I assume most reading here are quite like me in that you love fishing, it’s the number one reason you’re in this but for some strange reason picking up a rod and casting away on water, looking silly in the park or even worse looking silly indoors in a sports hall, just satisfies you and makes you happy.
It’s absolutely bizarre. It’s like asking a golfer if they enjoy swinging the club around in the garden or a tennis player waving their racket around with neither balls nor opposition. How many times have you been asked if you’ve caught anything whilst waving a 9’ rod and a bright orange line around in a public park? Personally, I’ve lost count. But I don’t care – there’s something in it that captures my attention and imagination.
I mentioned last week that I’m absolutely mesmerized by loops. Watching different shapes, different speeds, the magical of it unrolling, the loop morph on certain casts, it’s just graceful. But there’s more to it than the loop. It’s progress.
Progress in seeing an extra foot on a cast after hard weeks of practice, progress on being able to put a delicate mend around a cone, progress in being able to replicate the same loop after loop after loop without thinking about it. Come of think about it, it is progress and an endless drive to get better that drives most of my enjoyment in fly fishing and casting. It’s the reason I don’t stop after I’ve caught one fish, it’s the reason I pull on a wooly hat and waterproof and head out in the middle of winter to cast on a frozen football pitch. The continual drive to improve is a journey of learning, practice, some more learning from the practice, practice again and before you know it you’ve identified a perpetual cycle that drives you forward.
Right now it’s trying to get my casting back to where it was and when that point is achieved it’ll be to push that further. The key to progress is not making goals which you may achieve in 5 years time but rather having that as a guiding aim and having small goals that help you get there one inch at a time. My goals right now are sitting in tracking, smoooooooth casting and haul timing. Once these are at the level I’m looking for the goals will evolve. My overarching aims involve the World Championships but there are hundreds of little steps to achieve on the way there.
What is it that leads you out to the field? Have you ever stopped to think why you do it?