So as a fly fisherman who is married, has two daughters and a full time programming job it is tough sometimes to get on the water as much as I would like. Of course I would like to be on the water daily but I also really like all of those things I mentioned above. So finding that balance is something us anglers struggle with on a day to day basis.
Balance and/or give up sleep. That is what I have been doing lately.
I decided that if I wanted to fish, keep my job, be a decent dad and husband then I needed to give up sleeping. I have been waking up around 5:15 a couple of times a week so that I can get out on the water. Today started off perfect, hopped out of bed with the intentions of fishing my new Allen rod and reel to review for the site. Got on the water by 5:45am and I was off to the races… right? Wrong!
I am used to my 3wt 7’6″ rod on my tiny local creek and so this 5wt 9′ rod was causing me all sorts of issues. Not the rod’s fault of course just mine. I am 6’6″ so add 9 more feet onto that and you need a lot of room to work. So that is how my day started off, in the trees around trees and hacking down the trees to get to flies.
When I make these trips in the mornings I always feel a bit rushed. Sure it is good to get on the water for 2 hours but I can’t kick the feeling that I am going to be late for work. So most everything I do I do with a little more urgency than usual. A little more urgency in fly fishing generally leads to bad things. The fly slapping the water, you casting into the trees or bushes, etc etc.
So I keep hearing my Dad in the back of my head telling me “Slow down you’re in a hurry”. I don’t know if he came up with the phrase or not and frankly it was one of those things that when I was 13 I would just go “Pfft whatever Dad that doesn’t make sense”. Well… it makes a ton of sense now in my mid 30s. You see if you just stop and relax, odds are you will accomplish whatever you are trying to do faster than if you try to rush and say… cast into a tree or fall in the water and hurt your knee.
Well it was one of those mornings for sure. I caught a handful of decent size fish but as the clock ticked down and I needed to head towards work I had a “one last cast” mentality going for about ohh 20 min. On the actual last cast I was aiming towards a hole that was across some very swift water. There are not many places that are to deep for me to wade in this creek so I didn’t think this was one either. I made a nice cast… nothing. ”Ok just one more cast”, I said. Somehow I managed to just hit the last 18th of an inch of this branch and my fly fell off of my leader and into the hole. A perfect cast, that is if my line was still attached to it. So I say to myself “That’s a two dollar fly!! Get it!” and jump hip deep into the swift water and try to get across. Hip deep became belly button deep which became nipple deep (remember: I am 6’6″). I then said to myself, “Jesus… it is ONLY a two dollar fly!”. Funny how perspective can change in less than 2 feet. On my tippy toes I make it across only to trip on a rock and fall about 2-3 feet from my fly. As I realize I am not going to get washed down stream my focus turns back to the fly only to watch the largest fish I have seen all morning gobble it up.
Maybe had I heard my Dad a little louder this morning I would have taken the long way to the fly, or realized it wasn’t that important at all… at least maybe I wouldn’t have fallen… but sometimes it goes like that. A bad day on the water is better than any day at the desk, and other various cliche angling phrases that get thrown around over a beer or three.
Today though for me, it was walking into the office soaking wet. When a co-worker asked me why I was so wet, I said “I went fishing this morning” with a giant smile on my face and walked off.
Side note: The fishing in Colorado has been pretty good considering normally this time of year you couldn’t even get near the water due to the run off, but since the entire state is on fire and there is no water to be found we get to fish in June like it is the middle of October. Makes me worried about what the middle of October will look like.