As uncomfortable as I am with the thought of someone looking over my shoulder as I fish, all day long, I was under the impression that I might be something of a lone wolf in even contemplating doing without a guide.
Not so, according to Davin Ebanks. Many are those ‘DIY anglers’, apparently, who try to get by with their own research and observation when fishing unfamiliar waters, whether for reasons of thrift, conceit or (in my case) intolerable echoes of our driving test.
Ebanks can see the debate from both sides and he makes a valid point to those who do seek to go it alone.
“See, the psychology of a DIY angler is one I completely understand, having been there myself. I mean, if I’ve spent all that time planning a trip, scouring the forums, browsing Google Earth, and arranging all the flights, rental cars, lodging, etc, and coordinated all that with my buddies, and then the fishing turns out to be tough I get desperate to catch fish. We all do. Especially if (as is probably the case) that’s going to be my one exotic flats fishing adventure for the next year or two. So if I only find one flat that reliably has fish I’ll be sorely tempted fish there every day.
“We tend to live in a myopic world of our own wherein we are the only anglers clever and adventurous enough to step off the map and do it ourselves. The truth is there were many before and they’ll be many afterwards—all desperate to catch fish with no real incentive to consider the ramifications to the fishery.”