Now that we have that out of the way, I thought I'd put up a post I did for Fish Frontiers last summer... Some things have changed, i.e. my vehicle status, gas prices, the amount of snow and ice around (what the hell, this is the West Coast, its supposed to rain!), but some of this is still relevant.
Do you ever find that the more you want to fish, the less you are actually able to go out? When all the frustrations of living a busy life in the city start to wear me out, fishing is one thing I can count on to relax me…but as my days seem to be getting busier and busier, I am significantly less relaxed. In other words, not enough fishing. I know this is a universal issue, that everyone who enjoys spending time out on the water feels they don’t get the opportunities they wish they had. I can’t tell you how often, working in a fly shop, I hear that eternal complaint – “No, I haven’t been out. Too busy. Life sure gets in the way of fishing!” Does it ever.
On that note, for the past couple of days I’ve been thinking of all the complications in my life that prevent me from heading out with my fly rod.
Here is my list of ways to spend LESS time on the water:
#1: Don’t start fishing at a young age. Think of the free time and lack of obligations you have as a kid. Weekends, three months of summer, two weeks at Christmas, Spring Break, after school, heck – a full day if you skip school… Once you turn 16, get your driver’s licence, it’s off to the river or lake. If you have understanding parents this means that you have a lot of time to be out, without that nagging voice in your head telling you all the things you should be at home doing. And because you learn easier when you are young, this time should actually count as double the amount of time you would spend out as an adult. So beginning your fishing career after you hit the legal drinking age will account for a huge chunk of time not spent fishing.
#2: Ambition. Work full time. At a job you like. Put in extra hours. Go that extra mile. Show your boss you care! I can just hear those hours ticking away while stuck inside. Outside of your 9-5 pursue a side job or start your own personal business. Extra points if this adds up to an additional 40 hours a week. Do this under the guise of needing to make more money. You’ll never have the time to spend it, but that’s not the point.
#2a: Work in a tackle shop. This means that you get to hear other people’s stories about how great their trip was or is going to be. You get to talk about fishing all day long, telling other people where to go, how to get set up, what flies to use, etc. This makes you want to get out more. You will also work weird hours and have a low wage, so it won’t be a guise that you need to work more to make more. You will actually need the extra cash.
#3: Make sure you have a long commute to work. A good solid hour of driving is minimum, preferably in heavy traffic. Not only does this mean you won’t have enough time to fish your local spot before or after work, but you will be stressed and exhausted when you get home at the end of the day. If you combine this with long hours at work, you won’t want to do anything when you get home and all your cleaning, laundry, lawn mowing, house repairs, etc will have to be done on your days off.
#4: Speaking of days off, if you can manage to schedule your “weekends” during the middle of the week your odds of having a buddy able to go out with you are significantly reduced. Most people have Saturday and Sunday. Not too many have Tuesday and Wednesday (of course the rivers and lakes are way less busy at this time, so not getting out hurts that much more). This scenario is especially good if you have an unreliable vehicle, one that’s not capable of making long trips for instance, or can’t go up huge hills. Then you will have to rely on other people to get you places, and with the price of gas, long distance solo trips are becoming almost obsolete anyway.
#5: Have children. I can’t speak from experience on this one, but apparently this is one of the best ways to eat up what little free time you have left after work and on weekends. Especially if they don’t like fishing, camping, or the outdoors in general. Make sure your spouse isn’t interested in those activities as well, and you will definitely be off the water more than on (again, I can’t speak from experience here either).
Okay, so I’m being somewhat negative here; it just gets frustrating sometimes when the thing that you love to do the most is what you end up doing the least. None of these scenarios are really horrible, except maybe the unreliable vehicle and the gas prices. Maybe my next blog should be on how to spend MORE time on the water, if I can ever figure that one out…
I was going through a particularily dry spell at the time this was written, so hopefully it doesn't come across as too bitter. I have to say I am extremely lucky that my work allows me to be surronded by my passion, so even when I can't get out I can still be involved in it.
Hopefully 2009 brings more days on the water and more fish on the line, for everyone!