Lessons from the outdoors: 

A fight they can’t win

    I am an outdoorsman and fisherman. It’s what I love. It’s where I’m home. It is what has made my life what it is. I feel it’s time I shared some of this wisdom with the world. 

   For the people who are already part of this world, this will be a praise for your endeavors. You are on the correct path. Don’t get discouraged. Our numbers are growing all the time.

    For the ones who have not converted this might help to explain why you will come around. Eventually.

Good luck and Godspeed to us all.

Plan Ahead

    Before you start anything in life you have to have a plan, or at least a vague assumption of what to do when “the probably won't but could happens” happen. 

  • What lures to bring
  • What lbs. test do I need
  • What are they feeding on this time of year?
  • Bring food/water
  • First aid kit
  • Who are my witnesses?
  • The right answer to most questions is “I was fishing”

   You should be covered on most things fishing and life with the above list. Make a copy for yourself for later. No, there will not be a test here. The test is out there. Like at work, “Why didn’t you do . . . “ 

“I was fishing”

   A good boss will probably reward you for your honesty and might give you a promotion. Depending on what you caught. If they don’t, you probably don’t need to be there anyway. They're not one of us. In this case there are only two possible outcomes:

  1. They convert to our side, 
  2. we look like we enjoy life too much and they ask us to leave. 

 So, give them the chance to realize they are wrong and to start fishing before just making an exit. The rest of the world needs us, even if they don’t know it yet.

 

[ "The right answer to most questions is “I was fishing” ]

You have to try

    Thomas Edison said “"I have not failed. I've just found 10, 000 ways that won't work." He only needed to find one way to make the lightbulb work, and eventually he did. If that’s not a fisherman attitude I don’t know what is.

   I honestly could not begin to count all the casts I have made that brought in nothing. Not even a bite, or grass, or a stick, or some other thing I wasn’t trying to catch. 

   I have used more lures than I can name too. On all levels of the water column. This one that one, another one, back to this one. It keeps going on and on.

    Do I ever feel discouraged? Well, yes, if I’m honest. But I keep trying anyway because somewhere in my head is that little voice that says, “Let’s try something different and see if it works.” That little voice knows that eventually, if I keep trying, I will find some combination that does actually catch a fish. 

    I'm testing what doesn’t work to find what does work. So, the next time you get asked “Why did you do it like this?" Just say “I was testing new ways to not do things.” You have to stay positive. They’ll come around.

Selective Memory

    It’s not called catching for a reason. It takes a lot of testing. Luckily fishermen have developed a way to overcome all the times we don't catch anything.

SELECTIVE MEMORY: We only remember the ones we catch.

   

    I could tell you about a lot of the fish I’ve caught or fishing trips I’ve been on, and thanks to SELECTIVE MEMORY that’s all I remember.

   Honestly, it’s all we should.  

   Nobody would get anywhere in life if all they remember are the times they failed. I like to think of them as lessons or testing in what not to do, or when to not do it. There’s a lot of variables in fishing, and life for that matter. Since testing is basically “fishing” I reduced the wording to just “fishing”

   Why on earth are you doing it like that?

“Fishing”

    "But you did it like that two days ago and it didn’t work."

   “I only remember the ones I catch, when I’m “FISHING”.

    Fishing doesn’t have to be something you were doing either. It can also just be somewhere.

   Where were you? Where have you been?  Why weren’t you here? These can be answered with the word “FISHING” as well. And it is always the right answer too. It is in fact the best reason to not have been where someone thought you should be. We have a calling. One that cannot be ignored. We welcome everyone into our community. Because we know it’s a better way to live.

    A good boss, or spouse, or friend will understand. They’ll come around. Eventually.

    I have to point out something here “Just because I call it a day doesn’t mean I’m done trying. I’ll be back another day.” and I’ll start the process over again. But when we start the next time, we start with what actually did work last time.

Make notes

 

   We are trying to duplicate our success. Then we want to improve on it. This is where the “handy little notebook of things that worked” comes in handy.

   You don’t have to actually write it down, just make a mental note about it. “On this day, at this temp, with this lure, I caught this.” The next time those conditions come up all you have to do is the same thing you did last time. In theory anyway.

    Which brings us to the next big answer to any question. “I’ll write that down.” Just wait for the looks when you don’t actually start writing. They’ll get better as time goes on.

    When you start answering questions with “Fishing” and “I’ll write that down” people will probably stop asking you questions after a while. They will definitely start looking at you differently.

    This is good. They are starting to see it our way. Well, if they smile about it they are. The ones that smile have probably converted. They probably started fishing and now realize what a visionary you were. They will be grateful for not firing you, or leaving you, or whatever, and you’ll probably get a promotion, or paid time off to take them fishing. These are the ones we remember. The success stories.

Stories

 

    As everybody knows, fisher people tell stories. Rather we share our stories, the wins and memorable losses. As I have mentioned in another story, fishing stories explained, our stories are 100% true-ish. 

   So, by the time we come across someone who has not yet found the love of the outdoors that we have, we don’t just bring our stories with us, but a whole bunch of other peoples as well. The whole fishing and outdoors community are on our side. They’ll come around. Eventually.

    Don’t feel bad about the ones that don’t eventually come to your way of seeing things. Some people are stubborn. You might not be the one to convert them. It might be the next fisherperson, or the one after that. But eventually they’ll see the error of their ways.

"It was a fight they couldn’t win."

 

We came armed with:

  •  a plan,
  • selective memory, 
  • lots of testing, 
  • the answers to any question
  •  notes to refer to
  • And generations worth of shared experience and stories

    They never had a chance! 

  Eventually they’ll come around.

Eventually.

    I'm a lover of the outdoors and avid fisherman. I'm also a Christian. I love how things cross over. You'll come around to all of it. Eventually.

written by Benjamin Evans