Have you heard of the 5 Ps? Preparation prevents P**s Poor Performance? I have heard this banded about in all sorts of different environments, the sports field, the office and on the riverbank. Whilst I largely agree with this there are times when all of the preparation in the world will not give you the results you need or deserve. These last couple of days are a perfect example. The fishing has been strangely tough.
In terms of preparation it was done, we had the right flies, the tactics proven, the venues sorted and yet nothing. Sure the fish were there, we saw stacks, mullet feeding hard, bass streaming passed our feet on the front of the tide and yet nothing more than a few tweaks and one small bass. At these times as a guide I can trail out the clichéd excuses for the lack of fish, too windy, too bright, water too clear / too murky etc but at times like this there is only one thing for it - Perseverance. I don't mean continuing to flog the water regardless, I mean knuckling down to a long period of concentration, working the changes and ensuring that the fly stays in the water for the maximum amount of time.
This is something I learnt as a competition angler. The best competition anglers, and I have been lucky to fish with some very good ones, know all about this. Sure they have all of the Ps sorted, the preparation that goes into an international fly fishing competition would have to be seen to be believed, but when the fishing starts it is all about maximising your chances. That means perseverance, maximising fishing time and generally working damn hard.
When things aren't going well Perseverance is what it is all about. This is what we did this week, perseverance and a little bit of adaptation, when the original plan quite simply isn't working, work hard and adapt. When people are willing to do this the rewards can be awesome.
Luke with a personal best.