I recently read an article about a new fishing gadget called PowerRay. It is an underwater drone which sends footage of fish to the fisherman. It has a sonar fish detector.
My first reaction to this vehicle is that of repulsion. Have we had enough of tech already? How much is too much gear? Do we live in a computer simulation?
Don’t get me wrong. I got a bus load of fishing stuff, outdoor gear and clothing. But something about this drone really crept under my skin, like a triple-point hook with barbs (fly fishermen mostly use barbless hooks).
It was the idea that fishing should be easy.
Just another extension of contemporary tech and gadget obsessed life style where your hand is glued to a smart phone and eyes fixed on the screen.
Searching for pixelated half-animals for contest, swiping someone’s face to the left or having pointless debates about energy policy with crooked politicians on Twitter.
I’ve had rough fishing trips, good weather and bad, I’ve caught fish from bream to roach, salmon to grayling on the fly. But not one session has been easy.
One of these trips came to mind immediately after I read the drone piece. In the picture above you see a beautiful sunrise in Helsinki archipelago. What the picture does not tell is that it is cold, wet and during early spring.
These are the kind of moments I like to be out on my own. Early spring is quiet time in the archipelago. No tourists.
So I put my drift boat on the water and since I’m not a big guy and the boat carries 100+ kg of fisherman, I took my back pack on my lap and paddled out to a small island.
I’ve been fly fishing for more than 15 years, but never had any luck with coastal sea trout. It is an elusive species. Sea is vast, fishing concentrates in times of the year with hard conditions, late fall and early spring. Trout can be shy and picky on the fly.
After establishing the camp site, I unpacked all the gear I had with me. Spork is not there. Fine. Noodles were tasty. But rather irritatingly, half of my fishing reel was also home. I had packed the spool but the reel itself was nowhere to be seen.
After an hour of cursing and kicking pine cones around I though, alright, let’s try this without a reel. Fly fishermen do not cast from the reel. The line is the weight you cast.
I paddled around the island’s southern tip. No action. Absolutely nothing to be seen. At this point, two fishermen park a big outboard engine boat next to the island. It has all the gadgets, electric front engine, 4-stroke in the back. Sonar, plotter, all the good stuff.
‘Hello there buddy! Any luck?’
I don’t have a reel.
‘Oh. Tight lines.’
I retreated to the camp site, sat on a tree stump and thought about life’s endless meandering path towards nothingness. Industrial society and its ills. It was Earth Day by the way.
No. I will not quit. Not in a million years. I will go for one last paddle around the island. The guys with the boats and the rods and the fish finders and the god damn engine which uses gasoline which comes from dead plants buried under the earth. F* that s*ht.
This story is true and that is my first coastal sea trout, caught without a reel on Earth Day of the year 2016.
I will never buy an iBobble, PowerRay or any kind of crap like that.