Fishing Mentors

The Ponderings of a Wandering Fly Fisher

by Rebecca on January 9, 2010

in Fly Fishing

The Mini Refresher:I know in my heart fly fishing is something I can learn in a lifetime. There’s a secret out there, a code I know nothing about–yet. Someday I’ll get to the point when I can slice a line through the air as quietly and involuntary as the act of breathing. Someday I will perform art on the riverbanks…….Someday, I will call myself a fly fisherman.” (first time I ever went fly fishing)

The Question:  “How different do you think you are now from the person you described then? Are you performing art yet?” asked in the comments by Clif  who writes the blog LunkerHunt

The Answer: Code…..the secret, that elusive feeling I wanted so badly all those years ago has indeed settled comfortably into my way of life. What I didn’t realize back then was that fly fishing and all it’s possible meanings is about individual definition rather than a general consensus.

I may be a member of the ‘club’ now, but my reasons, my observations, my levels of accompliment are seperate from the whole. It took time, but I eventually understood that I was writing my own code, creating my own secrets.

I spent the first few years of my learning phase safely tucked in my Fly Fishing Mentors creel. Through him, I learned the basic lessons, the little details that have become my second nature on the water. The days of casting with a precursery prayer of hope or the exclamation of thankfulness at the end of a successful cast was replaced with that involuntary action I coveted the first time.

At this point in my life, I will say~ I catch fish, I don’t struggle with casting or presentation. I can match the hatches adequetely, read water and all the subtitles it offers. I may even know a thing or two about fish. I have no doubt there is much more to learn….

As for how ‘good’ of a fly fisherman I am, honestly, I have no idea. Now that I think about it, I guess the judgement of how good a fisherman is lands squarely in the net of other people to decide. I haven’t physically fished with anyone who knows more about fly fishing than me in years so I haven’t exactly gotten any feedback….The truth is, when the river that my Fly Fishing Mentor and I waded together split into seperate channels, I entered my years of solitary wandering and learning.

When I wrote that final paragraph about my first time, I was eager to be an accepted member of an illusionary club I had created in my mind. Today I look back and admit that in reality, I choose a fly fishing path that was centered around being alone without ever feeling lonely. All these years, the river has been my companion, my comfort and the fly fishing is the thread that bound me there.

Which brings me to current days and this website I’ve created. Essentially it’s the biggest change of fishing direction I’ve taken in the last several years. By starting this writing venture and reaching out to other fisherman, I’ve finally made the first steps in joining a sense of community, aka, the Club.  My goal this year, beyond being nicer to whitefish, is to enhance my fly fishing experiences by sharing them with others, both on the rivers and off. 

And finally, if there is one claim I’m willing to make, it’s this…. I do consider myself a fly fisherman now. 

Rebecca

Amendment: as pointed out by Austin of the blog, 365 flyfish, I will also be entering the beginning stages (again) of fly tying this year. I have vise, feathers and I’m totally afraid to use them…….

(the tone of this entry is the viable risk one takes when self reflecting the personal evolution of their fly fishing. It can quickly vear down the drain of sentimental navel gazing)

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Fishing Mentors: My Dad Inspired Me

by Rebecca on October 26, 2009

in Fly Fishing

~ Mini Rebecca, Fishing addict in Training~

~ Mini Rebecca, Fishing addict in Training~

There are two people I can credit with mentoring my fishing evolution.

Today’s entry is about my first mentor. I credit my own Father with introducing me to the Great Outdoors and specifically, fishing. He christened me when I was a 6 week old baby with a Mepps Treble hook to the forehead and I consider that moment… natural selection. If we observe destiny throughout all the ages, a good fable starts with a meaningful baby scar.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fishing, ever. My earliest memories are all about camping and fishing. Fishing and camping. I’m sure my family did things during the week like work, school, housework and regular life, but my memories are stuffed full of the best parts, our weekends away. We spent almost every weekend away….

I didn’t start fly fishing until my mid-twenties, so back then life was all about drifting a smelly salmon egg down a river current or tossing my favorite fish slayer, the Mepps #2 spinner, across lakes, rivers and the occasional dredge pond. Much to my Fathers dismay, I had a huge (read serious irrational phobia) to worms, so although I wasn’t fly fishing yet, I was already leaning heavily on a dependency of artificial lures.

It was my Dad who showed me how to read a river as a book full of hints and clues. He showed me that a deep calm hole wasn’t the only place to discover fish and that little ripples and behind certain rocks held some of the best fish. He taught me patience and demonstrated the tenacity needed for a day when the fish were being difficult. He also made fishing fun by offering all the kids a quarter for the first fish, the biggest fish etc….thus sending all of us little ones out onto the waters, competition style, with a quest to WIN.

Dad and I, S. F. of the Boise River

~Dad and I Flyfishing~

What I didn’t realize back then (and to type ‘back then’ puts the cringe in the truth of getting old enough to type ‘back then’) is that my Father was giving me a huge gift by including me in everything that he loved. He could have easily left me home while he went off fishing and hunting to enjoy some alone time, away from wife and kids– guy time–but instead he always asked if I wanted to come…and I always did.

Turn about is fair play and I’m happy to say a time came in my life when I had morphed from a fishing gal into a fly fishing gal and I was able to show my Mentor Father how to do something new. Fly fishing.

To my Dad, to all the Dads who pass on alone guy time to take their little ones fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, anything….. Thank you for showing the little ones the beauty of the outdoors. It really is a priceless gift that can last a lifetime.

Rebecca

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