My fishing started extremely slowly today and although I wasnít worried about getting skunked, I thought about how it happens, the last time it happened to me, and how others view it.
I remember at the beginning of one year, I told my father that it was my goal to get all the way through the year, without getting skunked. ďThatís not a realistic goalĒ, he said with disdain.
I have not had a zero-trout day since August 2003, a stretch of 14 Ĺ years. On the day it last occurred, I only fished for 45 minutes at the end of a day where I had driven around looking for a stream that wasnít high and muddy after heavy rain. I should have just gone home, but I happened on a tiny limestoner and decided to try it in the limited daylight I had left. I had two trout hit and get off before I ran out of daylight.
Like my father, many anglers just assume they will be skunked from time to time and think nothing of it. Sometimes it happens in a situation like I described above. Some anglers prospect for big trout and use 5 inch Rapalas or 4 inch streamers, knowing they will get big trout or none. Some fishers use dry flies only and, on some days, when the trout just arenít rising, a zero-trout day can be the result. Similarly, Iíve seen some anglers who fish only one spot and stay there, whether the fish are biting or not. Since I use spinners and plugs, and most hits occur on the first or second cast, I need to keep moving and cover a lot of water. That increases my chances of catching trout. Bait and fly fishers can afford to stay in one spot much more than lure anglers. If the trout arenít hitting on my first stream, I will leave and go to another stream. Not everyone does that or has the option to do that if they can only fish for a short time.
What is your view? Do you accept that the occasional skunking is inevitable, or do you despise the very thought of it?