Reaching some of the best fishing areas often requires a bit of driving. The journey to and from the fishing hole can be quite perilous. There may be a lot of fishing tips out there but few that offer advice intended to minimize trouble while traveling from Point A to Point B. I shall make an attempt to fill this void with “Driving to Fish-Tips”.
Early morning gear up with a two-cup of coffee slam-down, I grab one for the road at 3AM. Two hours on the road and it is all I can do just to stay awake. Eyes on the road my right hand sets down the coffee mug and fumbles for the radio. Flip threw a few stations before throwing in the mix CD. (I could bring the I-pod but that is just asking for a broken window if I forget to hide the adapter really good). The mix CD burns through about ¾ of the way there. With half an hour left on the road I throw on the radio and scramble to get any station that I can find. Eventually the dial settles on the one station coming in and it happens to be playing top 40. No big deal, right?
Then that one song comes on that haunts me from time to time. Not a bad song, just a song that I am not crazy about after hearing it a few hundred times. Some songs are just like that and if they get stuck in my head it more or less starts creeping into my Chi. the melody and chorus can bleed throughout the mind’s eye clouding focus crucially needed at times. Instead of letting the song play through the first few minutes I should have rammed the truck into the ditch right there and then. Turn the radio off but it is too late. I can hear the song already running through my brain like rampant children in Wal-Mart. Putting the CD back in for play number two didn’t wash the tune out of my head.
Finally get to the trailhead park and gear grab. This is where I load up like a mule for a few miles before reaching the water. Already my mind turns against me and I catch myself humming the song of insanity.
“Hmmm, mmm, da da…oh no.”
Reach the water and only a few casts in my feet start tapping and that stupid song rolls off the tip of my tongue. Immediately I break into meditation mantras and breathing techniques.
“This will not beat me. Not today. Oooooohm. Breathe. Ooooooohm. Breath.”
Tying knots and laying out the casts in a small stretch with modest wind, I had to concentrate explicitly on what I was doing. After moments of stern focus the song seemed pushed out of my mind for good. However when I think that the mental beast is conquered it somehow grows new life. Instead of soaking in the birds chirping and moving water my ears go numb to the melody creeping back into my psyche. Flub a few casts and then close my eyes in attempt to mentally strangle the nerves between my spine and cerebral cortex.
Some anglers have that mind of steel and it practically takes an earthquake or meteor strike to unsettle them once on the water. My uncle Kurt was like that when we lived in Montana. One time he looked at me calm as the flattest water you ever saw, “We should move off of this spot. Looks like that bear wants to move down.”
Man I wish that my brain were so steady under pressure and can be my greatest ally or worst enemy depending on the day (hence my lack of consistency). But this article isn’t about me. This is about how I help you. Before you jam a screwdriver through your radio deck in whatever gets you to the fishing hole…remember to grab a backup mix CD for longer trips.