Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 11 - Flies

I'm pretty sure that within the next year I will have another day called flies. Yet, I couldn't get this topic out of my mind today. It should be called fly selection, because that was really what I was dwelling on.

In my fly vest I have four fly boxes that I carry. I'd really only like to carry one, maybe two, but nonetheless I carry four. I have box that I carry that has streamers and large pattern flies. I have a box full of dry flies. A box of nymphs. And a favorite box of both nymphs & flies. I guess I could eliminate the dry fly box and the nymph box, but I'm afraid to. I have patterns in those boxes that might work if my favorites don't work. Therefore, I keep the boxes.

Now comes the hard part. When I come to the stream, I have to choose between all those boxes and pick a singular fly (if I can ever accomplish the Euro-Nymphing style I'll choose more) to start my day with. I have a weird habit of believing that the first fly you choose will set the mood for the day. If I pick a fly and that doesn't perform, then I'm off the entire day. But, if I can pick a fly that gets munched on in the first couple of casts... gonna be a good day! Now I haven't really put this theory to the test, call it more a gut instinct.

So, I'm at the stream and I've got four fly boxes full of flies to choose from. Which one to choose? Now I know what the books say: pick some rocks up and look what's on the bottom, or pick a fly from the hatch charts, or use a colorful fly on overcast days... Still I usually end up staring at the fly box for a few minutes. During this time I choose a fly, then I think again. Do I use my old standby fly? or should I use this new fly I bought/tied because I heard good news on it. Invariably, I start with the latter. Maybe it's because I want to be ahead of any new curve. It could be that I have the grass is greener complex.

The grass is greener complex is the idea that no matter what fly you are using, there is always a better fly for the situation. As such, I always think that I'm not using the right fly. I don't think about how I'm presenting the fly, which I should be doing, but whether the fly is the right fly. Now I was fishing with a gentleman earlier this year, and he yelled at me for not catching a fish. His retort when I said I didn't know what fly to use was, "Hell, the fish only has the brain of a pea! It shouldn't matter."

Cognitively, I know this. But, my gut believes something else. And maybe that's why I'm not as successful on the streams as I believe I should be. I wonder if this second guessing plays itself out in other arenas of my life.

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