Back in the middle of May we had a
really nice thing happen. We don't usually give many
private casting lessons and I am not sure how this one
came about. I do know we got an email asking if we would
help out because this person had fly fished many years
ago in Alaska and wanted to learn fresh water fly fishing.
We have a nice park with a pond near us and we agreed
we would do it.
We met on a pleasant afternoon, right after lunch,
introduced ourselves, carried a few rods and reels
from the parking lot to a bench beside the pond.
Ducks, most with very tiny babies in tow, were
paddling about, interspersed with a couple dozen
Canada geese. The occasional take-offs and landings
only added to the specialness of the day. Besides
I have a thing about baby ducks.
In response to one of Castwell's usual questions, "Why
do you want to learn fly-fishing?" The reply was, "I
really want to. My dad used to take me fishing and
I did some fly-fishing back then, but I have the time
now and have made up my mind. I can afford it. I got
divorced about three years ago and I need to catch up.
My kids are older now, and I deserve some time for what
I want to do. That's why I want the lessons. I need to
make up for lost time."
Well, that certainly satisfied us and we taught her
how to string up a six weight rod. I handed it to
her and the teaching got underway. It was gratifying
to teach someone who was such a great student. Trust
me, folks have the ability to learn at a different
rate than others. She was really following instructions
and learning fast. This is rare and a delight when found.
I guess we spent three hours there, the lady judge,
Castwell and I. She learned the basics, knew when she
had made a mistake and a pretty good idea how to correct
it. She was not used to casting of course and we made
sure we did not 'burn out' her casting arm. She had a
fine afternoon. She 'made up for lost time.'
Sure, she has a long way to go, but now she at least
knows where the trail is. What impressed me was her
attitude. Not a common one. Forgive me, not a common
one for a gal. Women may have many reasons to learn
fly fishing. Nothing wrong with them either, but those
reasons do not always compel them to absorb the game
as quickly. Attitude and a real desire to understand
fly fishing are necessary to get the job done.
We each seek that which works for us in life and that
goes for our recreation as well. Fly fishing is not
just another way to catch fish. It is a manner of living,
a way of life, a creed. Fortunate are those who have
found it; rare are those who recognize it.
To our student, the judge, we hope you spend a summer
or two following the dots on the old map your dad gave
you. Remember the secret is in the journey.
To those few who have found fly fishing and recognize
it for the impostor it is, enjoy, and try to let a few
others in on it. It only gets better. ~ LadyFisher
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