April 17th, 2006

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Hurry Up and Relax
First Outing of the Year
By Keith Swanson (swen)

It was on a Monday during the seven-minute walk from the car to the office when it hit me, hit me hard, "The family will be gone Wednesday night from 6:00pm until around 8:30pm. Almost two and a half hours to myself, two months worth of free time all in one night, I can go casting." (To go fishing implies the presence of or chance to catch fish, being a natural producer of Viking Fish Repellant, I don't go fishing.) Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday were spent trying not to plan the outing. Not thinking about which rod to use, not thinking about which body of water to hit. Not thinking about which fly to use, and so on. Yes I said trying not to plan, for if I plan an outing to the water, it will not happen.

After not planning which lake to try first and not choosing which rod to use, (the new 3 weight I built of course) it all falls apart. Wednesday at 3:00pm the wife calls me at work to inform me that I had to take daughter #1 from piano lesson to the church at 6:30. Ok, that still leaves me just less then two hours to cast. At 4:00 pm she calls again, "they need some help with the kids can you stick around, you should be done by 7:00." That, of course, was not a question.

When I left at 7:40 I was down to less than an hour to cast. That is when I made mistake #1. I got into a hurry. I hurried to a lake where I could cast from the swimming area, since nobody would be there swimming, and hurried to get the rod rigged up. When I finally started casting I felt discombobulated, all out of synch, even worse than usual. I shouldn't call what I normally do casting, but this was even uglier. That was when I noticed mistake #2. I had assembled the reel backwards. (This was a direct result of mistake #1). I decided to take the time to break everything down and start again, thinking this would calm me down. It would have worked too if it weren't for the adrenaline rush I got from the fish I spooked eight feet away from me when I knelt down, no he didn't spook when I was waving the rod or tripping over the sticks on the shore but when I knelt down to correct mistake #2. From the amount of water that was moved, I'm pretty sure this was no six-inch bluegill.

After assembling everything for a second time I begin to 'cast' again, this time it feels a little better but still not right. I decide to just work on getting some line out. After a few minutes I am into a rhythm, not a good or correct one but a rhythm none-the-less. I then notice some surface activity back towards the car and decide to investigate, slowly casting and walking my way over. When I get to where the activity was it stops, and I do too. I decide to just watch for a while as it's now getting dark. Nothing happens for a couple of minutes so I decide it's time to go. I kneel down to tie my shoe when I spook another fish just ten feet from me. This guy moved even more water than the first one did.

Not a very exciting outing but I did learn a couple of lessons. First is "haste makes waste," I was in a rush to relax. "I ONLY HAVE AN HOUR TO FISH NOW GET OUT OF MY WAY AND LET ME RELAX. I'M HERE TO LISTEN TO THE WATER" My 'casting' was off because I was so tense and in a hurry to relax that I wasn't doing things properly, increasing my tension and a nasty cycle was entered.

Second, I must have loud knees to spook fish when my 'casting' doesn't.

Hope your first trip was better. ~ (swen)

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