I’m spoiled. There is no getting around that fact. I have had the chance to experience fishing in places that most others will never get to.
My first fly-fishing trip ever was on the White River in northern Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. I had never tied a fly on, nor cast a fly rod in a body of water when I waded out into the river. And I had a great time learning, as I reeled in trout after trout, even catching a nice size brown trout.
But, in contrast to the trip, I have also been fishing the same holes at some old family land. It’s two tanks, maybe 50 yards across and 100 yards long, total. I know the structure and drop offs from swimming in them, I know the little valleys from seeing the wash outs leading into them, and I’m damn sure I’ve been catching the same 10 bass for the past 20 years. But that’s not the reason I love it. I wouldn’t care if I had a swimming pool in my back yard with one fish in it, I would sit out there and try to catch it over and over.
The point of this post is to emphasize the importance of not the location, but the experience. Because when the day ends, tackle is being put up, and a cold cousin(Coors) is being popped before the ride home, it is the fact that feeling a bite, setting the hook, and hearing the drag spin as you reel is an experience that separates the fisherman from the rest of the world.
It’s a feeling of success, a quick rush of adrenaline, when you get to yell, “Fish on!” It’s different then hitting a good drive on the course or making a basket to win the game.
It’s you and the fish. That’s it. No crowd, no points to score. And that’s what makes it different. Whether you are in the middle of the greatest fishing hole in the world or under the interstate with a Zebco reeling in some perch. It’s the experience that I crave. After catching hundreds, maybe thousands of fish in my life, I still want to catch more.