“The gods do not deduct from man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.” ~Herber Hoover
Every once in a while (far too infrequent I might add), I have the opportunity to take some time off away from consulting and writing and go fishing. The phrase: Gone Fishing, has a great deal contained in those two little words.
One meaning of the word “gone” is physically away from here, my office or normal routine. And this week I am “gone” to Patagonia, Argentina to a remote lake called Lago Strobel (affectionately known by serious anglers as Jurassic Lake – more to come on this). If you fly 3 hours southwest from Buenos Aires to El Calafate in Patagonia near the border with Chile, then drive for about 4 hours over a combination of paved roads and dirt tracks, you reach the Estancia Laguna Verde Lodge, a private fishing lodge owned by a friend of mine, Luciano Alba and his father. And in this case, gone refers to being in the middle of nowhere. The area is a huge flat landscape created by a gigantic lava flow millions of years ago. Scattered about this large area are lakes surrounded by lava cliffs. You might as well be on the surface of the moon since that’s what the area looks like. Far away from the crowded streets, cars and tall buildings in my hometown of London.
But “gone” can also refer to a state of mind. (Some people might argue that I am mostly mentally gone). In this sense Gone Fishing refers to the ability to mentally change gears, slow down the mental popcorn machine in our heads, flatline the noise, worries and concerns, and totally unplug from daily routines. Think of it as a mental holiday where the wind, cold, rain, landscape and task of flyfishing in a gale puts your mental dynamometer in slow motion. You can’t things happen and you can’t order the fish to cooperate. You just slide into a groove that is both soothing and totally refreshing.
Now “Fishing” is definitely a complex word with multiple meanings. And they call it fishing, not catching, for a reason. Catching would be taking a giant scoop net and scouring the lake or river and hauling in a truck load of fish.
But flyfishing, which is what we do at Lago Strobel, is a series of connected elements between the angler and the fish, any of which can go wrong to such a degree that catching is rare, but the fishing is continuous. If you are not actually fishing, casting your fly into the water and retrieving it, then you are thinking about fishing. It is all-consuming.
It’s the challenge to get all the various elements aligned (right flyline, right leader size, right style of fly, the right cast to the right area in the right wind conditions, and present the fly in just the right manner to entice the fish to strike, if there is a fish there at that very moment or if you fly moves along to where a fish is actually waiting for a morsel of food to come by). As you can see, ample opportunity for something to go wrong, and it usually does. At least once a trip I stick a large hook in my hat, or worse yet my ear, when the wind blows my flyline off course onto my head.
Believe it or not, the catching is nice, but the entire process of being out in the wild fishing is energizing, invigoration and rejuvenating.
So, there won’t be a blog posting for about 10 days until I return from Patagonia. In the meantime, whatever you are doing, enjoy. I certainly will!
“Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” ~Chuck Clark
Written and Posted by: John R. Childress
Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid
John also writes thriller novels!