BLANKING ó And other mishaps that contribute to the fun
By Andrew Mather

ďGetting skunked is something every fisherman must learn to do with some grace because it does happen.Ē ó John Gierach.

BLANKING or being skunked comes with the territory if youíre a fisherman. This happened to me over the last river season ó more times than Iíd like to admit. When I drag my sorry arse home after a fishing trip my wife, Tina, routinely asks me how many fish I caught. She inevitably makes a remark about my sanity and the futility of having gone fishing, but I donít see it like that and Iím sure that Iím not alone.

The start of this past river season was particularly difficult although it was heavily influenced by the preceding drought conditions. No, let me stop that! Can you see what happening here? Iím already making excuses!

Actually we all start looking for excuses when we canít connect up to a fish. Favourite reasons for failure include that the barometer was dropping, causing the fish to go off the bite, or that a cold wind was blowing. Many of you reading this will know your favourite face-saving line, especially the super competitive chaps among us.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons offered up when we arenít catching is that we arenít fishing the right fly. We reason that our failure to catch something is that the fly on the end of the tippet isnít working. So we set about ringing the changes, going through our fly-boxes in the hopes that our fortune might change. Sometimes one does get lucky, but more often than not it doesnít help much. Iíve known some flyfishers to fish one pattern the whole day and make a pig of themselves.

Read the full story in the October 2017 issue of FLYFISHING magazine.
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