He’s been cussing and swearing this time for about twenty minutes. I wonder to myself if he is some kind of masochistic fly fishing fanatic. He turns in a huff, stomps back to a rock, and sits down as I land another fish. He’s using words now that sailors save for bad days at sea.
This scenario repeats itself three times in an hour and each time he yells louder, tosses stuff on the ground and I’ve heard him from across the river say,” why me, why does this crap happen to me” many times. He doesn’t look like anybody I want to hang around with, so I just mind my own business.
After the fifth time, When you watch someone doing it wrong, because way back when, when I didn’t know any better, well, I thought I’d offer some advice.
At first he appeared miffed or like how dare you, like he knew what he was doing, and then after he looked around, I could tell he was less embarrassed as no one else was watching, so he said “sure, how do I fix this”.
I waded across the river, took his rod and leaned it against one rather odd shaped cedar tree. Then I shadow cast over the water, retrieved my line and said “now you try that with my fly rod”. This time, he was genuinely surprised. He exhaled and smiled in the same moment.
He grinned and said that’s quite a difference. So I stripped off everything he had woven, tied, knotted, or threaded on the end of his fly line and tied him clean to the new spawn fly I had hand tied that very morning on the end of his crisp new set up. Then I took my rod back.
I said “now give it a go with yours”. Before he was foaming the water, now, instead of whipping a froth on the surface, he was fly casting, spooking less salmon, and a half hour later he actually caught one.
He then waves to me and wades the river in my direction, shook my hand and said thanks. Told me he wished someone would have shown him that a long time ago.
I said any fly fishing store could have put it together for you, Set you up correctly, he said he would have been too embarrassed to ask. He thought he would just figure it out on his own and the harder he tried, the worse it got and the madder he became. I said there just fish, it’s supposed to be fun.
We talked for a while he seemed like a nice enough kinda guy when he wasn’t mad, so I asked if he wanted to fish one day next week. The trout whisperer