The Thrill that Comes From the Unknown

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Enjoying the thrill of fly fishing a random ship wreck in the Bahamas. Photo Louis Cahill

If you ask me, I think the surprise factor in fly fishing is underrated.

Most of us choose to spend our time preparing and planning out every detail of our fly fishing trips so we can eliminate it. We spend hours tying recommended flies, we go threw our gear with a fine tooth comb checking for imperfections, and we research everything we can about the water and species we’ll be tackling. We do this because we want to feel in control. Furthermore, we do it because we want to catch fish. Problem is, fly fishing isn’t all about trying to squeeze out every bit of success we can muster out of a day on the water. A big part of fly fishing for me is letting go and admitting no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be fully prepared and in control. I welcome the thrill of the unknown and the challenges that follow when I putt myself in situations where I can be the hero or end up a zero. For when the shit hits the fan and I’m overwhelmed by the adrenaline of the unique situation at hand, I often experience a rewarding bliss that comes over me and makes me feel alive. It purifies my soul and brings me back to my rookie days of fly fishing when just about everything got my heart racing.

Don’t always stick to your primary plan of attack. Take the time every now and then to stray into unchartered waters so you can feel the thrill of total surprise. During my last trip with Louis in the Bahamas, we spent a half day exploring blue holes and shipwrecks fishing a crazy articulated squid pattern Louis tied up. We didn’t end up having much success but I did get to experience my knees knocking and the thrill of total surprise when a four foot long unknown species tried to swallow up that squid pattern at the boat. I didn’t matter that we didn’t hook up and land that giant. The surprise and time we spent together exploring the unknown locations was priceless.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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14 thoughts on “The Thrill that Comes From the Unknown

  1. I love surprises! And even here on our local trout streams you’ll find some surprises here and there. There’s one particular creek that I love fishing after a good rain. The water runs high and muddy, but the fish feed like mad. And to add to the excitement, the ginormous fish known to inhabit this creek throw their inhibitions out the door and come out to feed on anything, and everything. It makes for a interesting day of fishing because from cast to cast, you never know what you’re gonna get. Ditto on the cool photo.

  2. I have to say my love of the unknown was refuelled last night when I was trying to target a few redhorse in a small pool. The thump was great but there was no run. A few furious headshakes later and I had a 18 inch walleye caught on a size 12 gold bead hare’s ear. I love this sport.

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