I've been coming to the US for a number of years, always fishing related, and usually something to do with my working in fishing - and each and every time I cross the pond and spend time amongst US anglers, I am struck by just how positive and enthusiastic they are about their sport fishing. I just love it. I love talking with anglers from all around this vast country about their fishing, about how good it can be, how many anglers are enjoying so much fishing, and just a general absence of moaning and complaining.
It's bloody infectious, to the point that my head is in a complete spin yet again and getting anywhere close to being on US time simply can't happen. Early morning brain bouncing. Just when I think I am starting to get a slight handle on the different kinds of fishing, along come a bunch more anglers who then fry my English head with tales of their fishing around where they live. I could spend serious time out here.
The iCast show is a monster, and the positivity is just relentless. Granted, a lot of the fishing tackle here doesn't have many applications for the way we tend to fish at home, but of course there's a heap of stuff that would be great, and naturally there are some of the bigger companies making gear that I bet you any money we never see in Blighty. Take Rapala, a lure company I am hardly falling over myself to buy stuff from for my bass fishing, but then I wander around their huge stand here and I spot a number of new lures that I reckon could do plenty of harm for us. Will we ever see them for sale in the UK? From past experiences I seriously doubt it. That's but one example.
But for me it's all about the positivity mixed with the absolutely outrageous amount of salt and freshwater fishing out here. I have talked with so many US anglers about their local fishing and my head is a mess! I met a guy for example who lives in the Pacific Northwest and has the most incredible mix of fresh and salt stuff almost on his doorstep, and there's me thinking it's kinda steelhead and nothing more up there (as awesome as steelhead are though). How wrong could I be? Tuna, halibut, chinooks, various trout species, landlocked salmon, you name it, they've got it, and loads of good fish as well.
I've had a thing about seeing big redfish for a while now, and the “obvious” one if you like is those amazing looking Louisiana marshes in the autumn and winter time. I'd kill to see it and photograph it, but then I meet a guy who tells me all about the insane surf fishing in Texas for big reds, jacks etc., and it's just the sort of land based fishing I love - wandering up and down 60 mile long beaches on the hunt for fish, smashing big fish on lures in the middle of nowhere, and for me a perfect sounding mix of fishing and photography. I'm there!
I could I go on. Believe me, it doesn't matter when you think you know about US fishing, because you're always going to meet somebody from another corner of this amazing country who is doing fishing stuff you had no idea about. I love it, and whilst for many years I suppose I have specialised a bit for my work related travel in some very out of the way and remote places, I can't help but love the mix of civilisation and truly wild fishing out here in the US, and when you stir it up with such a positive feel and outlook from the anglers I meet, wow it's one addictive cocktail of adrenaline and dreams and not quite enough time yet wanting to try and experience as much of it as possible……...