Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Going Solo

I have a favorite fishing partner these days. He is actually the perfect fishing partner and there is no one else I would rather fish with.
He is never late and always knows when it's time to go home. He does not insist in having his own way and always is agreeable to fishing the water I want to fish.
Yeah I am talking about fishing by myself.
I am pretty locked into my own style these days and do not have the patience to deal with other peoples foibles. I can come and go as I please and if I want to drive 140 miles just to fish one favorite hole on the Deschutes then that is what I do!
I have fished with a bunch of different people over the years and some, I have vowed, I will never fish with again and I have kept that vow.
It's not like I do not like to fish with other people but I am getting more and more set in my ways and I want to maximize my fly fishing enjoyment. There are just some people, through trial and error, who put a damper on that.
One benefit of fishing alone is I can talk to myself. I can say "Shane that cast really sucked!" or I talk to the trout I am fighting or about to release.
My long wife spouse always asks me, when I am fishing solo, where I will be or what river will I be fishing. That translates into "Where should they start searching for the body?"  I might meet my demise that way and to tell you the truth I cannot think of a better way to go. The old cliche of "He was doing what he loved when he died" would really be true in my case.
I also like the silence of being alone on the river. The silence sometimes is really deafening because without some one yakking at you one can hear the little subtle sounds of the river. Have you ever heard the sound that a jumping steelhead makes? I'm not talking about the splash either. A airborne steelhead will make a sound like the wings of a bird. You wouldn't hear that with your partner yelling "You the man" at you.
The Deschutes is full of sound to the solitary fly fisherman, even one that is hard of hearing like myself. Maybe it the beaver that is upstream slapping his tail because you are in his way or the sound of an October caddis as it buzzes your head.
Sometimes, though, the words that come out of my mouth when I miss a take on a dry or drop my bi-focal sunglasses into the drink are not particularly pleasant.
All in all though I think that I am a pretty good fishing companion for myself. I know what to expect from my over fed old carcass and when to not take unnecessary chances on the river that an over zealous fishing partner might convince me to take.
I think I have fun chasing trout with this old guy I see in the mirror each morning as I have grown pretty fond of him.


  1. Hmmm, sound like you have a bad case of Curmudgeonly Hermititis. I too have that affliction, but I have a flyfishing wife to deal with, actually that isnt a bad thing. She seems to understand when I need to get out by myself, and when we are on the river together she doesnt mind too much if I go my way and she goes hers.


  2. The truly content person is at home with his or her own company.

  3. Funny, but I'm the same way.