Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life Lessons Learned Through Fly Fishing

I need to make decisions. The perfect cast is like making the right decision, but does that cast always catch the fish? Making a thousand casts off target and slapping the water is a metaphor for making the same mistakes and always getting the same results, which is never the desired one (no fish). Everyone that makes the perfect cast has at some point worked to achieve said cast and will reap the rewards.

But what is that reward? The catch right? What about the feeling you get when you become aware of the hard work you put in combined with a sense of accomplishment? To me there is no greater feeling than when you've worked hard to reach a goal and after the goal is reached realizing your really damn proud of yourself for the hard work you put in, and the trophy itself is nothing more than a reminder of your hard work. This very ideal is why we get bored doing things that are too easy no matter how great the trophy, and the challenges fishing and life present are in fact so challenging that it keeps us coming back for more.

We meaning anyone with a heart and the strength to take the abuse. But life's not just about making the perfect cast. Now its time to make our fly selection. One of my biggest challenges on life's river has been knowing how to stay true to myself and yet still feed the trout in the river what they want to eat. In other words how do I do what I want, and feed other people what they want so we are mutually happy? Truth be told to catch fish you have to feed them what the they want even if you don't like it, but you catch fish which in turn brings you happiness.

The reverse to that would be me on life's river, and I don't care what the fish want because I'm going to force feed them this size 12 Elk Hair Caddis when they really want a size 24 midge. The fact is a few of these stubborn trout might go for a big unnatural looking Elk Hair, but most of the time your going to get skunked which is never a happy feeling no matter how many perfect casts you make. This midge also has to be presented in a way that will entice the take. People don't like being charity cases and there are a million other reasons fish wont take the bait. But if your hearts into making the right fly selection and you achieve a perfect drift and perfect presentation then there isn't a fish in the water you cant catch.

Life is a give and take battle just like playing a big brown on 6x tippet. Balance equals opportunity. You have to balance the times you can take line with the times the fish wants to do the same. If your goal is to land the fish then patience and balance are required along with a willingness to let line go. Horse that big catch and your connection breaks. You know the funny thing about advice though is that anyone can give it and no one is ever perfect enough to always follow it. Believe me when I tell you that I am always having to correct my cast and I've tried to force feed many trout that weren't interested. Truth be told I wrote this more to help myself which got me wondering about all those self help gurus out there?

I was on a recent trip and the bite had died as the sun was going down, and being out there under that insane beautiful Colorado sunset got me thinking about life. As I stood there I suddenly realized that all that there is to learn about life I had been learning and practicing through fly fishing with out ever being aware of that fact. I've never been a really religious person in the traditional sense but I felt compelled after I collected my thoughts to just pray and thank God for all that is positive and beautiful in life. Things that we all take for granted, and if there was ever proof that there is a divine creator all we need to do is stop harassing the fish long enough to look at our surroundings. Ultimately I hope that at some point and time someone reads this and it gets them thinking as I did, and as you drift through your own life's rivers you find happiness through hard work and fishing for your life's catches. Be steady wading through turbulent waters and enjoy sunsets. Tight Lines!

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