I think the older you get, the more time spent on the water, the more you appreciate the moments that capture, “Why?”

I’m not a musky guy. I’m not a warm water species guy. Hell, I’m not even a warm weather guy. I’m infatuated with trout and all of the completely unique ways to catch them. Over the last few years, my closest fishing friends have caught the musky bug and have been doing their best to convert me.

I like to think I’ve been there the whole time, supporting their changing interests. I told my buddy Pat the last time we fished, “My biggest regret in fly fishing is rowing you into your first musky!”  Ha! Not really. When it comes down to it, watching your closest friends grow and supporting it (while still complaining about how bad their musky net smells) is one of the best things you can experience in fly fishing.

I have rowed my buddies into musky, pike, and all sorts of bi-catch that comes along with it. They have gotten GOOD and I’ve had a front row seat to some wild things. But when their arms are wrecked and they need a break, they become great guides who insist I wave the broomstick, goat rope, and half chickens around. Of course, there’s always that guy who’s more lucky than good. If you hang around long enough, you get to be that guy.

Photo by Pat Burke

It’s important to know what you like; to have your fly fishing raison d’etre. If you keep a closed mind, however, you limit your own growth and the growth of those around you. There’s a big, wide beautiful world out there, lots of species to catch, and countless ways to do it. Try something new.