Despite my attempt to get over it, I have been plagued by thoughts of last week's event.
At first I thought relating my story to friends and getting their input might somehow dissuade the lingering sense of failure.
"That counts as landed."
"I'd say you landed it."
"You touched the fish, which is better than a leader grab."
But their offerings brought no solace.
Without a picture, with no proof positive, the experience is incomplete.
It's just another damn fish story about the one that got away.
My own personal demon to struggle with, the whole photo thing is further inflamed by the (my) relative infrequency of hooking steelhead. On its own, running into one is precious enough. To botch a landing...well, some would simply say "that's steelheading."
On one hand, I can agree and appreciate that point of view--it's not a competition, after all, and numbers should take a backseat to the experience. Fair enough.
Despite that Jedi perspective, I still can't help feeling like this:
Am I the only one who's ever felt this way after ruining an otherwise awesome experience?
And if so, does it ever go away?