Watchin' For You!

J. Castwell
November 9th, 1998

BEING THERE . . . again.

I mentioned I had 'learned too much' in my last column. Let me try to explain some of that. My interest was in the mayflies of Michigan. I found several very technical books and pamphlets and studied them at great length. Necessary was the acquisition of the scientific names to keep them sorted out. I practiced for hours writing the names. I collected the nymphal insects and raised them in elaborate aquaria and took thousands of slides of nymphs and hatched bugs.

But I am getting ahead of myself here. That was after reading several books on fly-fishing. It all started when I decided to not be known as a worm-dunker. The local library had a small collection and I checked out a couple. It was there I started the 'circle' of reading. By that I mean, as I read more and more I found myself coming right around to where I had started. It seemed each author would take some small segment of fly-fishing and write a whole book about it. Enough books and you are back to the starting place.

From that I delved into the world on the insects; and went about as far in mayflies as possible. The result was the inevitable 'slide-show' and lectures. The learning was starting to 'circle' again. In however, the process, I was accumulating a mass of information on fly-fishing and getting rather proficient at it.

A fortunate event took me to Montana. I lived there for seventeen years and used the opportunity to start all over again. New water, different fish, unfamiliar bugs, etc. More reading. Once again I started into another 'circle;' and completed it. Each time the 'circle' was on a different segment of fly-fishing such as: presentation, imitation, tying, entomology, and such. Each 'circle' adding strength to the last. I was not getting any smarter, but I sure did possess a lot of knowledge.

I am once again involved in a 'circle.' This one may not make it all the way around to join itself tho. It may be just too big. You might have noticed the material I had been reading was of the information type; trying to find something new. In my earlier years I did not afford myself time for leisure reading. Always there had to be some learning to justify the time spent. Probably a mistake but that was the way it was. Not so anymore. I have finished far too many Louis L'Amore books and have increased my library of old, out of print, used, stories about fly-fishing. Some are just old, some are collectors issues and very pricy to say the least.

My point may be something like this. As much as we try to give you good information on this web site, as hard as we work to help you find your way into-around-thru the maze of good-bad-indifferent stuff written on the subject, you can't equal or beat reading and owning books. Owning books is as different from renting them as owning a fine fly rod is from renting one. There is a commitment in owning. A 'pride of ownership.' A duty to take care of them, to worry about what may happen to them far into the future. And you know what? A lot of the tales of adventure seem to be more about how much they enjoyed just being there, the fishing was a bonus. That may be why so many of us enjoy the chat room here. Kinda like being there too.

So here it is; you can't read too much. You can't own too many books. You can't know too much. You only have to pick a new 'circle,' and start in again. Treat yourself; go out today and buy a book, it will make you feel good.~ Jc

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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