Saturday, May 12, 2012

Shut up. I'm fishing here.

A few months ago, I took a bunch of classes on fly fishing.
Casting from Molly and John. Two completely different techniques. Both very accomplished (and award winning) fly fisher people. A few other classes on reading the water, where to go, and what flies to use. All of the classes were informative, and I wanted to apply everything everyone taught me.

Then I got a kidney infection. I didn't feel like going out fishing, so I stayed home and watched videos on how to fish. A whole bunch of different things that 99% of the readers won't care about.

Finally feeling better, I wanted to apply all of my new knowledge, so I went fishing.

It was horrible. NO FUN AT ALL. So many voices in my head telling me how to cast, what to do, keep your elbow in, move your elbow up and down, don't move your elbow, keep your wrist straight, flick your wrist, 10 and 2, but not always...

After about an hour, I gave up, put the fly rod away and sat on the shore of the river. I didn't know WHY it wasn't fun. For a moment, I actually believed it was because I wasn't catching fish, and then  I thought about the moment I fell in love with fly fishing:

Fish on! (At my favorite fishing spot.)
A little hole. We drove two hours on a dirt road to get there. We were the only ones on the whole lake (if you could call it a lake). It was crystal clear. I could see every fish. I could see the natural bugs. I watched how they responded to each other, and how they responded to my fly. It wasn't about catching fish, it was about just BEing. (Although catching fish that day was fun too.) I loved everything about that day, and THAT day, I wasn't concerned about how to fish, or that I caught fish, or anything else.

I tried again. This time, I left all of the things I had learned from all of the classes I had taken on the shore. I told them all to "Shut up! I'm fishing here!" and started casting.

It was fun. AND, my fishing technique grew by leaps and bounds in the next hour or so.
(For anyone who cares, I can now do a double-haul cast. Not very useful on small streams, but very useful on reservoirs or when it's windy.)

Once again, I am reminded that it is VERY helpful to listen to others, to learn from them, to seek out wisdom of those who have done what I want to do, and it is also incredibly important to find my own way. Take in their feedback, and decide what works for ME.

It turns out that stuff I learned in therapy, ALSO works in fly fishing. 

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