Friday, December 9, 2011

The power of Triangulation

Triangulation is a method of defining the unknown by measuring parts of a triangle. Once upon a time I worked with a great engineer by the name of Eduardo that used what he calls ‘the power of triangulation’ as a philosophy for his engineering.

“Mattd, ju need to berdify eberything by as leasd thhdree pointds before ju can zay id iz tdrue.”

His accent was heavy and irresistible to a number of women. At times Eduardo resembled a younger, Spanish version of Sean Connery. He more or less elaborated on the basic premise of triangulation but I have since adopted this theory to my fishing.

Take a common fishing question such as “what do I target and where?” In Colorado there are many species of fish and a lot of different factors can control fishing success. Through the power of triangulation you can whittle down numerous opportunities to help identify the best species and location increasing your chances to catch fish.

Factoring in aspects such as time of year and varying species facts will help greatly in determining what type of fish to go after at any particular season. Cold-water species generally do better in water that is below sixty-five degrees and warm-water species generally thrive in water temperatures above that. Breeding cycles and feeding behaviors for each species will vary so the more knowledge you have about each species the more advantage you have year round.
(Above: My feeble illustration of this theory applied to fishing. If you wish to make the adventure more challenging, this triangulation method is reversed to provide the most difficult opportunities.)

The next unknown factor to be solved is “where do we fish?” A few basic location facts (the types of species that are in there for example) will go a long way in regards to making the best location choice. Comparing your location facts against items A and B will reduce a lot of the guesswork allowing you to focus on certain places, at particular times targeting a specific species. 

This may sound like I am overcomplicating a very simple process, which is true at first. However, as you add more factors the triangulation becomes more intense. Let’s take a look at one of my triangulation formulas solving for a few unknowns on a recent trip. I am showing most of my work on this one and the trip actually went ok.
The point of this post is to help folks plan better trips by looking at various angles during the fish trip planning process. The better you strategize the better the chances even if things don’t go as planned.

Good luck and good fishing.


Royal Wulff said...

that explains my lack of fishing lately- I keep getting hung up on the formulas and never make it out the door. Curse you trigonometry! ;-] mike

TexWisGirl said...

your second version made me laugh - especially the weather report!

Jeff Hatt said...

I understand this, well, incompletely to be frank. But, I understand it more completely than I understand fish, therefore it must be correct - but if only I could understand it more completely I would surely catch more, and more often...

Fish can't read can they? Or make sense of triangles ?

No to both.

We are still in with a chance...

Steve Z said...

I have found a similar theorem related to fishing: The sum of the squares of the length of time it takes to drive to and return from your favorite fishing spot is greater than the square of the time available after doing chores on any given Saturday morning.

Math once again conspires against me.

Coloradocasters said...

@Royal Wulff: Glad you stopped by and yes I have also over-formulated myself out of a few fishing trips. Best wishes to and yours in 2012.

@TexWisGirl: Oh that is really only half the end result. Sometimes I factor in moon phase, forum posts, news releases as well as the water cooler info from one or two fly guys that still tolerate my presence but just barely. (sigh) I am happy that you put up with my silly fishing blog and me at all. Thank you so much. Really. =)

@Jeff Hatt: Excellent comment and only at the end of the trip can I take any credit for masterful planning. Too many times this year I have uttered the phrase, “Shoulda planned better”.

@Steve Z: Thank you so much for the comment. Nothing wrecks my sanity more than chores on Saturday. Eduardo also had a theory about squares but it involved square shaped pegs, a round hole and a large wooden hammer.

“Ju kan do id bud id iz goingd do be preddy deeficultd.”

I am pretty sure he was using this as a metaphor for what I was doing at the time.

Cofisher said...

Help! I was an English major...

JGR said...

Time is the biggest factor to me. If i have time and doable water levels, I don't care if its raining, sleeting, snowing or spewing hot ash. I'm there.