Gone Fishing . . .

“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

e: john@johnrchildress.com
Twitter @bizjrchildress

Read John’s blog,  Business Books Website

On Amazon: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture

Read  The Economist review of LEVERAGE
Also on Amazon:   FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution

John also writes thriller novels!

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 john@johnrchildress.com or john.childress@theprincipiagroup.com
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3 Responses to Gone Fishing . . .

  1. Demetrie Comnas says:

    Have a great time. D

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID


  2. Frank Tempesta says:

    John. Beautiful article and photos. I’m sending it on to a few fishing friends. You never explained in the article why ‘Jurassic Lake’, but one can surmise it by the size of that trout. Frank



  3. John Green says:

    John I hope you have a great trip I will be thinking of you battling against the elements and catching huge trout. Regards John PS caught my first permit last week at Alphonse

    Sent from my iPhone



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