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Old 12-31-2008, 12:55 PM
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Default The Newest Craze to Lower Your Handicap... Go Fishing!

Before I chose the path of impoverished grad student, I played a fair amount of golf. My introduction to the game came around age 8, when my parents turned me loose on the local course with a shortened 5-iron and an old Titleist. My only instructions were to hit the ball and run after it while my mother and father played along.

After a few years I had improved enough to merit a set of used clubs for Christmas. It was one of the finest gifts I have ever received. However, it did open a sort of Pandora’s Box. Concurrent to my improvement on the course was the development of a hair-trigger adolescent temper. I was no stranger to the principal’s office during those years, and my antics only increased on the golf course. Swearing, club throwing, and general sulking were normal occurrences throughout the round. In fact, on more than one occasion, my mother pulled me off the course after a particularly colorful display. As I got older, I learned to keep the outbursts to myself, but my attitude had not changed. Whenever I played, I played angry.

Shortly thereafter, I began fly fishing and I learned something.

It happened when I first found myself alone on a stretch of river untangling my line for the second cast in a row. I yelled in disgust and frustration… my only answer was the constant rippling of the rapids and the wind in the trees. Later, when I snapped my line off front of a feeding fish, I looked for something to throw… but only my fragile fly rod was in my hands. And when I caught the one lone branch in my backcast for the third time in as many attempts, I looked to kick something to vent my anger… but the ancient pine stump in my sights would only result in my own injury.

I was stymied.

After a moment of utter confusion and anger, I did the only thing I could do: I took a deep breath, sat down, and retied. The inevitability of the situation had hit home.

It was a bitter pill to swallow. Myself notwithstanding, no one in the world cared if I had to retie on every single cast... No one. I just had to accept that and deal with the situation as it was. All the screaming and kicking in the world were going to do me no good. That fact in itself caused frustration; there was no one to hear me ***** about my misfortunes.

A lesson from my father ran through my head as I sat: “Do one thing at a time, do it well, and move on to the next thing.”

It’s funny how a father’s words of wisdom can lay dormant in our mind for years, only to be retrieved when we need them.

I started to understand… Understand why I was out there on the river in the first place, and it had much less to do with catching fish than I thought. But by understanding, and practicing patience, another thing happened: I started tangling less. I began to pick my spots on the river with more care to avoid snagging. If I nipped an obstruction in my backcast, I stopped the false cast and adjusted to a better position. Sometimes I just sat down and listened. I was learning patience.

On the trout stream, patience keeps your fly on the water longer and helps you catch more fish. It also teaches you to take in your surroundings and appreciate them. In life, patience keeps your eyes and ears open for opportunity as well as assisting in keeping one’s foot out of one’s mouth.

On the golf course…

Well, I’m working on that one... but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Happy New Year
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: The Newest Craze to Lower Your Handicap... Go Fishing!

Young Grasshopper,
"Your Days of lesser Wisdom are dimming, much like the Sun settles into the waiting Sea at the end of the day"

Great Post.

"I've never missed a Steelhead by waiting too long. It's true, but I've missed plenty trying to set the hook too quickly." Dec Hogan 'A Passion For Steelhead'

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Old 01-03-2009, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: The Newest Craze to Lower Your Handicap... Go Fishing!

When I worked at at heart transplant program in Portland, it seemed that we got quite a few serious heart attack patients from the golf courses. When I read of stories of men attacking each other with clubs and even guns during the course of play this prompted me to think of golf as an "extreme sport" before I'd even taken it on. I've previously never though of golf as high impact or even high risk until I got 'golf' elbow and a strained back last year. It seems maybe flyfishing is the only truly relaxing sport that I know. I don't think I dream of the golf course while on the water but I do dream of the water while I'm on the course.
Have a Great Year!
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: The Newest Craze to Lower Your Handicap... Go Fishing!

CLASSIC, I have experienced the same thing!!! Never quite as angry as you maybe but the patience is always improving and the frustration is becoming non existent. I have to go though this every day as I guide and watch others going through the same thing I have, which even speeds up the realization that "**** happens" especially with BONEFISH. In fact I am changing the name of bonefish, to murphyfish!&&($^&($^&(

The correlation of golf and fly fishing is a good one. If you break your wrist to soon on either sport your toast. Mentally they are similar also, it's just you against nature, no team, no one to blame but yourself. Love It.

Capt. Mike
Hawaii Fly Fishing- Best Fishing in the Islands
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