Why do I do the things I do? Grab a chair and give me five minutes and I will tell you why. There are times in life that might be difficult and challenging. I have these times sometimes on a weekly basis. And you might also. I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift. Yes, it has been several weeks since my last post due to a few struggles health wise. But, when you decide enough is enough, well... you pick up the fly rod and head to the river!! Well, in my case, you do. My aches and pains somehow subside for a few hours when I'm out on the water. So... that is where I go. I learned a few things the last couple of times out.
We don't always have to be in a hurry. Catching trout isn't an easy thing sometimes. We need to be precise with our cast and take our time in planning our game plan. So many times, I get into this big ol' hurry. My casting gets repetitive as I just shoot out line time after time. And it starts going offline from where I want it to land. On my last fish of the day yesterday, I took the time in between casts to watch the water and what the fish were doing. When I did this, my next cast was more precise and on the money. It hit the inside seam of the small run coming downstream and pow! Job done. So, sometimes we just need to slow it down.
Here fishy, fishy!! I'm coming to get you... Oh, you knew that already by the shadow that scared you to the other side of the river! Try to face the sun if possible. (My sunburned face proves that I followed that rule yesterday!) We have enough challenges in netting a fish and don't need to make it any more difficult. Approaching that hole to fish can be done smartly and your stealthiness can raise your chances of landing a fish.
I'm trying to do my best in catching and releasing fish to let them live a longer life. In doing so, I am trying to keep my fish in the water until that camera is out and after that quick click of the camera, it is back in the water. And I'm only taking pictures of those that meet certain criteria. Maybe those that have exceptional color or size. But, most of my fish are now going out of the net and into the water without much handling.
The one thing that scares fish as much as motion is sound. Not that I am going to be one of "those" fisherman that cringe as you pass by when you say hello because it might have scared off a fish. But, when we yell across the river to our friend, we have just alerted the trout that a more than friendly fly fisherman is in the vicinty. Noise travels farther underwater. So, when I was shuffling my feet to get my balance on some rocks... yup, the trout probably moved a few feet farther from me. So, one more thing for me to improve on. Since I wear cleats on my boots, I already have one strike against me with underwater noise. So, I need to tread as lightly as possible. When I do make noise, I settle in position for 5 min or so. That seems to help the fish get adjusted to my presence. Hey, just ask them... Haha. Like I know. At least I am hoping so!!
So, this is why I do the things I do. Through the many times out on the water, I keep learning and hopefully getting better. One thing is for sure. I am going slower and enjoying it a bit more. Not because I feel it helps your game in netting a fish, but to give my old bones a rest! There are more challenges as you get older and if I'm going to help myself stay healthy and feel good, I am going to remember one thing... It's not a race. The fish will be there tomorrow. I want to be too...