That being said, whether you are an angler, hunter, hiker... whatever you like to do, it is endlessly enriching to do new things as much as you possibly can. I'm a fish person. That's my primary motivation for going, well, anywhere. Of course, for a fish person like myself, seeing fish places and meeting other fish people is as important as the fish themselves. That's basically a very archaic and yet also somewhat longer way of saying that I'm endlessly fascinated by fish and the places they live and take every opportunity to meet and talk to other people whose lives are also entwined with the pursuit of fish. It really doesn't matter where I go in the world, I'm likely to find exactly what I'm looking for, because there are fish, fisherman, and scientists that study fish virtually everywhere.
The best thing about that is, if you are ate about by fish, you really don't have to go far to experience something wildly different a new to you. For Noah and I, Maine was just a hop, a skip, and a jump away, and filled with possibilities.
Any good journey has stops along the way. For Noah and I, really, there's an end destination other than home, just a string of stops going from and then back to. If you can visit family or friends, that's every bit as important as a fishing destination.
Take time to be in awe. Nowhere I've ever been didn't have something to look at and be amazed by. Nowhere.
Try to meet new people. Chat with locals. Go to tackle shops, and not the big box ones, the small ones that actually might have things you've never seen before and whose owners and employees know the local scene well, because they take part in it day in and day out. Go on a charter if you can afford to do so. Learn as much from the captain and crew that you can in what time you have with them.
Or, do none of that. Stay home. See the things you see every day. Never learn anything. Never be happy. Not everyone can just on a whim drive to far Northern Maine to fish for relict Arctic char, or Florida to look for big snook or exotic cichlids and catfish, much less fly to Montana for a few days to fish for wild cutthrout or to the Seychelles for giant trevally, but I guarantee every one of you have the means to do something you've never done before. Open your mind. I promise it will make you a better angler.
Maine was awesome. I can't believe I got to catch a blueback trout. I held a cod in my hands that I'd wrenched 160 feet from the bottom of the ocean with a 10wt fly rod. I watched a wild brook trout over 20 inches rise up, gulp down my dry fly, then turn back down towards the bottom. I watched a hailstorm bear down on me at a remote mountain lake. I saw fish and birds and reptiles I'd never seen before. I am a very lucky person. We all are. Look around you. This planet is unfathomably spectacular.
Until next time.
Fish for the love of fish.
Fish for the love of places fish live.
Fish for you.
If you enjoy what I'm doing here, please share and comment. It is increasingly difficult to maintain this blog under dwindling readership. What best keeps me going so is knowing that I am engaging people and getting them interested in different aspects of fly fishing, the natural world, and art. Follow, like on Facebook, share wherever, comment wherever. Also, consider supporting me on Patreon (link at the top of the bar to the right of your screen, on web version). Every little bit is appreciated! Thank you to my Patrons; Erin, David, john, and Christopher, for supporting this blog.