Alaska spoils us as anglers.. So much so that it is not uncommon to lose sight of the bigger picture, and today Deneki pal Ed Novinsky presents us with some savvy advise on how to better enjoy your days on the water.
Breathe It In
The first time I had the privilege to visit Alaska West and fish the Kanektok, there simply weren’t enough hours in the day, or even minutes within those hours for fishing. I was here to fish and wanted my fly in the water every available second. I was the first to the boats to set up and last to reel up at that dreaded 6 o’clock fishing curfew. I would wolf down dinner, forego the pleasant conversation, wader back up and get a few more hours of fishing in on the bar in front of camp. It was a fantastic trip and I was lucky to catch some fish, a lot of fish to be honest. Incredible! There is something to be said about a trip like that. Who knew if I would ever return again? This could be THE trip of a lifetime.
Many people save, scrimp, and plan for this for years, and often feel they need to get heir monies worth in terms of fishing. There is nothing inherently wrong with this tunnel vision fishing mentality except.. What did I miss?
Thinking back on that first trip, my first Alaskan fishing trip I realized that it was the Alaskan part that I had overlooked. I was so locked on to fishing and filling that box that many events went unnoticed. Maybe if I had accepted that cup of coffee offered by my guide I would have seen that falcon zig zag through the willows, or that bear disappear in the tall grass. Maybe taking that two minute stretch would have allowed me to see the mink slip off that root wad, or that Sculpin dart from my feet.
I think I have learned something over the years and that is to slow down. Maybe having that cup of coffee on the river, or having that shore lunch won’t take away from your fishing time, but might actually enhance it. An hour of “zoned” fishing is better than an hour and a half of fatigued, sloppy casting, missed fish anyway! So, slow down if you can, take a deep breath, and breathe in all of the beauty and experiences that Alaska West, the Kanektok, and all her people have to offer.