It’s Not Just the Fishing

DSC_01931aAs a lifetime trout fisherman, I never had a desire to go saltwater fly-fishing. Although I knew trout fishing friends who repeatedly told me that it was the most amazing experience they had ever had, I simply did not feel that it was something I needed to do. I loved fly-fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead and I had fished the ocean previously but based on what I thought I knew about saltwater fly-fishing I really didn’t care if I ever fished the flats.

After many years of being prodded by a good friend, I finally agreed to take the trip that he had been recommending. Little did I know… I was about to have my eyes opened. Unbeknown to me, I was about to take the trip of a lifetime… the kind of lasting experience that would be difficult to put into words.

That first trip had a profound effect on my being. After the experience, as I was reflecting back on it, I simply had to find a way to return, but not just to the place… I needed to find a way to return to that emotional state of mind that I had never been to before.

Since that first trip, I have spent more than 200 days fly-fishing dozens of Caribbean flats from the northern most part of the Yucatan Peninsula at the island of Holbox, throughout Mexico and Belize. I have swum with giant whale sharks and had wild dolphins swim between my legs, I’ve shared water with tens of thousands of pink flamingos and explored remote Mayan ruins that tourists rarely see. I have woke up in the morning to find jaguar tracks in the sand outside my cabana, fished next to salt water crocodiles and I have had the pleasure of releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean. Yes it’s true that I’ve been lucky enough to catch a lot of wonderful fish throughout the journey but more importantly, I have shared the experience with great friends, I’ve made great friends doing it and I have learned so much along the way. My experiences have taught me a great deal about life, relationships and about myself.

The most interesting thing about my travels is that I’ve found that fly-fishing is like a tortilla chip. The chip is only a vehicle to get the salsa into your mouth and although we use fly-fishing as the premise, fly-fishing is only the excuse we use to experience the trip of a lifetime. I learn and grow with every trip and I look forward to many more lessons.

Eddie Robinson