Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's Supposed To Be Fun.

It's Supposed To Be Fun

Some people need to cheer up.

   Sometimes I think that our fly fishing community has lost its sense of humor. I'm not sure how it happens that people can find their way into the game, at any age, and find some kind of pleasure or solace in the quiet arts of fly fishing, and yet at some point they become serious about it. Way too serious. Maybe this is just an aspect of human nature, to make things more complicated than they have to be. Perhaps there is some evolutionary advantage to this behavior. Is there an advantage for the more cerebral and complex individuals to out compete the more emotional members of the species? I don't know. I can see this working out just fine in the executive suites and corporate boardrooms, where the smarter you are the bigger the piece of pie you get. Maybe not so much when it comes to the hunters and gatherers though. I suspect that this is more of a "male" or masculine feature among fly fishers. And certainly any time that you mix ego and testosterone into anything, the process has a way of going awry.

This man is having more fun than you are.

   There is an observable pattern to this tendency. And while I dislike stereotypes in general, I have had many occasions to witness certain "types" of anglers during our time on the water together. One thing that I see is that the men are entirely too worried about how they "look", all of the time, while fly fishing. Aside from wearing all of the right attire and logos, carrying the latest in gear and accessories, and certainly the latest in rods, and looking picture perfect, there is a kind of man on the water these days who can't seem to relax. And for men it isn't the fashion statement so much as it is the terrible sense of self conscious concern that someone may be watching them, and they have a need to look cool. Often these men are inconsolable. In contrast a woman angler can come out for the day of fishing with her husband, and some of them are dressed to kill as well, and yet they seem unconcerned with their appearance, and they focus on the fishing. If I compliment  a woman on her fly fishing attire at the beginning of the trip, she is appropriately, briefly flattered. Should I share a similar compliment with the man it may actually make him uncomfortable. But the big difference is that the woman will go on to have a great time for the day, and the man will often be kind of uptight. All day. He has a need to perform, to prove himself, and to catch fish. It would help if he could cast. A good caster will look really cool out there no matter what he is wearing. No amount of state of the art fabric outdoors fashion clothing, or high end, technical assault fly rods, can make a bad caster look cool. Trust me. Sometimes it's like watching paint dry.

This man is not concerned with his appearance, and he is an expert fly fisherman.
      It always seemed kind of odd to me that a guy would spend a few thousand dollars on fly fishing clothing, tackle, accessories, and take some very expensive fly fishing travel trips as well, and yet not spend any time or money on learning how to fly cast. And so they attempt to teach themselves, often with poor results. And their fishing isn't what it could be as far as satisfaction and fun. I see this as an particularly American male trait- that somehow we men are born with certain pre-programmed skills: handling money, driving a car, shooting guns, sex and fly casting. I suspect that technology plays a role in this as well, or our over dependence on it.  There is an "App" for everything after all. And it's not hard to imagine that there is someone out there right now, with a fly rod in one hand and a Smart Phone in the other, going stroke for stroke with some engineered, robotic fly casting program, undoubtedly chanting "10-2 . . .10-2 . . .10-2". . . And still getting it wrong. Some things can not be learned from staring at a screen. Don't feel bad- You didn't really learn anything about sex from reading your old man's Playboy magazines and practicing on your own with that either.

   It's not too late for you! There is hope! You can change! 

First, let us kill all of the telephones!

   It takes a little commitment and willingness, and you have to want to change. But imagine being free of those nasty little "wind knots" forming in your leader, even when there is no wind. Wouldn't it be nice to not lose so many flies on the back cast? Wouldn't you like to be able to haul and shoot the fly line, and accurately place the fly without struggling to do it? I promise you that this is possible and achievable, often with just a few compassionate lessons. And with a little effort and practice you could be looking very cool indeed. And then your fly fishing life will be what it should be and ought to be- Fun.

   Trust me, I'm a professional! I teach fly casting for all levels of ability, from beginner to expert. I can work with you to help you overcome casting flaws and improve your game. Spring is the time to get your casting skills honed for the season ahead. You probably don't need a new fly line as badly as you need some good coaching and support.

Professional, Certified fly casting instruction for individuals and groups. Call or write for details. 

  Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide  
  Sea-run Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Trout, Summer Steelhead 
  Catch and Release, Fly Fishing Only
  Over 34 years of fly fishing experience

  Call or write for details:

  Bob Triggs
  Little Stone Flyfisher
  P.O. Box 261
  Port Townsend, Wa

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