That’s Why They Call It Fishing . . .

How was the fishing, son? Terrible, I didn’t catch anything.  Well my boy, now you know why they call it fishing and not catching!

Like many in my family, I love fishing, more specifically flyfishing.  I’d say my older brother, Don, is one of the best flyfishermen I have ever had the pleasure of fishing with.  He is both a technician of leaders, flies, matching the hatch, various techniques from dry-fly fishing to nymphing to saltwater flyfishing for Dorado and Marlin. He even holds a record for a Dorado on the fly.  And his son, Brian, just might be better!  I flog around in their wake but enjoy it none the less.

This past week I went to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean on a family holiday and had some time to fish for bonefish and Trevally.  It’s hard work throwing a 12wt rod around from shore and equally hard work spotting the speedy Blue Trevally and the more elusive Giant Trevally.

It’s hard work to sight fish from shore instead of using a flats boat with a guide (there is no organised flyfishing guide service on this particular island, and not many in the Maldives in general).  So one of the techniques I resorted to was to stimulate the fish by using a surface fly that makes a big wake.  The theory is to stimulate small bait fish being chased by predators, thus making the bigger Trevally curious for an easy meal.

Well it worked, almost.  On my fist attempt at this technique from shore, the water exploded and my line suddenly screamed off my reel.  The big Trevally headed straight out towards the coral reef.  In an instant I was into my dacron backing and about as excited as a young school boy after his first kiss.  I was ready for the fight, but my gear wasn’t.  30 seconds later the line went slack.  You see, I was using my 8wt bonefish reel with  15 pound leader material and the Trevally wrapped the leader around a piece of coral and bingo! Gone.

So, seeing that this technique was worth more exploration, I took out my 12wt rod and reel with 50lb leader material, tied on another surface “fly” and cast out again.

And that’s why they call it fishing, not catching!  Lot’s of attention from smaller Trevally and rockfish, but no more big GTs.

Sure was fun though!

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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