My buddy headed downstream, I went upstream. This would be the last stop of the day. It was getting late and a 2 hour drive lay ahead. It was late October, trying to get in one more day of fishing before the snow started flying. The day started out beautiful, but showers and wind had shown up mid-day. We started our morning hiking into Cheeseman Canyon to fish the S. Platte and after a few hours of mediocre fishing, we decided to hike out and explore.
The fishing was not great, but that really wasn’t the point of getting out. The point was to get out, although a few fish are always nice. We picked up a fish or two along the way, but the 4:00 am alarm was catching up with me. All the casting, changing flies and fishing without catching, left me a bit weary and ready to call it a day.
After 30 more minutes of half-hearted fishing, I headed back to the truck, shed the waders and packed the rods away for the drive home. I had not seen my buddy for about an hour or so, but assumed he would be coming up the trail any minute.
Another 30 minutes went by, so I decided to go see what was up. The river was low and he is very experienced but you never know fishing alone, best to make sure everything was okay.
Turning the corner, I could see his rod bent above the bushes, but had not spotted him. It was obvious he was playing a fish and from the bend on the rod, a nice one. He was way too happy!
Hmm, why did I stop fishing?
DANG! I forgot the camera at the truck, but instead of going back to get it, I decided to see if he would land it and if it truly was picture worthy. I have loads of fish pictures, so it takes a real nice one to get me motivated.
The fish was landed and it was a beautiful 20+ inch rainbow. The fish was released, assuming we would have another chance for a picture with a nice rainbow on future outings. (Can’t remember the last time I said, hey see, I told you we would catch another 20+ inch rainbow, after taking a picture)
Fisherman have a saying – “You have to wet a line to catch a fish.” DUH.
But on this day, I was:
- Too tired to make another cast or change the flies
- Dreading the drive home and wanted to get going
- A bit cold and looking forward to the warmth of the truck
- Not catching much, so what was the point (I have used that one before)
Fishing, see nothing much happens if you don’t wet a line. You have absolutely zero chance of catching anything without wetting a line. I mean nothing, zero, zilch, nada. I know, you might have a nice hike or boat ride etc. But if your goal is to catch any fish, you have to wet a line.
You cannot will a fish into the boat. You can’t just think about catching fish and catch fish.
That day reminded me of all the times I failed to get that project started or initiate a change in my life.
All the times I thought about:
- trying something new (like fly fishing – took a Christmas present from my Dad to get going)
- learning something new (always wanted to be able to make something, like beautiful furniture or learn to play the guitar, took lessons in 8th grade, didn’t take)
- getting healthy, like exercising more often and eating right (whatever that means)
- finding a more meaningful career ( I could use a dime for every single one of those thoughts)
- creating a monthly budget or saving more money (who likes to do this, find me someone, please)
- staying in better touch with friends and family (regret)
All of these require wetting a line.
You have to take some action, sometimes small, sometimes big, but there is no denying, without action nothing happens.
- Nothing new is experienced or learned.
- No weight is lost or marathon run.
- A new career is a fairytale.
- Financial independence is REALLY a pipedream.
- Friends are remembered with a posting on Facebook that they are not doing so well.
No fish are caught!
Where do you need to wet a line?
What can you do today, big or small, that gets you moving, gets you started, gets you excited?
Whatever it is, go do it, go wet a line and see what happens!
Let me know what you catch!