Jeff Faulkner Presents: Types of Fishing Buddies and How to Ditch Them

Preface: You can skip this whole post by listening th “50 ways to leave your lover” by the great Paul Simon. That guy gives fantastic advice on ending relationships, fishing or otherwise.  

Fortunately, I have not had to date anyone other than my wife for the last two decades. From what I recall it can be messy and hard to navigate. It’s not unlike finding fishing buddies. The good news is having more than one fishing buddy is more socially acceptable than having more than one partner. There are a many types fishing buddies and they all fill different and important roles so don’t be afraid to collect them. Let’s explore some of those in Jeff Faulkner Presents: Types of Fishing Buddies and How to Ditch Them.

The Seven Types of Fishing Buddies

  1. The Talker – Having chatter box on board is not always a bad thing, but can get old. The Talker fills any silence with inane chatter. It’s rarely high value or deep talk so it just detracts from the calm of nature. 
  2. The Therapist – This buddy is the one that you catch yourself sitting on the bank chatting with while being interrupted by jumping fish in the background. Unlike The Talker, this talking has meaning and reaches depths that are constructive, healing and sometimes beautiful.  I think all of us could use a trip to the river to work some stuff out.  
  3. The Mentor – My wife is always busting my chops because the majority of my angler buddies are 15-30 years my senior. One of my fishing buddies, Ron, is 85 and still throwing dries. The Mentor is one of my favorite types of fishing buddies. You get to learn a lot about fishing, see life in a different lens and appreciate the perspective of anglers from another time. 
  4. The Comic Relief – One day on my local waters I fished with two acquaintances from work, Bob and Doug. Doug is an absolute riot. His tongue is equally as sharp as his wit. We found a comedic stride that made for an absolutely enjoyable day on the water. We told jokes and teased each other mercilessly. Fishing was slow so it made the trip a success. We had so much fun that at the end of the day the Bob asked how long Doug and I had been friends. I told him we had only met a week before, he was flabbergasted. A Doug on the water makes for good times.   
  5. The Guy/Gal Who Hitched a Ride – “Ok let’s meet back at the truck in, say, 3 hours.” Depending on the personality of this fishing buddy this may be the best course of action for the day. It’s the equivalent of splitting a cab to the airport. It may help a little financially, but it whats the use. Though in today’s economic climate it’s nice to split gas. 
  6. The Guy Who Needs Help – Please help others. Share with the less experienced and also see what you can learn from them. While this is a worthwhile endeavor and a karma producing action, it doesn’t mean you always have to do it. I usually try to fish and teach, but occasionally I need to sneak away alone and just fish by myself or with the next type, The Fishing Soulmate 
  7. The Fishing Soulmate – Fortunately for me the fish gods have gifted me a few fishing soulmates. These angler friends pick up the highlights of all of the other types and combine in to one super hero angling friend. Again, unlike husbands/wives/partners, you can have a pretty big roster of fishing soulmates.  


How to Ditch Said Fishing Buddies

Should the desire arise to either abandon or distance yourself from and of the aforementioned fishing buddy types are a few things you can do. The first and most obvious would be to act like a grown up and address the issues. Since I don’t really fish with grown ups, or really know any, and I certainly don’t act like one, I propose the following techniques.   

Get skunked, every time. For some of us this is not hard. I have been skunked trying to get fish out of a barrel. You could string together some windy days, some bluebird skies , or just an off week and get skunked. Spread that story around and you will likely see your invites to the river drop off.   

Potentially even worse than getting skunked would be known as the guy who catches small fish if any. Keep pictures of the hogs close to your vest and you may just see less interest in your presence on the river. I have never heard of  anyone walk in to the fly shop and brag about their favorite spot to fish, “You know that one spot where if you are lucky to catch a fish it’ll be a solid 3 incher.” So if you had a fishing buddy, let’s call him “Ethan”, that sent you pictures like the one below all day long he may move down your list of angling partners.  

Let’s be honest. No one wants to know this guy’s secret spot.

The reality of the situation is that “Ethan” is a fish catching machine with more secret spots and tips than most anglers you know, but if he was trying to give you the shake pics of the gem below wouldn’t show up on your phone.  

These are the type of pictures “Ethan” sends to the guys he wants to fish with. 

Other techniques that need no further explanation are ; never splitting gas, never buying snacks, steal your fishing buddy’s snacks, ask if their mom is single incessantly, farting in the car. You get the idea.  

P.S. Keep in mind if you feel like someone is deploying these techniques on you, they may very well be, but I am not. If we are friends and don’t fish it isn’t because I want to ditch you. Sometimes other responsibilities can get in the way of fishing especially for more elaborate and time consuming trips that a lot of you take.