Don’t burn yourself out; plan, coordinate, and circle dates on the calendar. The enthusiastic fishermen has a desire to hit the water on most any day, regardless of the number of fish he or she might land. But are the burning of resources worth it on those days when you know the fish aren’t going to bite? Sometimes just being in nature is enough to balance the scales of catching fish and a hard day, but this wasn’t one of those weeks. As a fairly amateur fly-fisherman I took the opportunity this week to tie various flies, learn new knots, and to coordinate how I will measure my learning during this independent project of mine.
Tying dry flies has always been difficult for me so I took time this week to become better at tying two distinct patterns; the elk-hair caddis and the red quill. I found the experience to be quite therapeutic and enjoyable. I’ve heard these are good patterns to try on trout streams in the fall and I hope they will help me land a brown or rainbow trout in a few weeks. I tied these flies in practice.
I also took time this week to practice tying two distinct knots; the becker-knot and the eugene-bend knot. The point in practicing tying knots while not on the stream is so that they are natural to tie when you are on the stream. These two knots are stronger than the standard improved-clinch knot and are advantageous because of that. I’ve had little experience in tying these knots and I want to gain a repertoire of knots to use in different situations. Just a standard piece of nylon rope and a diagram helped me to become proficient with these knots. I now feel like I can tie these quickly and efficiently while on the stream.
The thing that I loved about these four projects within my project is that it is not theoretical. There is little contemplation about tying flies and knots. It is basic trial and error, and only time and experience will make me better at executing them. Moving forward with this independent learning project I would like to be able to tie ten more different kinds of flies, and ten more different kinds of knots. I can measure my success on these flies and knots by putting them into practice on the stream. With this project I would like to be able to catch three different species of trout, and at least one trout over eighteen inches. I have managed to catch a few around fifteen inches, but the larger trout has alluded me. I am starting to love my project because it allows me to separate from textual knowledge and pursue, what I feel, is a purely practical trade.