Have you been on a fishing trip? Most of you have, but not all, plus I would like to think I have some wisdom to impart to all of you. The ideal fishing trip has a handful of ingredients. These ingredients comprise of beer and whisky first and foremost. Secondly, a good river that has some interesting aspect. This aspect can be a multi day float, huge pigs lurking in the depths, amazing scenery, or zillions of fish. It can be a lot of things as long as those things are important to you.
A third ingredient is people, and this one is probably the most important. It cannot simply be any people. A mix of abilities is important. Fishing trips just aren't the same if you don't have a couple guys who are new. These are the guys who you get to laugh at as they sit on the bank untangling their line half the day. These are also the guys who, after you've laughed at and subsequently feel bad for doing so, you can go help out. You can show them how to untangle or just clip and retie everything back on. It gets that person back in the water to catch fish and makes you feel like a better human after being a jerk earlier. And finally, these are the guys who feel real joy when catching a fish, and that real joy is contagious. You will smile bigger when these guys catch a fish than when you catch your tenth of the day.
A fourth ingredient will be a point of contention for a lot of people, but for me a trip just isn't the same without it. It is a good campfire dinner of fresh fish and potatoes cooked up just right. The fresh fish part can be difficult because at a lot of locations you can't keep or shouldn't keep fish. But there are a good handful of rivers where a few fish a year can be kept without worrying about the fishery. If you have to go in search of fish on the river, that would be a bad place to keep fish. If there are zillions of fish and not much pressure, by all means keep one to eat. Again, forego this in most instances, but if you can partake on occasion, do so without feeling bad about it. I always feel bad for people who claim to never ever keep a fish. Moderation is key to all things in life.
A fifth and by no means final ingredient is half-drunken story-telling at night, preferably around a campfire of course. Stories of people falling in the river, stories of the one that got away, stories of people knocking fish off someone else's line with a net, stories of trips of the past, and stories made out of whole cloth. It's an enjoyable and essential way to pass the evening, and if at all possible, get them on tape because they can be very funny to listen to later on.
My list is not law. It is not limiting. It is simply my playbook for fishing trips. Feel free to follow it or write your own. But be sure to take a fishing trip!
Take some time and watch a movie of a past instance of my pending fishing trip. It's Monday and no one really does any work on Mondays...