That's the glass-half-empty take on the whole endeavor, and exceptions certainly exist, but there are some valid comparisons in there: both the batter and steelheader take 'swings' in attempts to achieve their ultimate goals; a fundamentally sound cut with the bat and the picture-perfect cast may be, and often are, unrewarded; the batter and the angler are all alone in their areas of work - the batter's box and the river.
Of course we can debate what the "ultimate goal" is. I'm pretty sure any big leagues hitter loves seeing the ball fly over the fence, but I bet they also love the sound of the crowd as they near the box, the feel of the dirt under their spikes and the intensity of staring into a pitcher's eyes. Thankfully my own contract doesn't depend on the number of steelhead I tail each season.
With so much going on in the river and in my mind, I sometimes over-analyze the situation when I'm "in the cages." For sure, confidence catches fish, so a restless mind must be quieted. I have asked myself, Just what exactly are we doing out here? Sometimes answers to the simple questions can help quiet the bigger ones.
A couple months ago, I took a steelheading trip. Before I made my first cast, our guide gave us his expectations for our fishing. He had answered my question before I could put it into words. It's nice to know what you're doing out there.
|Self-explanatory, perhaps. Good to know, surely. Easier said than done, oftentimes.|
It'd be hard to envision a better trip. The river was prime, the scenery stunning, the camp-life superb, company top-notch, the fishing awesome and the catching even better. Between four of us, over four days, we touched 30.
|Getcha fish on, fisha.|
|I get by with a little help from my friends.|
|I get high with a little help from my friends.|
|Willa, boat dog.|
|Feast in there.|
|At the end of the whole thing, we broke the gear down and prepared for our run of The Narrows. Aptly titled. Only on a steelhead river will you find such a spot. 1000 CFS crammed into an 8' wide chute.|
|Swing, batter, batter, swing...|