Everyone knows a numbers guy. This is the guy who asks how your fishing trip was and how many you caught. They want
specifics and they will give you specific numbers of the fish the lost and landed. It goes something along the lines of, I went
five for nine. Meaning that they landed five fish and lost four, out of the nine total they hooked.
The numbers game holds true when guiding clients, especially here in Alaska, where tourists think the fish just hop in the
boat. On some days, that can be a true statement, but like any other place in the world, the fish don’t always cooperate and
sometimes can be a bit stubborn. Don’t get confused though, I’m not looking for big numbers while out with clients, I’m just
looking for one fish to hand. After the first fish, I lose track and no longer have the desire to keep an accurate record of how
many trout I catch and release. Granted, the state makes me record each fish caught and released while on a guided trip in
my log book, but that’s a guesstimate at best.
Instead of worrying about the numbers while I’m out there, I really do try to soak up the experience. Many times I would
joke that spey casters are out there practicing their casting and “enjoying the moment”, because we all know they aren’t
putting up huge numbers swinging. Sorry spey guys, it’s true. But, when a spey guy hits four or more steelhead in one day,
it’s an epic day. There is so much more to a trip on the water than just the fish. Some will come to realize this, and others will
still be in pursuit of the big numbers, only to miss what’s happening around them.
Clients paying for a trip are expecting to catch lots of fish, and big ones too. I try to put everything into perspective before
we even start a trip. This way clients can have a realistic expectation of what is in store for them. When I’m out fishing with
friends, it’s a whole different game. After all, I can’t let them out fish me.
So the next time you’re out on the water, as much as big numbers are nice, try to really enjoy everything about the trip.
Always remember though, what ever you caught, I probably caught one more than you did, and my smallest fish was certainly
larger than your biggest.
The Numbers Game
by Christopher Tobias
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
July, 2015 Issue
n today's fast paced world full of instant information and instant gratification, many people get caught up in the
numbers game. I have to admit, I have been caught up in the numbers game, but have since moved on from there.
Christopher Tobias is a self professed
fish whisperer, holds a USCG Masters
License, Alaska Guide License and is
co-owner of Roe Hard Guide Service,
based out of Wasilla, Alaska.
He can usually be found on the water
with a clicker in hand counting every fish
he hooks and lands. Roe Hard Guide
Service operates on the Susitna River
drainages and Kenai Peninsula.
Follow Roe Hard Guide Service on
Facebook or Instagram for current up to
date fishing conditions and fish porn.