Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

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Big Thanks to Capt. Bruce Chard for his expert guiding and patience. Photo By: Louis Cahill

By Kent Kleweiw

Five long years had past since I’d last set foot on a flats boat in the Florida Keys.

My previous trip I had left the keys vowing to not return until I was a more capable saltwater fly fisher. A few things were in my favor this time around. The five years that elapsed, had allowed me to drastically increase my fly casting skills. I wasn’t worried anymore about making quick backhand casts to tarpon trying to slip out the backdoor. Targets at eighty feet no longer seemed an impossible distance to reach, and most importantly, I had permanently imprinted in my brain, “Thou shall never set thy hook like a trout fisherman”. There was no doubt I was going to be much more prepared this trip, but even with all the drastic improvements in my saltwater game, I’d still have to cope with being rusty as hell.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

I don’t recall whether it was Louis or I that came up with the saying, “Don’t get mad, get even“. What I do know is I started silently chanting those five words on the bow after both of us blew shots at high happy tarpon that first day of fishing. It had become crystal clear to me that the worst thing saltwater anglers can do to themselves is get mad and lose their cool on the water. Doing so, anglers will almost certainly throw away any chances of having success. If you blow a cast or screw up a hook set, the best thing you can do is accept it, and move forward with confidence. If you don’t, you’ll probably find yourself entering into a never ending downward spiral of chaos, that gets uglier with every screw up you make. So learn to keep your cool and roll with the punches, and you’ll end up being ten times the saltwater angler you are now.

*I’d like to give a big thank you to Captain’s Joel Dickey and Bruce Chard for guiding Louis and I in February. We both have the utmost respect for you guys. It was a real honor seeing you guys in action.*

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

  1. Really good advice when it comes to keeping your cool while fishing. I know it can sometimes be downright frustrating but you gotta keep your cool!

    A good trick is that whenever you catch yourself getting frustrating you stop, relax and try to clear your mind.

    Great advice and love the post!

  2. Overall a great point. If the source of frustration is within your control, then yes, do something about it – or take up coin collecting.

    Getting frustrated over situations or conditions that are out of your control? Try leaving your ego on the shore (or bank).

    Nothing wrong with the fish (or the even weather) winning every now and then.

    Next time you lose the big one, miss a hook set, or blow a cast, try tipping your cap to the fish. Every mistake should be a learning opportunity – not a reason to ruin your day.

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