Sometimes, an angler's love for gear becomes more important than the fishing itself, until the goal becomes a bigger collection of fishing gear instead of a collection of good fishing experiences. We’ve all seen this out there. And sometimes we have to actively fight that urge to want the next thing or believe that our deficiencies on the river can be solved with more gear.
The truth is, too much stuff gets in the way. Simplifying our approach, our fly selection and gear selection, usually wins. It can also make for a happier fisherman who feels like they know their tools and have confidence in their techniques.
But, having a few extra rods and reels is good too. And researching, planning for and then buying your next piece of gear is a fun process that can be inspiring. It can motivate you to get back to the river quickly and put your new stuff to the test. All things in moderation, right?
So part of our conversation in this episode is focused on the gear — the stuff you don’t need to have great days on the water, the stuff that might hold you back far more than help you out.
But another part of this episode is less tangible. Because it’s not always what we buy and stash in a fishing pack that gets in the way. Because, over time, it’s too easy to focus on finding the perfect water. Or we can look too hard for ideal weather and fishing conditions. Even the pursuit of some miraculous presentation can get in the way of our enjoyment and our progress.
For most anglers, our time on the water is often so limited that it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the daydreaming and planning, until gear acquisition syndrome creeps in. And then our time on the water is spent finding reasons that we need something else or the next thing.
The truth is, your best approach is to take the modest gear you own, hit some of the closest trout water you can find, and fish it hard. That’s what wins. And that was this podcast conversation is about.