Introspective Thought: A fishing side effect

by Rebecca on February 1, 2010

in Fly Fishing

Yesterday I tried to send January off under the bold banner of “FISH ON”  ~ So I braved the rugged lands, forged through rough water (I went to the local city river) and intentionally stood under the gray sky contemplating if the wet stuff that continued to fall on my head was snow, rain or a sweet cocktail of the two. As I parted water with my fly line, repetitiously, obsessively, my mind started to wander…

Introspective thought is just one of the many side effects a person can experience while fly fishing. Although I haven’t seen an actual warning label on say, new fly rods or reel purchases, my guess is the condition can be magnified when one isn’t catching fish. After switching flies like a politician who changes their vote repeatedly, my mind started to self sooth the obvious bad karma I’ve attracted. In other words, I created a list of possible reasons my fishing sucked…

~Bandon the Bashful Still won't look at the camera~

10) My loyal and constant dog companion Bandon wouldn’t get out of the water and her shivering was vibrating the water in such a manner that all fish within my casting range were alerted to our presence.

9) I irritated Fly Fishing Santa when I requested he throw in some Elves with the new drift boat I wanted (he gave me neither) and now I’m Christmas cursed for the year.

8 ) I got new waders and removed the wet factor/ torture factor/ blackened frozen toes factor and without medieval pain, there is no gain.

7) I still can’t tie flies worth a shit and by some karmic flaw in the fly fishing doctrine I’m being punished until I can I find the inner enjoyment of such a hobby.

Self Half Portrait of Bandon and I...this is why I need to hire a photographer~

6) I brought a camera to the river. Not only did I bring a camera to the river, I put in fresh batteries and brought two spares along. A camera is like fly fishing suicide…for me.

5) I’ve read and enjoyed too much of The Unaccomplished Angler and his fishing karma has tragically attached itself to me via Internet contamination.

4) Trout heard I made a pact to be nicer to whitefish in the year of 2010 and in retaliation for my cheating ways, they have formed an “ignore all of Rebecca Garlock flies society.”

3) Whitefish heard I made a pact to be nicer to them in 2010. When the memo went out that I’d be swinging for them intentionally, they scattered, and took a “NO Whitefish for YOU” mantra.  My new inability to get a single one (when previously I couldn’t keep them away from ruining my flies)  is most baffling. (Any advice Whitefish Ed?)

2) I could just suck.

And lastly, as the sun set in the distance and I could no longer feel my fingers, toes or nose, it hit me. The number 1 potential reason my fishing has encountered such a tragic taste of skunk.

1) BLOG~ I started this fishing blog which suggests I should be catching fish to write about. In turn the blog creates a need to catch I never felt before. The consulation prize: I now get the pleasure of writing about not catching fish (oh the fun for readership..please accept my apology). I was toast, cursed and entered the gates of fishing hell the second I purchased my Internet domain to write about the fish I (was) catch (ing).



{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

trout whispererNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

reb….. I still can’t tie flies worth a shit……….well when you can tie them worth a trout… they will work much better……


ColoradoAnglerNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I would second the ‘Blog Curse’.

If you build it, they won’t bite. OR….the company that you work for actually starts making you WORK, and your water time becomes drastically reduced.

Other than that, it’s all good and I’m not bitter at all….


MTcreelNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

feelin your pain. i’ve never heard a person speak of a skunk day with such poetry. thanks for sharing your thoughts. keep it reel!


KirkNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm


Thanks for the nod of validation. While I maintain that I’ve done nothing in my blog to spread a viral contamination or cast a dark cloud of despair your way, I am glad you read my drivel. But back to what the problem is for you…Suggesting the obvious here, have you taken a temperature reading of the waters you’ve been plying? Probably well below the magic mark of 40ish degrees, eh? The trouts aren’t ignoring you on a personal level, they’re just ignoring you because they’re cold and lethargic and not in the mood. Warmer days are ahead, and your catching will increase. But meanwhile, embrace the misery…write about not catching fish. These are the times that test one’s mettle both as an angler and a writer. Dig deep and embrace your inner unaccomplishments ;)

Good stuff…


ClifNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Catching fish does not a good blog make. All the stuff between it is.


wandering owlNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I second what Clif says.

I actually think that photo of Bandon and you is awesome.


RebeccaNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm

@Trout Whisperer ~ Good point!

@Colorado Angler ~ It certainly seems like the curse of starting a fishing blog. If work is drastically reducing your amount of time on the water I would suggest doing either 1 of 2 things. 1)Win the lottery (and don’t forget me and my sage advice when you win) or 2) Explain to the boss you’ll work more effectively if you are afforded more time on the river….

@MtCreel ~ Thank you and I promise to keep it reel

@Kirk ~ Ya know I am but a loyal reader of your drivel even if some of the unaccomplishment rubs off on innocent readers (just my unproven theory). As for temps of the river. No comment (I didn’t check because obviously, I had full belief in my abilities to tempt even the most lethargic trout) I suppose it’s time to go technical. I will continue to embrace my misery and fling flies relentlessly.

@Clif ~ I will consider your words as encouragment to keep writing even if I reek of skunk….

@Wandering Owl ~ Thank you about the photo! I’m not skilled in the self portrait department (I need lessons from the chicks on Facebook) and holding fly rod, camera and begging Bandon to look at the camera with me while standing in the middle of the river was…tricky ~


MelNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Gosh, I am glad Rebecca that I am not alone on the early season “skunk” over on the other side of the state from you. I like to say it this way, “Sometimes the fish win!”

I do like the picture of Bandon. I wish I could blame it on my dog.


idaho danNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Winter fishing has one good point- It’s nice to get out of the house. The scenery,fresh air,wildlife and chance to catch a fish make the trip to the river worthwhile. My confidence (skunk) level though of catching fish in ice water is very low.
Blame it on the weather


RebeccaNo Gravatar February 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm

@Mel~ The fishing is the same on the Eastern side of our State as well?! For some reason that makes me feel better. You’re right, sometimes the fish do win. Bandon the Bashful is great fishing buddy, although she is stubborn about the camera and standing in the water right next to me.

@Idaho Dan ~ It was nice to get out of the house yesterday, despite the partial snow and rain. I did forget to blame the weather in my list! I’ll make a reason number 11….the fish were smart enough not to come out and play when it’s so damn cold outside, yet the human (thats me) showed up as a party of one, plus dog.


RobNo Gravatar February 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

Look R,

Read an old post on my blog – it’s not just you.


Kentucky JimNo Gravatar February 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Everytime I look at a new post from you, there’s already a dozen responses. So, it looks like you’re doing something right with the blog!

The number one reason you did not catch fish that day, which you failed to mention Rebecca, is that it is possible that the fishing sucked that day, not you. It happens.

It’s always a joy to read your posts. The fishing will improve. Now, what about that invitation for an all-expenses paid trip for me to come up there and photograph you catching all kinds of fish, Darlin’?

Kentucky Jim


NerverackerNo Gravatar February 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

HA! Now I feel better, because now I know at least a few of you are tasting my skunk!!!! OH and you forgot to put me on your list. Now with 7.. count them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 skunkings in a row! TOP THAT, Ms. Outdooress! I guess I should be fair and say that I am fishing for winter steelhead, which these skunkings of epic proportion are somewhat the norm. I did land 2 fish this weekend, yes I landed them for other guys… I was the river bitch!
Along with a sore right shoulder from casting non-stop for 2 days, in hopes of hanging into winter chrome. I licked my wounds yet again, this weekend. I agree… I say we blame Kirk! At least it sounds good anyway.. Just kidding Kirk.



mgaryhansonNo Gravatar February 3, 2010 at 9:12 am

Loved it. Who wants to get Skunked? *I Do* If the fish are not cooperating, the sights are. Photography adds to the outdoor experience and always pays off to be better than sitting behind a desk.


WolfyNo Gravatar February 3, 2010 at 10:43 am


Nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said (sounds like a Beatles song), but I’ll say them anyway, or else – what’s the point of commenting???

Fly fishing in the dead of winter is ALWAYS brutally tough, unless you happen to be fishing a spring creek that flows a constant temp. A few degree increase in water temp often makes the lethargic, non-biting fish a little more willing to eat, but short of that, I’ve always found it to be an exercise in futility.

But I’ll take the “exercise” anyway I can get it!

The lack of fish catching translating directly into lack of blog posting is a tough one – I’ve been struggling here with the same thing, as is evidenced by my posting of summer garden shots. Still, we’re all thinking/dreaming/planning/waiting to go fishing, so actually going – even with the dreaded skunk looming – is better. I haven’t wet a line since the 2nd week of November, and may not be able to until April 2.

The one suggestion I DO have for you is to walk directly into the closest barb wire fence while wearing your new waders – at least you’ll get to experience the wet, tortorous numbing of your feet again!

On the bright side – you have developed quite an avid group of followers in a short time – keep up the great posts, fish or no fish.

Oh yeah – I just got a new Samsung digital camera that has a FRONT LCD as well as the usual one on the back. Now I can actually see the framing of the image when I use a self timer or do the self-portrait. (Although I DO think your half portrait is quite artistic)



ZachNo Gravatar February 4, 2010 at 10:50 pm

I got a case of the skunk today. It happens. Fish heavy nymphs in deep tailouts. That’s where the fishes are hiding.


IndigoNo Gravatar February 5, 2010 at 7:49 am

Sweetie, I’m not a fisherman/woman (see I don’t even know how to tag it), but could it possibly I don’t know…the fraking COLD. Me? I’m just enjoying any writing of yours – be it about the lack of fish or poetic muse. And Bandon…Pickles took lessons from you didn’t she? I can’t get a straight on head shot from the dog no matter what I try. Love the one of the two of you here though. (Hugs)Indigo

P.S. I sent a long ass email. All the details of previously asked questions of me are therein. (Hugs)Indy


Terry BattistiNo Gravatar February 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Rebecca, that is such a cool picture. I think you did good!!!



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