you're lucky it will be a big fish.  That's why we all do it.  You don't buy new gear to not try and catch a fish.  I bet you also don't plan big fishing trips in the hope of not catching anything.  We all go fishing because we want to catch fish, and I honestly believe, their is nothing wrong with that.
Believe it or not, I wanted to catch this fish that morning.
     Tight Lines.

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