Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What You Don't Plan For, Won't Happen.

"It's 20 degrees" Larry said, sipping milked-coffee as he looked at the truck's electronic temperature reading. A statement of craziness, right there. 20 degrees, and going fishing. Sure thing. We were each bundled, yet also admitted to not wearing long-john’s. Perhaps this is a fisherman’s forced harbinger for a warm day. What you don’t plan for, won’t happen, right? Or something like that. Or, something completely to the opposite.

I came to find myself sitting in a large white truck –reminiscent of Iowa days -- driving south through Trumbull on a Monday morning, upon a fishing invitation from Larry Snyder, of Fly Fishing Crazy. Now, fishing invitations are sort of like paddle-balls -- most times, the ball doesn’t get very far. Work, geography, time -- Life, just gets in the way, and instead of living it, often times if feels as if it is living you, using you, just because it needs another tap on the board. But Larry is a prompt sort of fellow who has learned that if you don’t do something today, you might not get a tomorrow (or else, he is a horrible paddle-ball player, always breaking the string) --he had emailed me a smattering of dates within days – and we both made life get out of the way, if for only about 10 hours.

Thanks Larry, for a thoroughly enjoyable day!
The day did warm-up, unlike those in mid-January when the high is at 6 a.m. and falls from there, and before 10:00 we were heading back to the truck to take off fleece jackets, and stocking hats, and fingerless rag-wool gloves before heading back to the lakes to continue telling stories while casting to Donaldson Steelhead who jumped in the air like dolphins off the coast. But then came late-afternoon winds moving in a front for the next day’s storm – readying, like unpacking the flannel sheets.  

So, we called it. Moved out of preparation’s way. And returning to the truck to pack down, we both noticed how differently our rods were rigged -- yet throughout the day, both of us were catching fish. Larry opened his fly box to put away his Thingamajig and Buckskin Nymph, and I opened mine, catching a ferruled leech and soft-hackle spider as I nipped them off and they fell. “It’s really all in how much confidence you have in your fly,” Larry said.

Right? Right.

You know how it goes -- you have your fly, your go-to, the one you feel most comfortable with and know always catches you fish -- and then someone asks “what’re they bitin’ on?” You tell them, and show them the fly, and they pick one out of their box (or something nearing close-to) to give it a go. But perhaps when they try it, the fish aren’t biting. The fly gets blamed. Logically then, they switch back to their fly, about which someone in the near future will them ask about. And the same thing will happen again, in reverse. We all have our fly -- the one we’ve designed, or like to tie, or caught our first fish on; and so, as Ted Leeson wrote, these flies are fished better and more often, increasing our confidence in them, “and so on in the thoroughly ordinary type of cycle where causes and effects slip in and out of one another.” What makes the fly work? The design, or the amount of faith with which it’s cast out.

Or is it, in the end, just one of those things in that ordinary cycle, slipping in and out of understanding and place.   

27 comments:

  1. faith 90% of the time. the other 10 is when i don't have my reading glasses.

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  2. I'm blind as a bat, Marc...I hear you on the glasses.

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  3. Erin, the destination is always great, but thank you for the company, conversation, sharing of some of your life's stories and listening to my rambling on the drive down and back. Just like that go-to fly, so are the fishermen you enjoy spending time with. I have added you to my fisherman box and hope to pull you out and fish with you again... soon and often. :-)
    Folks... for those who haven't had the pleasure of fishing with Erin, be prepared for the possibility of being out fished by someone who has only been fly fishing for about 6 months. Just like that new fly that you have to put in your box, if she says to you, "let's go fishing some time", add her to your fisherman box! She is a joy to spend time with. Thank you Erin!
    Tight Lines--------<*))))><

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  4. Larry, aka Fly Fishing Crazy - It was a pleasure to spend the day fishing with you...and happy to be added to your box, so to speak. ;)

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  5. Awesome bit of Reese's goodness! I like that mantra, "What you don't prepare for, won't happen." That is a perfect example of complete optimism.

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  6. OneBug - Glad I could bring a tad bit of sweetness to a Wednesday. Optimism I don't have, which is why I need a mantra. ;)

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  7. Is it just chance, just luck? Or do you believe in miracles? I'm a miracle man. --Signs

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  8. Anonymous - "I could have been kissing her when she threw up. It would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered." Yeah, I'm a miracle man.

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  9. Glad you found a way to lengthen the string on that paddle ball of yours...

    you got me thinking about what flies I have confidence in...still thinking...

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  10. Great post...I love the title and for me that one blurb pretty much says it all. If I had a dime for every instance where a friend said he'd love to go fishing but just didn't have the time I'd be on a river somewhere right now instead of sitting here at work. Things usually don't just happen , they take a little "planning".

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  11. Hello Erin, I was just thinking of not going fishing tomorrow to a water I had in my mind for a while. But after reading your post, I changed my mind, I’m going, no matter what, thanks to you.

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  12. Sanders - Yeah, although I was never any good at sports involving balls, bats, or team efforts. ;) I don't know that I've found my "one" yet...but I do find myself fishing a few more than others. It's in development. :)

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  13. HighPlains - Right? Too much talk...not enough fishing. :)

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  14. Lonesome Piker - Well hello...and oh how your comment made me smile! I cannot wait to see how tomorrow turns out! :-)

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  15. Hmm fishing in 20degree weather. I'm dreading fishing in possibly 40 degree weather this weekend. It's either that or pan for gold. Sheeeeuute, I might do both.

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  16. Kev - Panning and fishing....simultaneously...? Sounds fun! :)

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  17. It's never the design, it's always the confidence.

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  18. I guess the first gold rush was around NC before it was in CA.

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  19. Brk Trt - Indeed...I'm learning that!

    Kevin - That does make sense I suppose. ;)

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  20. It's fun to see two people you really like, hit it off so well. The only thing that was missing was me! Unfortunately I let those daily tasks dictate my schedule and I broke my rubber band on my paddle ball.

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  21. Cofisher - Broke the rubber band and didn't even get to fish? Demand your money back or something. ;) If you want to get out before spring...give a hoot.

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  22. "What you don't plan for won't happen." So true, so true.

    What you don't plan for will happen. Yup. Also very true.

    Let's talk Erin.

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  23. Confidence, the finest bait of all.

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  24. Mr. P - Yes, the 'either-wayness' of the phrase is indeed vexing. And we should talk...will you be in Colorado any time soon? Unfortunately, my travel budget is nil...

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  25. Dave - Indeed...and in more than just catching fish too, I've been told, eh?

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  26. I have a handfull of the go-to flies. You always seem to fish them in the right seems. ...and to Larry, Erin is a veteran with a rookie ruse and one hell of a fishing buddy.

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  27. backcountryfishnerd - You know, I really admire your fly selection and refusal to over-do it. I give myself too many options, and that is often only a pacifier for doubt. Oh yes, and we need to go fishing again soon. :)

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