Friday, March 8, 2013

Must-Read Article by Captain Will Benson

Speaking of the changes at Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine, this must-read article by Captain Will Benson was pointed out to me by Doug Root (see trip report from Doug's trip to Los Roques here). Doug copied me on the following e-mail sent to FFSW editor John Frazier concerning the article. 
Doug wrote:


First and foremost I want to congratulate you and your team on the successful rebranding of the magazine.  I think you did a fantastic job!  As an avid reader, I can appreciate the changes and the attention to detail that were involved to create such a wonderful execution.

On another note, I wanted to write a short letter to the magazine in response to Will Benson’s article (copied on this email) “Embrace the Pressure – Never Put A Permit On A Pedestal” that was featured in the March/April edition.  I first came across the article last week on a flight to Los Roques, Venezuela with my wife to target permit, bonefish, and tarpon.  As a resident of Arlington, VA I have not been lucky enough to spend an immense amount of time targeting permit, but I have had enough missed shots to know that they have gotten to my head.  

As a former competitive athlete I felt I knew how to handle pressure, however, after spending way too much time thinking about catching a permit, I began to care entirely too much.   After overthinking the few shots at permit that I had on the first couple of days of our trip, I decided to take one full day of the trip to target them exclusively.  Fortunately my wife Cassie, a very quick study of the sport and ever improving angler in her own right, reminded me of the article on our way to meet our guide.  Before my first cast I reminded myself to just stop caring and by 9:22 AM I had the first permit of my career hooked and the battle began.  Not only was I on my way to landing my first permit but I was on my way to my first ever Grand Slam.   After landing this fish at 10 AM I had a bonefish and tarpon successfully landed by 11:40.  Permit will probably continue to haunt my mind but at least Will’s article got me to shake the jitters for a short period of time."

Doug Root
Arlington, VA

I responded to Doug saying:

"As a former wrestler, a climber and a white water kayaker I know that all successful athletes learn to let go… just as you said.  
Kayakers have a saying. "You gotta give up the breath" this means when you find yourself upside-down in the middle of a crashing Class V rapid, you must roll successfully the first time or you are in trouble. 
To do this, you gotta keep your head in the water to maintain the momentum of your roll or you will not be able to roll up. You gotta let go and trust your training. It's hard to do, 'cuz you want to breathe!

Same thing with fishing. Learning to focus, controlling your adrenaline and "giving up the breath" is the essence of the sport.

This is an important concept and articulated well by Will in his article. Well done Captain Benson!:

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