Readers Cast


Warren Patterson - Feb 27, 2012

Yes, I can see a connection! The connection is not in the equipment being used, but, in the personalities that I have observed in both sports.

Many years ago, over 30 years in fact, I used to be employed at a large resort on a lake in the state of Ohio. The resort had 104 rooms with a view of the lake from all rooms, an indoor 55,000 gallon pool, an outdoor 50,000 gallon pool, a sauna, a whirlpool, a ski lodge with snow making equipment, a lighted 9-hole golf course which allowed you to golf until 11pm, a professional 18-hole golf course and 13 fully furnished cottages that would sleep 10. Needless to say, I worked in maintenance and was kept pretty busy keeping all the equipment up and running. One of the perks working there was that, as a fulltime employee, I was permitted to use the golf courses or ski lodge at no charge as long as there was not a special function going on using them. After work, one of the other maintenance employees and I would "hit nine holes" before going home and since we never took the game serious, we always enjoyed our time on the golf course.

My wife has always accused me of being too observant and I have observed that there are a lot of things between golfing and fly fishing that are the same. For instance:

  1. You do not need to own golfing equipment to try golfing. Most golf courses have a clubhouse where you can rent golf clubs and a cart if you want or need them. You can rent fly fishing gear and a boat if you need them from the local fly shop.
  2. If you do not want to rent equipment, you can purchase a set of golf clubs at your local pawn shop or discount store at pretty reasonable prices to start out on to see if golfing is something you want to get serious about. You can purchase fly fishing gear at the same places at reasonable prices.
  3. Once you have your inexpensive equipment, you can go to the golf course and wait until all those other golfers have teed off and you are pretty much by yourself before you give it a try. That way you will not look like the "beginner" that you really are and save the embarrassment. The same thing happens at the river access places. I am sure you all have observed this type of fly fisherman.
  4. Once you have tried golfing and decide that you do enjoy it, you now want to improve on your score and have decided that you need to invest a lot more money into better name brand equipment because that must be how all the other golfers improved their scores. A better set of golf clubs will improve your score because all the golfing magazines tell you that their equipment will improve your score. Do you see the connection here with new fly fishers?  All the fly fishing magazines ads tell them that if they would purchase their equipment they will see an improvement in their casting and "catch" rate.

I think you get the connection by now with the equipment being used and now we will see if we can make the connection with the personalities of the two sports. So that this writing does not become a book, I will just "jot" down the personalities that I have observed in golfing and fly fishing that I feel are the same or connected and you see if you have observed the same personalities while you were fly fishing or golfing.

  1. The first personality I have observed in both sports is the "beginner" and they are easy to spot. We really need to try and assist them in any way we can and the rewards for us are great.
  2. The next personality I have observed in both sports is the "loner" who is always by themselves by choice and usually not very talkative. They are enjoying the sport and the surroundings and just do not want to socialize with others. This may be because of their jobs. This "alone" time is needed for them to keep their sanity. They are usually pretty good golfers or fly fishermen but are of no help to "beginners". What a shame because they have a wealth of information that would benefit "beginners".
  3. The next personality I have observed is the group made up of 2 or more and they are just out to have a good time and nothing more. They may even be consuming a little alcohol to get their spirits going. They laugh a lot and joke with each other and pretty much are having a good time whether they are catching or not. They will pretty much stay in their group and not socialize much with other people enjoying the sport.  They are of no help to the "beginner" either.
  4. The next personality I have observed is the person that is in a group, but, does not really "fit in" with the others. The group is usually made up of people who all work for the same company. This person has purchased all the "right" equipment that his peers have purchased and are really just tagging along because they are hoping that the leader of the group will notice them and maybe help them climb the ladder of success at their job place. This person is usually not very good at the sport, but, that is not important to them. They are just trying to be at the right place at the right time and be noticed by the right person. They are of no value to the beginner either. They may be more benefit to equipment companies because when you look at them they are "walking billboards" for the equipment companies.
  5. The next personality is the person who seems to know all there is to know about the sport and is either by themselves or assisting others or guiding and being paid for their services. This person is usually not someone you want to be around because they can be a little "snobbish" in their behavior. This behavior will change if you offer money and then they will provide you with assistance and they are more fun to be around. They can be of a lot of help to "beginners" if the "beginner" can afford them. They are not all this way but a lot are which spoils the image for the rest. I have met some that are fantastic with sharing what they know and they are a joy to be around.
  6. Another personality I have observed is the person who is by themselves and well above the age of 60 and has probably been retired for a few years. They go about the sport slower than the rest but, as you watch them, you know that they know what they are doing. They don't go around others and try to offer assistance. They just stay to themselves and you can see that they are really enjoying their time. These are the ones that I will sit and watch and try to learn from them by watching how they go about the sport. I will not impose upon them and their time. If they acknowledge you observing them and smile and speak to you, they are usually someone you can spend a lot of time with and learn a lot from. It is this type of personality that the "beginner" can learn a lot from if they will just listen and apply what they are told. Don't be demanding. Just be a good listener. Sometimes it helps, while talking to this type, if you forget what all the latest books have been telling you. This person will usually have a lot more "time on the water" than the person who wrote the book. This is the type of person I strive to be because I strongly feel I will be of more help to the "beginner" which is more rewarding to me as a person in this sport.

Well, I will stop now and let you all absorb what I have written and see if you feel there is a connection between golfing and fly fishing. I think there is.

Warren Patterson – Tullahoma, TN.

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