Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Patience, Young Grasshoppa.

Two years ago, I tied my first plastic crawdad onto an offset shank and, armed with my newly acquired internet knowledge, I tried to catch Largemouth Bass on spinning gear. And I succeeded… but not until the following season. For some reason I had to patiently wait until the following fishing season to see any success.

Patience is funny that way. As my family and I sit around our Scriptures and talk about what patience is, I am struck by how often it applies. Sometimes jobs don't come through right away, or pay is less than expected, or technology fails, and the inevitable “D” word jumps right to the front of our minds as we struggle.

No, not that “D” word. I mean "delay." (I don't recommend swearing.)

The point is, sometimes we create our own delays or come up against them naturally. Patience is the art of expecting that delay and knowing that there is a greater reward in waiting.

Just like I tried and failed one year, I waited patiently for the next opportunity to try plastics, and I succeeded. Then I was successful with any plastic. Things worked out.

This year, I haven't caught a carp or catfish yet on my fly rod, despite new flies and multiple, multiple attempts. I've actually found myself withdrawing from attempts more lately because of it.

But, as I think about it, I should expect this delay, and wait until things fall into place. Because they will.

And when they do, they'll bend the snot out of my rod. Just gotta be patient!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

All in Order and First Things First

(Picture from

The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing states that a successful fly cast is broken up into four different parts, namely:
  1. Pickup
  2. Back Cast
  3. Foreward Cast
  4. Presentation
Ever read Quitter by John Acuff? Dave Ramsey recommends this book over and over again on his popular radio show. It's for those who struggle with day jobs and continue to dream.

John Acuff points out that some people like to think their lives are a series of buckets. That they can live a "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" lifestyle in one corner of their lives, and then flip a switch and accomplish their dreams on the weekend.

This is obviously bogus. Back to fly fishing: you can't put too little power on the back cast, then throw a perfect forward cast and expect everything to turn out just right. Your rhythm is wrong.

When each part of the cast is pursued with discipline and practice, one feels calm and focused. Time seems to stop, and patience increases. You catch more fish, or you are just as satisfied if you don't. You enjoy the weather. Things seem quiet. It really does something to you.

Project Healing Waters is one of my favorite examples to cite when referring to this "something". When a veteran, blown apart halfway around the world by other men, can come to grips with life one pickup, one back cast, one forward cast and one presentation at a time - in that order - healing happens. To quote a young veteran in this video, His respect for nature increases, and his trauma seems to run out of him like the water he's standing in.

My point is, there is freedom in the groove, perfection in the practice. Want to heal your wounds? Want to chase your dream? Want to cast better?

All things in order, my friend, and put first things first.