I am away for a few days vacation at sea. Well, on the beach. In our backyard is a waterway system that leads to the sea. I knew this coming, and so I decided to bring my fly tying vice, and some feathers, and thread, and other really feminine stuff along, if it wasn’t for the fact I was tying with it. It is quite odd, what you tie with. Pretty much go into joanne fabric or Michaels crafts, and the same thing a women might use to decorate with, somehow that, and a hook, and some fancy ways to tie it, you get a perfect looking fly. I am not making this up.
I have been learning to tie a few flies for trout in Colorado. But this is new. Saltwater. My friend, Timm, helped me grab the pieces I needed for before I left. And so, yesterday, I tied a few pieces of dyed buckskin, beads, thread, and I made a skinny clouser minnow. It is fun to throw out something you tied on your own. In looking at the fly, I actually am thinking I could use my wifes blonde hair to tie one as well. I can’t think of a more sexist or less racy feminist thought than catching a fish with your wife’s hair. But, I don’t believe that is at the heart of it. Gosh, I hope not.
So there I was in the backyard, on this beautiful water system going up and down the area casting. I was feeling quite proud. Confident. And like I really had a clue at things. Other men, construction workers looking on from the condo next to us. Kinda displaying the talent. Casting a bit further. Showing off.
So, a few yards down an old lady comes out. Intrigued as well. Wow. What are you fishing for?
Hmm… in trying to turn the question to my gifts, I somehow just responded, this is a clouser minnow. Proudly knowing it was me that tied it. Oh no. What are you fishing for, she said again.
Oh, yeah know. Pause. Um. Well, I actually don’t know.
It kinda threw out all the wind from under me. I am trying to catch something. I just haven’t a clue what. And then as I kept casting, it made me realize, how do I know this is the right fly? Or the right area of water? And then it made me wonder if that is why I am even out here. Yeah. I want a fish. But I think I am having as much fun, tying something, practicing my casting, and enjoying it. Maybe something in the grace of it, and the experience of doing it on my own. Trying at least.
There is more to go. I need a guide. I am looking into that. I know now, I cant do this on my own. But there is some beauty that I am in part, picking up the rhythms of fishing. Of casting. And tying. Now, I just need a guide. As that older lady mentioned, to help me know what I am fishing for. But what I should have said was, “its much more than just a fish.”