I have a new family member living at my house. I
didn't really plan for her, but it happened anyway.
I guess that's the way things happen sometimes. No,
it isn't a human; we just have a new dog living with
us. A neighbor gave her to us because that neighbor
needed to find a home for the pup, and my dog and our
new addition have been long time buddies.
What does this have to do with flyfishing? Not much.
However, sometimes things happen that we don't plan
for, and that has a lot to do with everything,
including flyfishing. Some unplanned packages are
blessings and others are not. In this case, I think
it is a blessing, considering the options and the
fact that Buford (my basset hound) has always
considered Sammy (the new pup) to be a very best
friend. Since Sammy is used to our home (we have
babysat her many times), it was the logical thing
There are other things in my life that I didn't plan
for. When I first started fly fishing, I surely
didn't plan for it to become as big a part of my
life as it has. I just thought it was a cool way
to catch fish; and the challenge of it all was a
bonus. In time, I realized that it was more than
just a neat fishing method or challenge. It was
the way I preferred to fish.
When I tied my first fly, it was because watching
the women in Dan Bailey's fly shop had left me
filled with wonder. How could anyone not be amazed
by the way they could add fur and feathers to a hook
and create something that looked so cool? I had
spent many hours watching those women tie their
wonderful creations, so I just had to try it for
myself. However, I had no idea that fly tying
would become such a rich part of my life. It
was something I hadn't planned for.
When I met my wife, I wasn't planning to get
married again. My first marriage had left me
with some deep scars that didn't look like they
would ever heal, and I wasn't about to get into
something like that again. Then I met Patty,
and I discovered a blessing I hadn't planned for.
We didn't have a lot of hobbies or activities in
common, but we seemed to mesh just right as far
as personality and temperament go. Fifteen years
later we still mesh fine. Like I said, it was
an unplanned blessing.
I spent much of the day sawing and splitting
firewood. I plan for firewood during the year,
and usually accomplish this task in the heat of
the summer; not on a cold and windy day like
today was. However, my brother-in-law had some
dead trees on his rural land that he needed to
remove, so I got a couple of loads of firewood
I hadn't planned for. I'm not complaining; free
wood is always a blessing and I never turn down
a blessing, especially if it's something I don't
have to work too hard for.
Fly fishing has a few unexpected surprises for
all of us. Maybe it's a free fly passed to us on
the stream by another angler; especially if that
free fly is the only thing the fish want to eat
that day. It might be the pleasant addition of
a new friend to the circle of friends I already
have. That is always a pleasant surprise I hadn't
planned for, but always welcome.
When I met Jim and Deanna on that Denver airport
shuttle so many years ago, I wasn't planning to
be involved with anything on the Internet. In
fact, I wasn't acquainted with the Internet all
that much back then. I was already acquainted
with writing and photography, but this electronic
media magazine didn't make a lot of sense to me.
In some ways, it still doesn't, but it has become
a pleasant part of my life. I didn't plan for
that to happen.
If I had to sum it all up, I'd have to say that
many of the unplanned things that happen to us
are really blessings. That's the way I feel
about FAOL, my wife and the new puppy living
under my roof. I really didn't plan on any
of them, but I'm glad they happened. I'm also
glad I got to meet all of you; in this form and
some of you in person. It wasn't a planned
meeting, but it sure has been a blessing.