Recent events have presented a huge challenge for men being men.
One of our students Steve Newby wrote a brilliant piece on men’s wellness and how being cooped up by COVID has limited men’s ability to indulge in their basic primal instincts.
It was too good not to share.
It was initially written as a study group report (so in it you’ll meet some of our other students) – but it is just so thought provoking and well written I thought it may be of interest to men who feel that hunting and or fishing (killing things at times) is becoming unacceptable behaviour – and maybe men need to be men sometimes.
A time to reflect…
While we wind down towards the end of the year, for many it becomes a time to reflect on the year that was. We assess our successes and failures and see the approaching new year as an opportunity to reset the clock, set new goals and work towards building on the more positive aspects of the previous year to make the next that bit more fruitful.
2020 and 2021 has thrown a multitude of challenges at us, not just as fisho’s but as a community as a whole. I feel for our southern neighbours who experienced extended lockdowns, barely being able to leave their homes let alone get the boat wet and drop a line in!
I’m sure we’ve all valued the time we’ve had to develop closer bonds with the members of our households but as men in particular, it has presented a huge challenge. And that is what I’d like to talk a bit more about. Men being men.
Agree or disagree, many men have been denied the right to indulge their most basic human primal instincts. To hunt, to fish, to get dirty, to be in the outdoors, to beat their primitive chests within their friendship circles over their catches and to provide the most basic of staple foods for their families. Or as RMF’s lovely boss-lady Karen described it, for men to be gross.
Men being men
I followed the South East QLD lockdowns more closely and when the suggestion came through that boat ramps were “out of bounds”, men and women alike were noticeably outraged. The common argument put forward was that the men of the households, particularly in coastal locations, were unable to fish to provide for their families. Men being men.
To me, it proved that when it comes to the crunch, when our backs are against the wall, we are all still human and our primal, most natural and basic instincts are alive and well, rising to the surface. Despite being somewhat forced to supress our urges and become more “intelligent” or “civilised” creatures over recent times.
It makes 2022 even that more important for us as men, for your male partners, husbands, brothers, or any other man in your life, to seek out and indulge in our primitive sides more regularly. If they’re anything like me, being on the hunt in the outdoors is my main source of mental wellness and mental clarity and short of swinging on branches through the trees, it allows us to feel more human and regain our place in society as providers and makes us better men in general.
Being on the hunt is a source of mental wellness.
Some may have missed it, but Ryan also had an important discussion recently with Nikki Fogden-Moore, Life coach and inspirational author. And if you did miss it, these are without a doubt 2 of the most important discussions you need to watch leading into the new year. Not only will you get an insight in what Ryan is about, it is further confirmation of why it is so important to have a community of like-minded anglers behind you in the course study groups.
Take the time and make it a priority to watch before you read any further.
3. Nikki and Ryan fishing (catching her first Nannygai)
My regular reports have consisted of a breakdown of each group and the stand-out members within each group. The fact is, each and every group has equal significance when it comes to many men’s mental wellness and supercharging our natural instincts. The success and progression of every member in every group throughout the year is nothing short of exceptional. But there is one member in particular who’s fishing journey may resonate with many across the country and even the globe.
Home lender by day, barra slayer by night.
Nigel Sward. Humble, sophisticated, home loan lender by day. Barra slayer by night. Nigel is a hard-working, dedicated family man, often putting the interests of his family and his clients before his own. For as long as I’ve known Nigel, he has remained disciplined in his daily ritual, assisting others with the great Aussie dream to be homeowners and globe-trotting in support of his children’s extra-curricular pursuits.
While I’m sure he takes his handful of small windows of opportunity throughout the year to fish his local water ways, he has become equally dedicated to his Bi-Annual Barra pilgrimage to Rockhampton. To hunt, to fish, to indulge in man’s forever nagging primal urge. Men being men. To be gross and to do what makes us men!
While many who make the journey seek out the local accommodation options, Nigel merely goes armed with his boat, his mates and a swag, staying on the boat in the elements regardless of any impending weather or the dangers associated with Central QLD waters, including the very real possibility of crocodile encounters. It’s more than just a fishing trip, it’s everything to recharge and regain his capacity as a man and return home to be the best one possible.
The secret weapon is knowledge.
I don’t think Nigel would argue, but he is also armed with a secret weapon. Knowledge. And without Ryan’s Barra Basics course in his corner, some could question whether he would be making that pilgrimage on his own accord or having to resort to spending the course entry fee every trip, to fish only a single day with a guide in the local area. But he simply doesn’t.
He’s invested in himself and his own ability to not only make those bi-annual trips memorable for himself but also the members of his travelling party. Barra Basics has been the stone that sharpens the knife to keep him ahead of the game to fulfill his primal desires.
I myself found out how tough the fishing can be in that region, but Nigel’s recent October trip resulted in some outstanding fishing. It’s one thing to hit the water for a day, but to tune in to the elements 24/7 for 4 days straight can be tough, especially if you don’t particularly know what you’re doing.
Every hour of every day on the water can be different and present new challenges. Forever requiring a different plan and you need to develop the ability to adapt quickly as it can make the difference between a good or a bad trip.
What made it even more challenging was that Nigel’s trip happened to coincide with the local Barra fishing competition, so the fish were being pressured to bite almost every minute, by hundreds of budding competition anglers. Armed with his instincts and the knowledge drawn from Barra basics, he managed to see out the challenge and put some fantastic Barra over the side of the boat, some over the magic meter mark and rounding it out with a new P.B. Barra @ 127cm!!
There’s nothing more satisfying than doing it yourself
Budding Barra fisho’s pay good money to have that experience for a single day with a local area guide, in any and every region of Australia that hold these icons of Aussie fishing. There is nothing more satisfying though than doing it yourself. Having the confidence and ability to make it happen and many of the Barra Basics students have proven the courses worth over the last few months. Nigel’s success is outstanding for a humble city bloke I say!! And even more testament to the importance of rediscovering our primitive side, much more regularly than recent times have allowed.
There have also been some honourable mentions within Barra Basics over the last few months. Many hitting the magic meter mark and a few happy members hitting the 120’s. Some for the first time and will certainly not be the last. While we value every course in the RMF stable, the outstanding success Barra Basics students have had, deserves to be recognized. Here’s a gallery from the Barra Basics students from just the last month or so, ordinary blokes catching extraordinary fish!!!!
Men being Men – Barra Basics showcase.
If you’d like to set your primal hunting and fishing instincts alight, check out Ryan’s course Barra Basics.
To try out a course, Sounder Skills 1 is great value at $20.
Fish Finder Fundamentals
Having a productive session is easier with a good understanding of your sounder.
Our most popular course has students from over 49 countries and covers the fundamentals of using your Fish Finder.
It’s called our Sounder Skills 1 course.
And it’s only $20 Australian at the moment and well worth a look.
If you don’t learn anything let me know and I’ll give you your money back.
Alternatively, there are a multitude of free resources in past blogs and free trainings.