There’s no real secret to great fishing. You just have to know a good spot, go into it with all the background information you need, have the right gear, and the right attitude. When any of these things aren’t within reach, well then you can solve that problem with the right guide.
We book trips to catch fish, right? That’s the reason we go out on the water, but the experience of fishing, and all that it entails, is what keeps us coming back for more even when our hooks come up empty. There’s a saying, if fishing was all about catching the fish, it would be called ‘catching’. No one can guarantee what your day will hold, however, the trick is to find a guide that will put you in the best position possible for the day, adjust things while you’re out there if need be to make things happen, and to find someone who will make your day spectacular no matter what your catch count is. Capt. Brian Helms is one of those guides.
There’s a very Zen approach to fishing that I’ve enjoyed over the years, and it came to me just at the right time. I was getting pretty full of myself in terms of fishing—buying up the most expensive gear, taking the most expensive trips, and booking the most expensive charters. I was getting frustrated and not having the fun I should have been out on the water.
Luckily it was around this time that I booked a half-day with Islamorada Fly Fishing. My return flight was canceled, and with the next available flight not until the following morning, I figured it was fate extending my fishing trip. So I called Captain Brian Helms and he got me out the very next day.
I was impressed with his approach—very still, patient, and serene. He just didn’t seem to force anything, like it all just came naturally and all he had to do was let it be. That’s when I realized I’d been abusing my fishing privileges.
The sport was so much more than a competition, it was about being in tune with yourself and your surroundings. It was about being one with nature and realizing the beauty of the water, wildlife, and peace around me. When this realization hit me, I was able to relax and really enjoy being out there, and all of a sudden, my cast straightened out, my aim was sharper, my stress level lower, and my fun quotient much higher.
Thanks to Captain Brian, I not only learned a new technique or two when casting a fly, but I also learned how to ease back and really enjoy what I was doing.