Favorite Gamefish: A Window To Your Soul
Hello to all,
I posted the message you'll find below on the "Striper and Coastal Gamefish" board and thought that I would extend the invitation to all boards for any replies. We could really use a fresh perspective if any are willing to offer it. I saw NrthFrk16's name on the striper board this week and welcome his participation. In fact, his dialogue with Juro is what prompted my message. Any that can take the time to jump over to the "Striper" board and add something to our discussion on the question that follows would be welcomed with open arms.
Thanks in advance,
Reading the Steelhead vs. Stripers posts between Juro and NrthFrk16 started me thinking on this subject. What they had to say impressed upon me the passion that Steelhead can bring out in people. My knowledge is severely limited, in fact the only fish I've caught on the fly are stripers. For that reason I'd be interested to read any and all posts you might have to offer.
If there was only one species of fish that you could catch for the remainder of your natural life, what would it be? Why?
The answer may lie in the location of the fish - the Monomoy flats; a wide river miles from the nearest phone/pager; the pond where your family's summer home is located. It could be the anglers that you meet, or the friendships that have developed while stalking a certain fish that may be the deciding factor.
What I'm driving at here is that I would never dream of limiting this discussion to clinical dissertations on the fighting habits of fresh or saltwater gamefish. I think you'll find that this question is a lot more about people than it could ever be about fish.
I posed this question so I believe it's only fair that I should offer my answer first.
As I mentioned earlier, I am the Newbie poster child. My only experience has been with stripers, and, regrettably, not that many to date. They are beautiful fish with an amazing power to weight ratio that I imagine will never cease to amaze me.
Having fished primarily with spinning gear growing up, catching my first striper on a fly was like sensory overload. I had practiced fly casting on a frozen reservoir with my little brother on Christmas morning, the wrapping paper hardly off of it before I was headed out the door for a "lesson." Now I was alone, though, and I had a clouser on(the casting lesson hadn't included a fly), and it was getting dark. I was busy concentrating on my arm motion, the loop in my fly line, stripping off line and trying to double haul, etc. That's when it happened, my fly hit the water on the forward cast because I got lazy. My back cast turned into a hook set and I had a fish on!
My rod doubled over like a wet noodle as the fish dove for the rocks along the channel. Line peeled off my reel and I nervously tried to slow it down. Every move the fish made came right through my 7wt like a lightning rod. A minute later it was over, I had my first striper. It was all of 20" but I couldn't have cared less. Looking back, my mistakes are what made it so enjoyable. I was fishing with light tackle and I had the drag set far to light for any large fish. If I had hooked a large striper I would have had either broken knuckles from trying to stop the reel, or I would have been out a brand new spool of line and backing.
Having said all that, none of it is important to me in the grand scheme of things. I started flyfishing to spend more time with my brother and father. My brother more so, but both he and my father were always out fishing, whether alone or together. I had been a rabid golfer for years upon years. I realized that our chosen pursuits were taking us in opposite directions. You never really know how much longer you have with the people you love so I figured I better trade in the pendulum golf swing for the whip of a fly rod. Don't get me wrong, I still manage to get out on the course, but last year I fished more days than I golfed.
At this point in my fishing career it's about the people I'm with rather than what is on the end of my line. If I had to choose, I'd pick stripers because it is the fish my little Bro' is rabid about. Any place I can find him chest deep in the ocean, or in his kayak, is a place I want to fish.
I look forward to meeting any people on this board as well.
Okay, the soapbox is yours, step right up.