Like the proverbial British pint, I usually see it as
half full, not half empty, and because of that I seem
to notice when good things happen; because, mostly, I
expect them to. The 'eternal optimist' I am not, but I
have been close to it most of my life. I was once accused
of "going through life with a fly rod in my hands and my
head in the clouds." One pleasant thing appeared on the
bulletin board today. Simple thing really, just a fellow
saying thanks but important to me any time. Why he said
it is also important. He thanked me for something, as with
most of the things I write about, that I have no idea where
it came from. I may have outright stolen it. Or where ever
I got it from, they may have swiped it too. I can't remember
where most of this stuff came from. Just picked it up I guess.
It was a simple thing about how to stop a fly rod by hitting
it against your hand. One of the silly little things I
sometimes recommend to help learn casting. So simple in
fact that rarely will anyone ever actually do it when they
just read about it. But, she did. The 'she' is his wife and
'she' was new to fly fishing. And 'she' stopped her rod that
way and it worked and 'she' caught brookies. Now, 'that' is
I write about all kinds of things to do or try for casting
and fly fishing and for the most part they are all just
little things we all know and do automatically. I know
there are no really important ones, because I don't know
any really important ones.
Well, how do I rank 'important'? To a new person starting
out with his first fly rod and he is swinging it like a
rug-beater, I guess stopping the rod could be considered
important. But, what I am trying to get through to you is
that I am not any great caster or fly fisher. Sure, I am
better at it than some, good grief, half a century should
make anyone a little better. But, I am not one of the top
casters or one of the celebrity fly fishermen/persons.
I find it interesting to read on the web and in magazines
about how advanced some folks have become. Well, hat's off
to them. I never did have what it took to reach those levels
of perfection. Glad I didn't either. Might be too busy
looking behind me to see who is catching up. Anyone who
has ever seen me cast or been to one of our casting clinics
understands what I mean. That it's just fly casting. Get over
it. It's a stick with a string and a gob of feathers. I may
on one hand be serious, but I always take a humorous attitude
Those who join us in Michigan will see quite a 'performance'
on Wednesday afternoon and the program that evening. I will
share a life time of trivia with anyone with nothing better
to do that day. Ok, I can cast a full fly line out of the end
of a rod and cast two rods in different directions at the same
time with different sized loops and double-haul back and forth
with either hand but so what. If you can't, it's because you
haven't taught yourself to do it. I did just because it's fun.
I enjoy it. Certainly is not because I have any talent of any
sort. And most of it is just for fun, not worth anything while
fishing. If you want to do those things, go out and start
doing them. Trust me, I know some of the guys who actually
have talent. I've seen them cast. Some of the world champions.
They are very, very good. Those are the ones who do have skill
and talent both.
Just remember, you can get darn good at all of this without
talent. Just work at what ever part of fly casting you want
to. If I can do it, you can do it.
Sometimes I feel that FAOL is doing an injustice to the fly
fishing community. We are making fly fishing information much
too easy to find and use. When I get that feeling though, I
always try to remember those web sites that are run by absolute
idiots who think they are the great gift to the fly fishing
world. Reading their blather is sickeningly humorous. The
problem is that a few actually try to follow their dictates
and that does kind of even things up some. We may take some
too far, too fast; they set them back a few years.
Anyway, back to the nice things. They are the times when
something I have said or written about has actually been
used or tried, and in reality did help a bit. Often you,
"get what ya pay for;" well, I don't charge much. I wish
you could see the email we get thanking us. We are humbled
by them, and continually grateful that we are in a place
where we can share and offer a place for you to share too.
The site is rewarding in itself, but a simple thank you
for 'such and such' and that it worked and that 'she caught
some brookies.' Those go a long, long way.
Hey, how much better does it have to get? ~ JC