Learning what's bad is just as important as...
Learning what's bad is just as important as learning what's good if not better.
I have been a angler junky for quite some time and I have been fishing casually to avidly for 30 years. Every year I think I have attained enough knowledge to consider myself an expert compared to the year before and every year about a week later I realize how much I still have to learn.
Last spring (04) I set myself up with a carefully thought out rod and reel as well as stocking up on what I considered to be choice tackle strictly for Fire Island fishing. While I am quite succesful in Manhattan and have better gear there, I consider the Great South Bay to be my mainstay hunting grounds.
My wife and I came out to the beach today and within 45 minutes I had my gear set up and in the water x2. And within minutes... I was totally unhappy with my rod/reel combos in both feal and function.
Just last summer, my gear setup represented the culmination of my fishing expertise, that is till about the time I started visiting this forum. After visiting this forum and hearing all the great tips from Jim and anglers such as yourselves, I augmented my styles and my gear and my bait and in doing so became a far more successful fisherman( if not a better speller 8) ). Last summer was also about the time when I stopped fishing to catch whatever I could catch, and instead targeted specific species, namely stripers.
I now have a need or rather a burning desire to replace my beach gear and will do so shortly.
My point is two fold. Today I really understood that regardless of how much we think we have perfected something we can always gain greater knowledge then that which we have. After all, this gear I was so easily wanting to replace today was that which I thought was so perfect just a year ago. And as important, to recognize and be willing to accept advice and alternative tactics to our routines regardless of how comfortable we are with them in order to better our success.
Growing, be it physical, mental or spiritual is one of those things that is most profound in our lives but is often the thing we recognize the least. It was nice today when I so overtly recognized how much this forum has helped me to become a more succesful and educated angler and not because I caught a ton of fish today, but because regardless of perfect conditions,tides and action I caught none, and fully understood why.