Sunday, August 31, 2008
I am an experienced angler, and teach casting, tying and fly fishing.
In May of 2008 I fished with Joe Solakian for Smallmouth Bass. Joe has been fly fishing for over 20 years. He schooled me. For some reason I couldn't do anything right that day. I couldn't mend line to save my life. My casting was terrible and hurried. Maybe it was being in a new boat or something, but man was it painful to watch myself blow it time after time, and have Joe show me how it was done. He literally grabbed the rod at one point and tossed a perfect cast, Popped the popper once, and immediately hooked a fish. Damn. In the split second eternity of recognition and reflection, I knew how it felt. I had done it to others too. Joe can cast with one arm tied behind his back and thread a fly through a two-inch gap in twigs. I have seen him do it, and have done it myself...just not that day.
Then a funny thing happened. I was fishing a week or two later, again for Smallmouth, when everything he had been after me to correct just happened. Getting schooled helped. I had been doing things the same way for years and catching fish, now I could look at my fishing with Joe's advise in my ear and make the needed changes. This only happens when you fish with Masters such as Joe or Rob. If you are a beginner, fishing with other beginners will do nothing but develop and encourage bad habits. Fishing with masters can be frustrating and leave you feeling pathetic, but boy do you learn something.
I have spent a lot of time on the water being schooled by my immediate fishing friends, and I can't wait for the next time, so I can continue to improve my skills.