I have been pondering some of the weighty and existential questions of life this past month. Now by weighty and existential questions of life, an average reader of this blog might be thinking of questions such as:
What is the meaning of life?
Is there a life after death?
Why is the sky blue?
What is beauty?
What is truth?
Nooooo! More astute followers of my vast worldwide readership will know that there are even more fundamental and mighty questions that must be answered--questions which previously have not been seriously addressed by standard philosophical thought (Is it because these questions are too deep and vexing to solve?). At any rate, the great questions of life which I have been wrestling with in recent weeks are as follows:
What makes for a great fisherman?
What motivates fish to bite?
Would the Apostle Paul have been exclusively a dry-fly purist?
Why is bigger always better when it comes to fishing?
It is difficult to admit this to my vast worldwide readership, but I have not yet got my head around these vexing questions, and so, I will not attempt to answer these mighty and ponderous questions in this post; however suffice it to say that I believe that success in life (and in fishing) is a matter of both luck and skill. Now, I know I have the skill. If fish are being caught, I am pretty much able to catch fish also.
Several weeks ago I had experienced a bit of dry spell--I went fishing three times without landing a single fish. In modern parlance, I had lost my "Mojo." It was absolutely frustrating. Fortunately for my tender ego, pretty much no one else was catching fish either. However, it was really, really perplexing--there were salmon jumping everywhere, we just couldn't catch them.
Then I had a thought...a really good thought...a game changing thought. "Maybe I need some luck?" "Maybe I need some lucky talisman in my life?" As a superstitious fisherman, I had been religiously wearing my lucky hat (A hat that parenthetically will never be washed, but this is fodder for a different post). And then I thought to myself, "What is my most prized possession?" And perhaps, more importantly, "Would I sacrifice that beloved article on the altar of fishing to catch fish?" Hands down, my most prized worldly possession (at this moment) is my Uber-cool Wolverine belt. This belt was painstakingly and lovingly forged (by the Wolverine himself) in the rugged mountains of New Mexico this past summer. "Would I dare risk marring or damaging such an amazingly beautiful and precious possession?" "What if I got a fishy smell on it and then couldn't wear it to important social functions?"
In the end my need to catch big fish outweighed the love I have for "The Belt." Yes, I sacrificed my the Wolverine belt on the altar of big fish and wore it (along with my lucky fishing hat) and went fishing. I am delighted to report that it was a total game changer:
That Friday: I landed 7 salmon in two hours.
That Saturday: I landed 4 salmon in 3 hours.
The Next Monday: I landed 9 salmon in 8 hours.
Woohoo! The Wolverine is back! I fish a lot with a friend who works for the Department of Ecology in water management, Alden Hartwig. He is a very fishy guy. He is affectionately known by fishermen as "Aquaman." He knows all things fish and all things fishy. Below are a couple of pics from a recent Salmon Adventure of ours.
Lastly, some pics of "The Belt." Note the authentic Wolverine slash marks in the second pic. You can see some of the superb detailing on this belt. The workmanship is clearly of superior quality. Trust me, these pics are an injustice to "The Belt!"