Fishing is a lot like life. Consider these tips:
Learn some skills — Just as learning to communicate well with others is key to attaining wealth and security, learning how to tie good knots is important to fish-catching success.
The difference between having money and having skill is that no one can take your skill away from you.
The more difficult a skill is to learn, the more rewarding it likely will be. It takes much time and effort to learn to catch halibut with jigs, and to catch trout with flies, but it will eventually pay off in more fish and more enjoyment of fishing.
Make mistakes — Be careful, but expect to make mistakes. When you make one, consider it as a valuable lesson, and learn from it.
Avoid big mistakes — Try to avoid doing anything that you’ll regret for the rest of your life. Having your boat sink due to your negligence, for example.
Ask questions — I had very little luck catching salmon until I started asking questions. I picked the brains of old-timers, fishing guides — anyone who seemed to know anything. Almost all generously shared what they knew. When I put my newfound knowledge to work, my ability to catch salmon improved dramatically.
Famed inventor Thomas Edison said, “I readily absorb ideas from every source, frequently starting where the last person left off.”
Be persistent — When you’re trying to close a business deal, or when you’re fishing for salmon, you may well need perseverance to succeed. After everyone else has given up and gone home, keep your line in the water. Many times, simply hanging in there a little longer is the difference between a “Poor me” and a “Whoopie!” Don’t become discouraged and give up. Buck up, and keep trying.
Be enthusiastic — Whether you’re fishing or doing something of lesser import, which covers pretty much everything else, enthusiasm is a valuable asset.
Be confident — If you’re not confident and feeling positive about catching fish, you greatly increase your odds of going home skunked.
Be dependable — The simple act of being dependable is worth a lot. If you’re supposed to meet a fishing buddy at a boat launch at 3 a.m., be there. Dependability builds trust, the foundation of all relationships.
Don’t count on luck — Fishing success is less about luck, and more about skill and dedication. Thomas Jefferson said, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Hang with the right crowd — While you’re learning to fish, find partners who know more than you, and learn from them.
Be kind — Try to leave the world a better place than when you found it. Be courteous to others, and be especially nice to dandelions. If left alone, dandelions will thrive and replace grass, which requires hard work and wastes good fishing time.
Les Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.