Assessing Why the Fish are not Biting
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Assessing Why the Fish are not Biting

Assessing Why the Fish are not Biting


Assessing Why the Fish are not Biting

Assessing Why the Fish are not Biting

The wide awake angler, admitting for the purpose of contrast that the contemplative angler exists outside the pages of angling literature, a matter of some doubt, may not become an authority on the beauties of Nature in the abstract, but he learns a good bit about certain special phases of nature—fish, for instance. Someone has said that the best time to observe nature is when the fish aren't biting. This is undoubtedly true, but it is also an admission of inability to make the fish bite. That this is a pretty difficult thing, at times impossible, may be true, but, nevertheless, your hardworking, wide awake angler works hardest and is most wide awake when it is a case of making the trout rise or an empty creel. And herein is one of the most interesting phases of fishing. A good trout taken under difficulties, teased to the fly when most disdainful of it, is worth a dozen fool fish crazy for the fly to such an extent that one has only to offer the cast to have it accepted. Only the enthusiast, however, the true-blue, strenuous fly-caster, will long continue to hammer away at water to all intents and purposes trout-void.

A constitutional inability to quit, when every trout added to the score must be a trout earned by the hardest kind of work and the exercise of infinite patience and skill, is the hall-mark of the genuine fly-fisherman. To such a man continued ill success serves merely as an incentive to further effort. He seeks to discover just what are the conditions which are causing the trout to stay down. Arriving at some conclusion regarding this, he endeavors to meet the situation in the selection, arrangement, or use of his tackle. If the results show that his theory is wrong it is simply a case of trying another method. And a good many times he eventually hits upon the proper thing and then—. On the other hand we all know the "quitter." He is anxious to be known among men as an "ardent angler," an "enthusiast." He talks fish and fishing to infinity and upon microscopic provocation. But on the stream a little hard luck quickly shows his class. His conversation waxes loud and rather more than impolitely emphatic. He talks about smashing the rod—"might just as well fish in a frog pond"—and thrashes about in the stream like a pointer dog in a mud-wallow. Finally he quits entirely—whereupon there is much joy among his companions. It is quite true that there are times and places when and where no amount of careful work will bring even slightly adequate returns and continued effort is futile. It is also true that the man who keeps his powder dry and his line wet generally has something to show for his pains.

Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.

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