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Time for reflection

The chance to think about last season’s lessons learned, places to visit, flies to tie, maps to study, and expeditions for 2019.


Fishing with friends
Fishing with friends
Meeting the wildlife
Meeting the wildlife
Beautiful troots
Beautiful troots
Good for the soul
Good for the soul

Looking back over the season just passed is something I always like to do, taking the time to enjoy the highs and reflect on the lows retrospectively, as well as think on lessons learned.

I’ve said this before, but the ‘closed season’ is a time to trawl through the photos and remember and relive those times spent with the rod to beat those ‘winter blues’, although you have to have a dram in hand to do this properly.
It’s not just a case of revisiting the times spent on the water, you learn so much by reflecting on your fishing, sometimes even picking up on thoughts or observations you had that were stored in the back of your mind and this little prompt brings them back out again; a realisation of something you hadn’t spotted before.

Care is required here; many a ‘dead end’ trail have I followed because of an idea that’s been expanded on during winter that turned out to simply be… well, frankly, a load of crap. Whisky-fuelled ideas and even worse whisky-fuelled flies breed red herrings: fanciful notions that ‘simply can’t fail’. Aye right, come spring it’ll be a case of “what the hell was I thinking?”
However, amongst the hair-brained plans and deadly flies tied there will come some real gems and often even a ‘Eureka’ moment or two (although I must admit that I don’t drink drams or tie flies in the bath) some of which might significantly alter your approach.

Looking back at your fishing expeditions also opens up more potential of areas which you might have missed, no matter how often you fish a water or think you know it. For me, this generally means expanding on an area visited and helping to see the true possibilities, or potential it might have; South Uist being the one that stands out head-and-shoulders from my excursions from 2018.  A mere week on this island doesn’t even begin to get your head around the possibilities, which can then become a little overwhelming (if you let it) when you then consider it’s just one little corner in a whole myriad of wild fishing potential and possibilities.

There’s approximately 32,000 lochs and lochans in Scotland, not all of them freshwater (although this opens up a whole, new mind-boggling area) and not all with fish in them, but certainly more than a lifetime’s worth of exploration.
Cutting all this down by research, experience and reflection, poring over maps, planning routes, uncovering new waters and possibilities and drinking drams; what more could you ask for when the rods are hanging up resting. It’s all part of the continual piscatorial learning curve.

OK, I’m away back to my maps, my books and iPad with notebook and pen, plus, of course, the all-important drop of ‘grey cell stimulant’ Uisge-Beatha. “Slainte”. And Happy Christmas.

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