Is what my father used to do to me years ago.
Probably should have done it more. There is
another meaning and for me it almost describes
my fly fishing life. Sometimes I have thought
that fly-fishing is a bit like a religion. It
seems to have many of the elements. But far
too many are missing. No singing for one thing.
With me that's likely a good thing. If it took
that to get 'saved' I might be left outside
peeking in. No central figure, no top dog so
to speak, a bunch of guru's for sure, maybe a
few 'saints' (guess Peter was a fisherman at
that) but, just not the right pigeon-hole for
my fly-fishing. One day I happened to remember
the archaic, at least not much used, meaning of
'discipline.' Not the kind where you get spanked,
the other one, the 'set of rules' one. The
dictionary says approximately this.
"Training expected to produce a specific
character or pattern of behavior, especially
training that produces moral or mental
improvement. Controlled behavior resulting
from disciplinary training; self-control. A
set of rules or methods, as those regulating
the practice of a church or monastic order.
A branch of knowledge or teaching, a branch
Well, there you have it. That for me explains
a whole lot of things. From the start I have
had little laws and rules and silly things that
for a period of time seemed important, sometimes
very important to how I fished and what I fished
with and where I fished and when I fished...I
think you get the picture.
But these things would change. I might not
even be aware they were, but all of a sudden,
there it was, a new law. Plop, right in front
of me. Like a decision to take all of the
nymphs out of my fly boxes. I had decided
that I enjoyed casting a dry so much that
I would spend any time I had on a stream
trying to bring them up to a dry. Why not
fish with a nymph? Because I liked the dry
better. If I liked it better, why use a nymph,
it cut down my dry time! Silly for you maybe,
but, it was my rule, my new law.
Perhaps you don't carry any dries, who is
to say that is nuts? Sure, I would, but that
is my rule, not yours. And we are both just
as right as rain. A discipline allows both
of us to do our own thing. I know a guy who
would not be caught dead with a streamer in
his box. Nymphs? Yup, and on droppers at
that! Even with an indicator too! So, there
you go. Something for all of us.
Now, all the little rules we keep and or
change from time to time have a name. They
are called disciplinals. Some we hold on
to for dear life, others, not so much. Over
time and learning more about fly fishing and
our own likes and real dislikes we may change
them some, or even abandon a few all together.
Mine are not yours; your's are not mine. In
fact, even some of mine are not mine certain.
They may be flexible, just a 'range' of ideas,
not all of them are set disciplinals.
I think it is these disciplinals which loosely
bind us together. Not as with a religion, but
of our own making, our own set of personal rules
and laws. Flexible but common, firm but singular,
etched in stone and changeable but unique to each.
This is what creates-produces family. The FlyAnglers
OnLine family. Why we are a family. Why, when
all else today is uncertain, it is these which
remain reachable when ever we wish? The common
bond of a fraternal discipline.
Our world has changed over the years. Society
is fluid. Ethics reflect now, instead of guide.
Morals are old-fashioned. When we do not know
the name of our neighbor, when we pass by a
poor person on the street, or drive past a
fresh accident. We do not want to get involved,
for many reasons, in the lives or problems of
others. Our vehicles have tinted windows. We
block out the world. We have learned to live
in our own isolated ways because we have to.
It is our survival.
Thank you for making FAOL; welcome home. ~ JC