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Superstitions Breed Confidence


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Ronan's report

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

I don’t think we’re as bad as baseball players, but I know of a few anglers, myself included, that have our little superstitions.

As a scientific minded guy, you’d perhaps expect me to not even consider the possibility of superstitions having an effect on angling success. But if you’ve read many of my FP’s before, you’ve probably heard me mention confidence, and how important that confidence is when you are fishing. If you believe it can happen, and that you can make it happen, it often does. And so, if a superstition can build your confidence , then yes, it probably can help make you a better angler.

So what brands of superstition do I subscribe to? Mainly good luck charms, but also, the occasional ritualistic act.

I’ve got a collection of orange baseball caps from fly shops that are owned by good friends of mine. Each one sports varying degrees of sweat, dirt, and fishing mojo. When I grab one and put it on before I hit the water, I think of all the great days I’ve had wearing those hats and I can’t help but think I’ll be having another one of those great days today.

I’ve also got an old black and blue Wiggle Wart plug that I found on the banks of a favorite river attached to my fishing pack. You can see him in this week's and in last week’s POD too if you look closely. His big yellow eyes look out over the water and help me find fish. Well, maybe not, but when I haven’t had a pull from a steelhead in a long time I get a kick out of rattling that little plug and thinking that it might just happen on the next cast, or the one after that, and I keep my flies in the water.

And I don’t know if you’d really consider them good luck charms or what, but there are definitely a couple of sink tips and one or two fly patterns that I always go back to when I feel like I need a bit more confidence in what I’m doing out there.

Unless you count waking up unreasonably early and spending altogether too many hours on the river as rituals, the only one that I partake in involves eating a tin of smoked oysters as a snack when the skunk really seems to be weighing heavily on fishing camp. My fishing partner Niall and I sorted that one out back in 2002 or so. Apparently if you also wear an old Patagonia t-shirt (the one with permit logo on it) the results can be staggering. Trust me, it works. I’ve seen it happen too many times.

So? How about you? Have you got your angling superstitions or are you just sitting there wondering if everyone else except you on Sexyloops had gone mad? Take it to the board!

Take Care and Fish On,

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