Superstitions

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by shadowcast, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Jslo Active Member

    Posts: 178
    Ratings: +80 / 0
    -> I have a few hats I rotate. I'm not sure the exact formula, it's kind of a gut feel...but they (the hats) definitely have a pecking order.

    -> My rods have names they earn. Once named a rod has magical powers lol. I have one rod named Mojo, and another one named Moses. They earned those names through special performances and events. Rods without earned names are still virgin and while useful and have caught fish, are bereft of special powers! There's no ceremony or anything, or any formula. After a succesful run of epic fishing days with a given rod, usually involving either a huge fish or an epic cast to a rising hog that is landed...I just have more affinity and the rod has a personality...seems not right to fish it nameless, and usually the name comes to me. Powers from then on! lol.

    -> I have a certain nipper that I wear on it's own nylon cord around my neck. The color is kind of olive green, its got all kinds of juju on it. I tried not to buy it, and I even tried to buy a different color. That thing virtually hopped into my hand in the store. It's just got juju. It's Midas in the form of nippers. I can't explain it either. But man that thing is a fish magnet!

    -> On an inverse note, I had a pair of polarized fishing glasses I've worn hundreds of times- last week they were dumped/dropped/lost somewhere in a river or something. I was super concerned about the newer pair I had to start wearing...but it turns out the shades I lost just had neutral luck apparently as I caught alot of fish with the new ones this week, and many were caught with the old. So at minimum my new shades have the same power as the old. No worries there!

    Nah...I'm not superstitious ;)
  2. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,628
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +532 / 0
    No superstitions. I will sneak a banana aboard YOUR boat and hide it, though, if I think you believe in that one! Just because....:p
  3. Dorylf Oregon Member

    Posts: 109
    Salem, OR
    Ratings: +61 / 0
    I've actually thought a lot about this topic, so with apologies for the length, here are my thoughts...



    A friend got me to thinkin' about jinxes when he dared blatantly state that: “Steelheading is cake.”

    Up until now I've always been careful about how I approach my steelhead fishing.

    From the basics, like triple washing my hands after exposure to petroleum products, to the more subtle like touching the fly as little as possible to avoid leaving human scent, I've always been painstakingly aware of anything that could cause my day on the river to go awry.

    Avoiding black cats was a no brainer. I was careful with mirrors. I wouldn't even use salt on my scrambled eggs on mornings I planned to fish so there wasn't the chance I would spill it. And, I made sure I never walked under any ladders or touched a banana.

    But, beyond all else, by mutual agreement, none of us--myself nor anyone I've ever fished with--has ever uttered a word or phrase that could result in a jinx being visited upon us. Most especially, we'd never, ever, under any circumstances, say something like: "Steelheading is cake."

    We've been quite vigilant. If one of us had a momentary gaff, slipped up, and actually said something that even remotely resembled a jinx provoking word, we would immediately knock on wood.

    As often is the case with such offhand comments, they would happen whilst we were enroute to the river, speeding down the highway. Such moments would inevitably be followed by an exchange of a glance as the realization of what just occurred sank in. Then there'd be a brief but desperate search of the vehicle for any kind of wood.

    Finding none, the driver would gently tap the brakes, we'd come to a halt, and all of us would quickly peal ourselves off the windshield (man I gotta start wearin' a seat belt), leap from the car and run to the nearest tree or fence post.

    The shaken fist from the guy who was following us [It almost looked like he was showing us the finger he had sprained while attempting not to rear-end us, but it was hard to tell through all the smoke left by the skidding tires] and the gaping stares of passers by were small price to pay for preserving our chances of having a successful day.

    But my friend said it, "cake." And, then he caught a fish. He emailed pictures and talked about how "easy" it is to catch steelhead, and went out and caught yet another one. It really gave me something to think about.

    So, last weekend, I decided to put this whole jinx thing to the test. While on the road to Three Rivers with another fishing friend, I calmly said, "So you think we'll each catch a couple by noon?"

    Hearing a noise to my right, I took my eyes off the road for long enough to look over at my passenger who, just that fast, had his feet braced against the dash and was attempting to gain a grip on the ceiling with both hands.

    Hmm, probably should have told him about my little experiment.

    A short while later, against my friend's profuse objections, I flung a few more loaded aspirations out into mid air. They seemed to bounce harmlessly enough off the nearby rocks and trees as we approached the river.

    "You think we'll catch our limits?" I asked. He scolded, but I noticed he began casting anyway.

    Well, long story short, we each caught a fish within the first 40 minutes. I hooked and lost another.

    Finally, half an hour later, I set the hook on a feisty little chrome hen that leaped and ran and peeled line from my reel.

    Knowing it was a hatchery fish, I couldn't resist one more: "Boy I hope we get this fish in, because I want to have it for dinner."

    A couple of hours later, I got my wish.

    Know what? This really is cake!
    Steve Call likes this.
  4. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,628
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +532 / 0
    Wow, Dorylf! The flagrant devil-may-care attitude you possess is admirable! That's what I call flirting with disaster! Although you don't mention having a banana along on your experiment, you used the word "peeled" in describing the chrome hen that took line from your reel. I hazard to guess that maybe you even thought the word "peel" as the hen was stripping off line, and that's close enough. Well done!;)
  5. JayH Member

    Posts: 60
    Maple Valley, WA
    Ratings: +38 / 0
    The only superstition I have is that there are fish just about everywhere. If I'm not catching its beacuse I'm doing something wrong with presentation, or fly selection, or ... but the fish are there. :confused:
  6. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,496
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +652 / 1
    Thinking about how fishing will be if I do this that or another thing is a waste of time. I'll eat bananas when I want, bring my camera when it's appropriate, and carry a net if the situation suits. What nippers I have with me or what underwear I'm wearing makes no difference. The fishing will be what it is. All of the superstitions that have been mentioned have been dispelled by me many times over. Wondering what fishing would be like if I hadn't brought my camera won't make my camera disappear.

    It's fishing after all, not goalkeeping. ;)
  7. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Interestingly enough, even NOAA has a list of fishing superstitions on their website.

    Just a copy/paste:

    Fun Facts – Fishermen’s Superstitions
    Though not believed by all, and not consistent across all fisheries or regions, many fishermen believe in
    or follow some of these superstitions:
    o
    A woman on board makes the seas angry and is an omen of bad luck.
    o
    Sailors who wear earrings or have tattoos won't drown.
    o
    Fishermen throw quarters of half dollars over their shoulders to “buy up” some wind when crews
    are overworked.
    o
    Silver dollars are put underneath the mast when a boat is being built to bring good luck.
    o
    It is bad luck to see an albatross or hear a loon cry.
    o
    Saying the words “alligator” or “pig” bring bad luck.
    o
    Never whistle because it will bring a gale.
    o
    Bananas bring bad luck to fishing and could mean disaster for the trip.
    o
    Never start a trip on a Friday. The best day to start a trip is on a Sunday, “Sunday sail, never
    fails.”
    o
    Avoid people with red hair when going to the ship to begin a journey.
    o
    Never say good luck or allow someone to say good luck to you.
    o
    Disaster will follow if you step onto a boat with your left foot first.
    o
    Pouring wine on the deck will bring good luck on a long voyage.
    o
    Flowers are unlucky onboard a ship.
    o
    Don’t look back once your ship has left port as this can bring bad luck.
    o
    A dog seen near fishing tackle is bad luck.
    o
    Black cats are considered good luck and will bring a sailor home from the sea.
    o
    Dolphins swimming with the ship are a sign of good luck.
    o
    Cutting your hair or nails at sea is bad luck.
    o
    If you carry a fishing pole into the house before a fishing trip you will not catch any fish.
    o
    If you play a fiddle or guitar, the fish will come to the surface because they love the music.
    o
    If you talk while fishing, the fish will hear you and not bite.
    o
    The person who swears while fishing will not catch a fish.
    o
    When owls hoot during the day is a good time for catching catfish.
    References
    Oliver, H.
    Black Cats and April Fools: The Origin of Old Wives’ Tales and Superstitions in our Daily
    Lives. London: John Blake Publishing, Ltd; 2006.
    Ronco, D. Why are fishermen superstitious of bananas? [Internet]. Atlanta (GA); Discovery
    Communications - HowStuffWorks, Inc.; c2011[cited 2011 April 25]. Available from:
    http://
    people.howstuffworks.com/fishing-superstition.htm
    Superstition at Sea [Internet]. FailedSuccess.com; c2008 [cited 2011 April 25]. Available from:
    http://
    www.failedsuccess.com/index.php?/weblog/comments/superstition_sea_fishermen
  8. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    How about having a new reel with the letter "J" mysteriously stamped on it? ;)
    Jslo likes this.
  9. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,140
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,406 / 0
    I'm with you on this. I even take some bananas with me when I go fishing.
  10. fishunt Member

    Posts: 37
    Spokane Valley
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Can't open a beer till the first fish is landed - now that is pressure!
  11. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Hmmm.....I'll pass on this.

    I'd be into complete abstinence!! :D
  12. Jslo Active Member

    Posts: 178
    Ratings: +80 / 0
    Hilarious! Yes...yes, I'm beginning to think so! Lol
  13. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    One I forgot: I have to take clear liquid--water. Anything else, no fish. Although this probably had more to due with a bad sushi dinner/poisoning. Next morning went fishing and within 10 minutes of downing some vitamin water, was hating it all the way home.