Some you win and some you lose. With Tiger-fishing you will definitely lose more than you win. These toothy fish will roll on your fly only to abort their attack at the last nanosecond, leaving angler and guide alike dumbfounded as to what could have been. Sometimes they will devour a well presented fly and immediately shake it loose, wrap the line around timber or just simply come unbuttoned. Other times they will take off with such intensity, peeling backing off your reel, leaving you wondering if your knots are good and questioning your hook strength. Every now and again the stars align and these monsters come to the net, but not without putting in huge effort to get away from the boat. A good combination of angler, ability, luck and tenacity are needed to get fish into the net.
Personally I don’t count the losses or try work out the percentages and conversion ratios of fish hooked vs landed. I find this a dark rabbit hole to go down and potentially leading to overthinking the situation, dwelling in the past and not concentrating on what’s in front of you, you never know when the next fish will smoke your fly. Mark on the other hand is, what I like to call, a ‘counter’. Tallying up fish lost versus landed, ‘0 for 2’, ‘1 for3’, ‘5 for 15’. Sometimes the landing ratio would be only 25% others times it would in the mid 30’s. But Mark never let the lost fish bother him, he just counts because it a habit, his morale never dropped and his concentration never waned, he would always put out another cast. Tenacity and dogged determination while having a great time on the boat, always smiling and ready with a joke or funny anecdote. Some really good fish came in and some really great fish won the battles. None the less he was rewarded with a monstrous 21 pounder.
Don’t dwell on the lost fish, dwell on the experiences, remember how that one fish destroyed your surface fly in the riffle water, or pulled your finger gaurds clean off.
One thing that you can count on is good times, amazing stories and everlasting memories.
Until next time.