First thing Saturday morning, every
Saturday morning, I sit in my 'Lazy-Boy'
recliner chair, pajama-clad, sleepy-eyed,
coffee-clutching, T.V. viewing. Looking for
anything about fly-fishing. Lately there is
less and less of it, no idea why, just is.
So, I find one. Some guy fly-fishing for
Bonefish in Belize.
If I can't get away for some of that at least
I can live vicariously by watching it on the
boob-tube. Poor substitute, but better than
none at all. Anyway, it was all there, the
multi-colored bonefish flats, the 16 foot boat,
the guide pointing and the dude casting. The
guide complaining about the cast not going
where it should. The sport complaining about
the wind blowing his cast where he did not
want it to go.
The fish are impossible to see even with
copper colored polarized sun glasses. The
dude can't hook the fish, he can't play them,
they get off, he can't get them on the reel
like he should. In fact, it seemed that the
more things went wrong, the better he liked
the whole trip. Almost like, if things had
gone well, it might not have been any fun.
One thing I will single out. Here is a guy
who has spent mega-bucks on a long distance
fly-fishing vacation and his casting is poor.
Sadly, he doesn't even know it. No one had
the heart to tell him? I don't have the answer
to that one. But, "friends don't let friends
go to Belize and not know how to double-haul."
Not good friends anyway. He would pull in
line with his left hand on the back-cast and
then feed it right into the forward cast,
killing his line speed. Distance was not
an arrow in his quiver that week.
So, he could not reach some fish, so what?
He didn't have the line speed to get the fly
out fast enough to get it in front of some
fish either, that's what. Did it cost him a
few fish? Sure did. Make the guide happy, the
guide who had busted his butt to get him in
front of some nice fish and then have him insult
(I do consider it an insult when you can not
fulfill your obligation with the fly rod) the
guide by not knowing how to cast? Of course.
The guide would say, "Make a cast at ten-thirty,
forty feet!" His cast would go to twelve-thirty
and thirty feet. "Darn wind, sure makes it hard
to get the fly out, heh, heh, heh!" Did he
actually land a few fish. Yes, he did actually
get a few. And it made him thrilled. He had a
wonderful time. He can't wait to come back again.
Never caught any fish like the bonefish. Greatest
fish that swims. Most of the ones he caught ran
about two pounds or less.
So. Is that how it should be? Fun makes it all
worth while? If you can scrape up the bucks to
get there, go for it? So what if the guide works
to get you onto a lot of fish and you can't get
a fly to most of them, as long as you have a
great time it makes it all alright? Perhaps
it does. I am not going to make a call on that.
You might, or might not. My point is this.
Would he have had a better time if he knew
how to DH? Would the guide have worked even
harder to get him into even better or bigger
fish? One can only guess at that. I think as
a guide I would have been more willing to do
something like that. Why put a client onto a
real trophy when he won't be able to handle
it? If he can only handle a two pound fish,
why take him where there are ten pounders?
Horns of an enigma on that one, too hot for
me and above my pay grade.
I will leave you with this. I know we have
all heard the phrase which goes something
like this. "You make it look so easy!" And
we reply that if you do it right it is easy,
if it was work we wouldn't do it, or we would
at least get paid for it. If you will learn
more than you need to know, if you will
practice casting in ways you don't yet need,
if you will spend a few hours a week drilling
those moves into your subconscious, if you will
do things like that, it will not only look easy,
it will be easy. ~ JC