It’s been a long time coming, yet the irritation I’ve felt for years is now gone. It is welcome relief, finally figuring out your place in the world, your purpose. At minimum I now know what mine is not.
Pete McDonald penned the epiphany, months in the making, after reading this piece by Alex Cerveniak entitled Why You Suck at Fly Fishing. Thoughtful by design, Mr. McDonald concludes that whether or not you are any good at the quiet sport makes no real difference. Instead, listen to the inner conscience, and do what you love no matter the accumulated skills.
The funny thing is, I read Alex’s piece too, but came to a decidedly different conclusion at the outset.
They’re always moving, covering as much water as possible, only slowing down when they’re into fish. While experience gives them an idea of which flies they’ll need for the day, they don’t actually know which ones they’ll be using until they’re on the water. And if that fly isn’t working, they don’t stick with it cause they caught a really big fish five years ago in this spot with it. They will go through fly- after fly after fly after fly- until they find the one that does. When fly changes don’t work, they’re adjusting leader and tippet diameter, or leader length, or the distance between their indicator and the fly, or the amount of split shot on the leader, or their drift, or anything else they have control over.
Once consumed, I said to myself…
That’s MG to a tee. Always moving. Always changing. Controlling what can be controlled. No wonder I kick so much ass!
Displaying confidence, wholly justified, I was nevertheless haunted by subconscious reservations. Compadre McDonald finally spelled it out for me…
A couple years ago I said in a post the only two rules of fly fishing should be, Don’t be an asshole and make the cast. Now I’m pairing it down: Don’t be an asshole; that should pretty much be enough.
It’s now clear I can no longer participate in fly-fishing because it’s inevitable I will break the rule
s. Since I was permanently banned from the Andros South card table (for taking…cough cough…everyone’s money…cough cough), I figure I’ve got to pay the rent somehow.
I wonder if the professional poker circuit will let me bring my own chips and deck.
MG signing off (to be an asshole someplace else)