Fishing A Memory

By November 18, 2023Blog

The expression “Fishing a memory” sounds like some endearing, poetic reflection on a beautiful fishing memory. For me, it’s not. I started using this self-denigrating term decades ago when I was a fishing guide and was desperately clinging to a fishing pattern that had played out. It’s shockingly easy to do. I remember times catching myself in this trap after a long, bad wade or drift and saying to my clients (and more importantly) to myself that we were obviously just fishing a memory and these fish are gone. 


After years of fishing since and lots of time to observe other anglers, I think there is a lot of value to dig out of that somewhat glib statement. How many times are we actually just fishing a memory, ignoring the fact that the conditions have changed and we are truly not on a viable pattern anymore? The baitfish are gone, the tide has changed, but we still grind away wasting vital and scarce fishing time because the fish should be there. Well…sometimes they’re not. It is the wise angler who can detect that early. 


It’s important to remember the “fishing a memory” mantra and always keep yourself in check even if you caught fish the previous weekend, week or even day on that pattern. Undoubtedly, patterns are critical to consistently catching fish, but reminding yourself that they can change in minutes is priceless.  

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