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  1. #91

    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    I think you have to have some measure of mental toughness. I define it as being able to accept a tough situation, not give in and quit, and struggle forward toward a goal. There are other definitions but I think this one suits fly fishing at least for me. It's not the easy way to catch trout and to most bystanders it makes the least sense.

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  3. #92
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Several people used climbing as an possible example of mental toughness. I retired 14 years ago , after 28 years of hanging it out...a little worse for wear but still here. My last position was as a "gym master". my job was not just helping people learn to move, but learn mental toughness, from little kids to older students.
    Anytime we face a fear and work through it, we get mentally stronger. Some of you may have seen "Free Solo" a climbing documentary that's an example of where the bar is set for mental muscle. Picture Arnold Schwarzenegger's bicep (back in the day).
    At the end of my outside career I too soloed, just not at my limit, like Eric Honald. But the penalty for failure is the same if not as spectacular. So I can with some authority say that I know what mental toughness is, and that I apply the same mental toughness when fly fishing. The point is, no matter where you are in your personal development, it takes more than mere persistence to overcome your fears and succeed. I've met a bunch of folks who couldn't face their fear of failure to even try fly fishing. Those that actually have gotten off the couch, have lasted longer than many. That wasn't just persistence....you faced your fear. Do I think that just toddling down and tossing a dry takes a lot of muscle....? No, of course not, but it's a start. Fear of small fish is where I live.....I'm not a recreational fisher anymore. But I do remember it well......
    As an older guide I know more than the clients about danger, both real and imagined. I can see many accidents before they happen, but I have to be mentally tough to take people down the river in spite of what can go wrong. Drowning, heart attacks, falls, big rocks, etc.....
    I liked what "unknown" said...I feel the same, If you want to fish with me you have to be tough...BUT remember, the top gun guys didn't start there, it's about baby steps, and never stopping stepping. Yes a big part of life is persistence, at a point though, you have to get tough to get it done. Big water, solo wading, bad weather, big fish regularly.....takes more than just persistence. You have to have a fear, and conquer it. Finding a fear is easy, working through it has value, and the more fears you face the stronger you get.
    (I should share, I took up climbing because of a fear of heights.)
    We all have fears, some embrace them. To me, that's my working definition of mental toughness.


    Jim
    Last edited by Bigfly; 04-13-2019 at 06:59 PM.

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  5. #93
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by karstopo View Post
    No, the OP was surely looking to say fly fishing folks are the baddest, bad *sses that ever walked the earth. No doubt in anyone’s mind, that’s where he was going with his Original post. I’m glad all the true bad *sses have stepped up and set him straight. Keep patrolling the FFF all you tough guys and keeping it safe from any member that might be looking to steal your valor.
    Not cool buddy. Yes this thread turned into a bit of a debate. We do that here sometimes to entertain ourselves. If I offended anyone with my posts it was not my intent. I consider the OP a good forum friend. I know with some certainty he has the mental toughness to be disagreed with on the internet. If I am right about that, then it's water off a duck.

    EDIT: And I just saw your last post, I respect your opinion as always. No sarcasm there.

  6. #94
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Beautiful piece of work there, captured it very nicely.

    Don't think I could be a tournament guy or competitive angler on any tackle or species, not even a guide despite some great opportunities to learn and pursue both ideas throughout my fishing life. It would reduce what you speak of in the article to darn near nothing and require a rather narrow focus on achievement.

    It's a big experience for me and I like it as such. Ironically, having flyfishing (and all it encompasses) definitely provides a balance which allows me to have mental toughness in many other areas of life. Not sure why it works like that for me, but it does.

    I don't really even consider it a form of escape, more like an essential element for balance.

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  8. #95

    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Well, I have been aware of this ongoing thread but now is the fist time I've checked it out and have scanned my way through the whole thing. After 10 pages it is too late to alter the phrase, "mental toughness"...that would be too tough.

    I don't think it addresses the point of mental rigor in angling to compare it to military and first responder resolve and expertise where life and limb are on the line. Conversely, personally I do not see my fishing as a "hobby" or form of relaxation...maybe the whisky with ice from the cooler after fishing is relaxing but I don't drink while I fish.

    But this is serious; I perceive fly fishing as an abstraction of instinctive hunter/gatherer activity for survival. Yes, I'm fulfilling my role as skilled provider of food for my tribe but in the abstract because actually I don't eat the fish and take my credit card to the market for agriculturally produced provisions...I don't want to eat wild creatures, I want to enjoy their presence while out abstractly subsistence fishing. This is 2019 and the world has changed since these instincts evolved in us millions of years ago. But I still am in touch with them. Always have been and can not eradicate them from my being.

    I was telling my wife a story in the car driving into the City this morning. Its a long story but the relevant part goes like this. It was a bright, sunny day near the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula. Four of us where fishing for June salmon and staying in a funky rented camp on a beautiful pool. It was so bright my friends figured there would be little fishing till the light lowered latter so went to town for beer, butter, etc. I stayed in camp and ran a Green Highlander through the tail of Home Pool and a fish took. After a great few leaps it turned and ran down into the rapids from which it had likely only recently swum up. A considerably younger me following in hot pursuit. Having fins and with brushy banks and slick boulders it had a distinct advantage. My big old Hardy was screaming and my backing accelerating off the reel and I began to get out of breath. My heart was pounding, I was super excited. In a moment, Lee Wulff's advice came into my mind, "If you can't stop or turn your fish, give him some controlled slack and lower your rod". I did and immediately the fish stopped and lay in a current lee. I slowly waded down opposite him gently reeling in line as I waded and then put big side pressure on him and brought him to hand. It was the first salmon I ever hand tailed, I had only read about it.

    When my friends came back to camp they found me napping in the shade with a bright 12 pounder laying beside me. Filleted into hunks and sautéed in butter in a big cast iron skillet, that day I was honored as the great hunter providing sustenance for my tribe. More importantly, I learned that day the crucial benefit of being cool and calm in the moment of angling excitement. Is this "mental toughness", awareness, early signs of maturity or simply the learning curve of a savvy predator (in the abstract)? All I know is being calm and focused during important moments in angling has over and over again yielded exciting outcomes.

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  10. #96

    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    It doesn't matter that's it's 2019. A lot of us haven't lost the urge to kill our own food.

    The rest go to the market and let others do it for them.

  11. #97
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Hey guys. I was actually looking forward to responding here this morning until I saw the news of the Notre Dame cathedral burning. The catastrophic loss to Catholics, the art world, the world of architecture, human history, culture and civilization, has saddened me more than I expected, so I'm going to post this instead.

    First of all, I'm gratified that some people felt the need to defend me, or more likely my OP; thanks guys.

    However, everyone should know that I can't be injured or incensed by what's written on any forum; I never have been and I never will be drawn into an emotional fight/confrontation on the interwebs. That would be stupid on my part. But it was nice to see, so thanks.

    Second, as I stated in my OP, this was a mental exercise I brought over from another site, nothing more.

    So there really isn't, as far as I'm concerned, a right or wrong answer, or answers. I was just curious what the forum might think as individuals.

    In other words, this is a game.

    Now if you decide as an individual that your response is to cast derision on the hypothetical, that's a valid response. It's not terribly interesting, but it's as valid as any other response in this thread.

    For what it's worth, I find the wide variety of answers almost more interesting than the answers themselves.

    We are all fly fishers; we have that in common, though we come from all over the world, from a myriad of backgrounds, age groups, and geographical locations. Our responses and how we choose to respond, to this subject, reflect that diversity which I find intriguing, I guess.

    Anyway, I hope there's no ill feelings being invested here, as that was never my intention. I just wanted to post a question that was different and interesting. And truly I've found all of your responses interesting so far, regardless of how you seemed to feel about the original question.

    That's about all I have for today.

    Peace be with all of you and yours, especially on this tragic day.

    Richard Kim, "Ranger"
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  13. #98

    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by lacivic99 View Post
    A soldier that carrier out their mission despite adverse conditions shows mental toughness.
    A mountaineer that ascends a mountain despite adverse conditions and extreme fatigue is exhibiting mental toughness.
    An athlete that wakes up early and goes to practice and lifts weights and eats right is showing mental toughness.

    Am I right?
    Is there no way that mental toughness factors into fly fishing?
    One of my roomates was one of the best mountain climbers ever. He was the first American to climb both Everest and K2, the first and second highest mountains. He climbed Everest without oxygen several times. He was the first mountaineer to ever climb K2 without oxygen. Plus he was a genius neurobiologist,

    Here is my post.

    Tragedy brings back a Haunting Memory
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  15. #99
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by rangerrich99 View Post

    Richard Kim, "Ranger"
    I have wondered for years if that is where your forum handle came from Richard. A few of the best soldiers I ever served with were Army Rangers. Not just any Ranger though. They were sent home for very minor errors the first time, and had the mental toughness to try it a second time knowing full well what kind of hell they were getting themselves into again. Soldiers occasionally die in Ranger school because they have to push it beyond the edge for the good of the country. Much respect Rich.

  16. #100
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    Default Re: Mental Toughness as a Requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by ia_trouter View Post
    I have wondered for years if that is where your forum handle came from Richard. A few of the best soldiers I ever served with were Army Rangers. Not just any Ranger though. They were sent home for very minor errors the first time, and had the mental toughness to try it a second time knowing full well what kind of hell they were getting themselves into again. Soldiers occasionally die in Ranger school because they have to push it beyond the edge for the good of the country. Much respect Rich.
    Oh, I wasn't an Army Ranger.

    My handle on this forum comes from high school football. I played some free safety, and my best friend played strong. He was "Danger," and I was "Ranger," because of my tendency to anticipate the play and leave my assigned area. I "ranged" around the field. Dave often had to come in and clean up the play if I guessed wrong. Coach let me keep doing it because I was right more than I was wrong.

    We still keep in touch, and he's still "Danger," and I'm still "Ranger."

    When I first started visiting forums, I had to decide what my handle was going to be, and not being very creative about those things, I chose my old high school nickname.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    P.S. You're right about Rangers. I've got a friend that was an Airborne Ranger; solid guy, and just about the toughest guy I've ever met.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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