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Choose Your Own Perfection


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Ronan's report

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Last Sunday Will hit us with a great FP in which he shared some thoughts about perfection in fly fishing. His FP inspired me to share some of my own thoughts on the topic

In Will's own words,

"Is that what we fish for/live for? Those fleeting moments - sparking states of grace that flash and disappear almost as soon as you're aware of them. "

For me, the moment of perfection, the sweet release, the fist pump, or the feeling of elation is what I need to remind me that it's really the process of angling, and becoming the best angler that I can be, that I enjoy the most. I guess that without some sort of journey, thought, process, and maybe even some hardship and failure, reaching that "summit" Will talks about isn't quite as "perfect" for me. It's hard to fully understand and enjoy landing a great fish, making a great distance cast, or anything else, without perspective to inform the feeling of greatness.

I think that a mistake that many of us make, myself included, is to use other anglers' perspectives and experiences as a measure against which we judge the quality or "perfection" of our own fishing. It's quite easy to get frustrated that way. The internet is full of hero shots of bigger fish, deeper snow, less crowded water, and longer casts than I will ever catch, ski, fish, or make.

So, I think to really be happy in a fly fishing life each angler needs to define their own version of perfection based on where they come from, and what they have experienced in the past.

And defining your own version of perfection has a brilliant and perhaps unintended side effect or result.

By defining your own perfection as an angler based on your own past experience and journey through the fishing life, I don’t think there is ever a need to fear reaching perfection and then having nothing else to do or achieve in fishing. Perfection just might be the best possible thing that you can do, fish, cast, or feel based on your own experiences up until that very moment. Tomorrow, or even seconds after you release that perfect fish, make that perfect cast, or photograph that perfect sunset over the flats, the definition of perfection will have changed. Who knows what it will change to, but I generally know it when I find it again.

Take Care and Fish On,

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