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Eric Allee
"TigerHunter" - Guest Blogger

Wooden Part 1

Guest Blog by: Eric Allee , Colorado 12/17/2014

Youíd think that someone who has read thousands of magazine articles about fishing would feel impacted by themÖ  For the most part I donít. I've learned a great deal from reading fishing magazines for decades, but after a while I started to get burned out by the commercialization of everything. I got tired of feeling like I was reading something that was written by a lure companies marketing department. Oddly enough I found everything I needed when I started reading books written by an old basketball coach


The one person that has had more of an impact on me as an angler than anyone else has been John Wooden.  He didn't coach a basketball team to only win championships; he did it because he loved coaching. He didn't write books for monetary gainÖ He did it because he loved teaching. I was 20 years old when I picked up my first John Wooden book and it had an immediate positive impact on my life. His teachings helped me become a better man which inherently also made me a better angler. 

Hereís a few of my favorite John Wooden quotes and how I've applied them to fishing:

-Itís the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.-

It took me almost a decade to put all the little details together to feel like I was giving myself the best opportunity I could when targeting tailwater trout. Out of all those little details the last piece of the puzzle I put together was how I approached the water. I spent a great deal of time pairing the right rod and reel together, making sure I had the best line for the ultra-clear water, buying then modifying lures, etcÖ All these things helped me catch more fish, but I still felt like something was a bit off. One afternoon I spooked at least half a dozen fish as I approached the river bank. Two of which looked to be at least twenty five inches long. Finally something went off in my head and I realized that Iíd probably been spooking fish like this for years without even knowing it. After that I started making more of a deliberate approach to the waterís edge paying close attention to anything that might alert wary trout of my presence.  This little detail has helped me catch some of the biggest trout of my life.

If I had to pick one thing that separates the really good anglers from the average anglers its attention to all the little details.

-Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.-

How many times have you had everything figured out before a fishing trip. Your own experience tells you historically the fish should be in this location and they've always hit this certain lure. You get to your fishing spot and it doesn't seem like the fish are there. How many times have you wasted hours waiting for history to repeat itself? Having an initial plan when fishing is always a great idea but fishing isn't a static endeavor so flexibility is a must. When I was much younger when my plans didn't pan out as expected I would chalk it up to fishing just being bad and take my lumps before heading home. Decades later I understand a plan to fish a certain spot a certain way is merely a jumping off point not a sentence I need to carry out whether fruitful or not. In angling we must be willing to adapt with conditions and always keep an open mind.

-Young people need models, not critics.-

This is one I struggle with from time to time. Somehow I went from being a young man to a somewhat bitter middle aged bearded hermit in the blink of an eye. Ok Iím not quite a hermit yet but trust me Iím working on it. This quote has helped me be more thoughtful to our younger generation of anglers on the water and on the internet. Itís easy to give a young man the right fly after watching him struggle his way through a hatch with the wrong fly. Thereís no resistance from the young man and you feel good helping him catch fish. Itís not quite as easy to bite your tongue when a young angler posts something polarizing like a picture of themselves with a trophy fish they decided to keep. Itís taken a while but I now know the only positive impact I can have in these situations is to congratulate that young angler on catching a great fish. Thatís it. My opportunity to impact a young anglerís choices is through my own actions, not through judging theirs.

Fishing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. Iíve committed myself to helping others not only catch more and bigger fish, but also enjoy themselves more while doing so.
Blog content © Eric Allee
Blog Comments
Tiny Stevens, CO   12/17/2014 7:13:11 PM
Great writing and blog, my friend! Good advice for all.... now on to part 2! Tiny
superP, CO   12/19/2014 11:48:49 AM
Great read!
moosegoose, CO   12/21/2014 10:08:24 AM
Part one, intrigued.. Now I want to read part two.. On to part two!!!
Mullet80, CO   12/22/2014 3:26:06 PM
Thanks for posting this as I very much enjoyed reading it and agree with everything.