"Grinnin' like a mule eatin' saw briars."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's in a name?

I'm not saying I'm the best, or even close, but it's nice to be regarded as a go-to in local fly fishing circles when someone wants to know the local conditions, how to catch a particular fish, what to use, what method to employ, or what's best to avoid. And it's reassuring, to say the least, when your peers roll their eyes when they hear your name, or that you've been catching when they have not. Yes, it's all nice. But there's more to what makes me me than, "Hey, Griz, where you been fishing?"

In their most elegant form, fly fisherman are all, no matter the hard-haggard years on the stream, a novice. Learning constantly what makes the day, what breaks the day, and no matter how much they think they know, they're only right about half of the time. The other half they lie about. And it's just that attitude that drives me bananas. We all know several fisherman that spend two months pay on gear, stand in one spot, and go home telling tall tales of wit and whimsy. In essence, they talk the talk. My papaw, whose old Abercrombie & Fitch cane rod caught more mountain trout than a Winston boron could dream of, said it takes all kinds. And it does. But this isn't a treatise on bad fisherman, or good. Let me get to the meat.

I do more than fish. I like movies, TV shows, ginseng hunting, falling asleep in a hunting blind, hiking in the snow, eating cold pizza, dining out at fancy restaurants (that's a challenge and a drive from the hills), reminiscing over old baseball cards, watching my friends kids play, being lazy, and being an auctioneer. Basically, all I'm saying boils down to this: I'm not a competitive fisherman, I don't trump anyone, and I sure don't care where your honey hole is, what you think you can do, how many pictures you take of your trophies, etc. I just want to fish in peace. No photos, no people, no sharing & caring. Just me, my rod, and a sack of beef jerky. What you do and enjoy, that's great! Keep it up. But don't bore me with continually asking me "how's the fishing?" Now, that doesn't mean that when I'm sitting around with you I won't talk fishing, I will. And I'll love it. I just don't want that to be the crux of our relationship, if we're friends.

By the way, fishing is a bit slow right now, but if I were to be on the water I'd use large nymphs or streamers in the morning. By midday I'd switch to large yellow/orange dries, or an Adams. Stay warm, as water temps have dipped to the mid 50s.

Keep it rural,


Deer Passion said...

I love that you're more than fishing... Deer hunting is my passion but sometimes I feel like the only one not trying to make it big, or be on some random pro-staff. Especially in the world of social media, everyone is trying to sell something - mostly themselves. It's refreshing to to know that there's others out there who love the outdoors simply for the love of the outdoors, and not the possiblity of money in their pockets.

James C. said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. I've no dreams of Pro Staff, having fans, being an industry leader, innovator, or whatever else. I like being someone people respect, but my God, I like more than fishing, too. I guess it is what it is, but for once I'd like to talk about more than fishing, even if on the rare occasion I do go fishing with someone else.