Ryan’s Field Notes #24 – Learning Lessons from Fly Tying

posted in: Ryan's Field Notes | 0

Howdy gang.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.
Here in the McGehee household we were very thankful for this Christmas season.
It was a good week with lots of smiles, laughter and good visits.

I’m sure most of us are looking forward (cautiously) to a new year.
To say 2020 was an interesting year is a major understatement.

Today I am going to explore some philosophies I gleaned from fly fishermen.

The other day I tackled a project that entailed taking some images of flies and the tools of tying flies used in fishing.
It got me thinking today about some of the lessons one can learn from this art.

As I contemplated the lessons learned over the years “Anticipation” was one of the first things I considered.
Without some sort of anticipation of a victory, no matter how small, there is little desire to tackle a new project or skill.
In fly fishing the anticipation of catching a fish on a well placed fly is the initial thing that attracts one to this craft.

Once one has this vision/anticipation of using this art to catch a fish, then one must learn the skills to accomplish this goal. In the process of learning the craft preparation becomes necessary. Putting together the items needed; fly rod, fly reel, fly line, flies, waders, is just the beginning. Then there is the understanding how to utilize these items and the preparation of figuring out where and when to go.

Watching an experienced fly fisherman cast his line and read the water, having his fly touch down right where he wants it, makes one realize the level of practice that goes into this art. The first time a person picks up a fly rod and tries to cast it you quickly understand that this isn’t something that just happens with no effort or practice.

In fly fishing patience must be learned, not every cast is a win. Sometimes there isn’t a win even after a full day of fishing. You must on those days enjoy the process, having the opportunity is a reward unto itself.

Then there are those moments when the fly fisherman must spring into action at an unexpected moment, to set the hook and begin the delicate process of landing the catch. Knowing how much pressure to apply, when to make what moves, greatly increases his chances of catching the highly anticipated catch. The right action at the right time, is a skill learned through experience.

If the fisherman is successful in his catch I considered how he relishes the win, looking at his catch he is elated. The hard work and planning paid off. He basks in the moment and soaks it in. The love of the art grows a little more in the success.

I considered a lot the fly fishermen who also tie their own flies. Adding this craft to the process I reflected on the many fly fishermen I know who over the winter months use this down time to reflect on the previous season. To prepare for the coming one.
The hands are not idle as they tie up a new batch of flies and continually try to perfect the patterns they tie to fool the cautious fish.
They know the little things matter and great care goes into creating the perfect fly. The little details they consider.
Reflecting on the previous fishing trips he considers ways to improve, things he saw and learned. What worked and what didn’t.

Finishing tying a fly the anticipation that this is the one to catch the big one starts the whole process over again.

Be like the fly fisherman as you go into the new year.
Anticipate your successes
Prepare for them
Learn the skills necessary to increase your chances
Spring into action at the right time, always be ready for it.
Constantly be improving
Relish the wins
Have patience knowing the opportunity is it’s own reward
Use your down time productively
The little details matter
Reflection – it does more good than you know.

2021 Calendars available here.

I appreciate you hanging out with me again today.
Myself and my family hope you have a wonderful and happy New Year.
See you next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *