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Ronan's report

Thursday 9th April, 2009

Fishing is different things to different people... to me it's about learning...

If I'm not learning... well, I'm, not happy!

I can remember large amounts of school were a bit like that, but my teachers pointed out that I should try to learn more in class and less behind the bike sheds.

Anyway... back to fishing... and learning... It's why, after 30 years as a dedicated freshwater angler I focussed so much on salt. I realised it was an entire new field where apart from knowing a few knots and how to cast I had to start all over... most of my freshwater knowledge didn't count for much and it was a real adventure for the first couple of years. It still is five years later...

I didn't have a boat at first so I'd load up my trusty old Pajero 4X4 and “escape” my guiding duties by disappearing onto the Coromandel for a week at a time... I had a blast and learned a lot fast.

I had a big head start though... When I first got into SWF I had the company I consulted for bring Morsie to NZ to conduct some SWF clinics so for nearly three weeks we fished, he held clinics and we fished... it was the best heads up to SWF anyone starting out here could have wished for...

Then I got my boat and another dimension was added... My enthusiasm for guiding was waning, I think mainly because the main lodge I guided for now had become “company” owned instead of a sole owner and the changes for an employee were pretty noticeable. To start all over free lance I just didn't have in me so with apologies to Jed Clampett I “Loaded up the truck and moved to Athenree”... I'm now a Saltwater Hillbilly who still likes to play in the fresh somewhat... but it's still all about learning.

A novice can become an extremely competent fly fisherman in, I believe, 3 seasons... to a point where they'll even start to believe they are the second coming of Lefty Kreh... but, I recall an old saying Norman Marsh used to use... “There are three stages of an angler... the first when they know nothing, the second when they know everything and the third when they're not sure what they know”.

I have been rummaging around the third for some time now... it's delightful.

So if you're at stage one, take heart knowing you'll never learn it all... if you think you know it all take heart that there is a whole extra dimension you haven't reached yet, and if you're at the third... revel in it... it is for many the “special” thing about fly-fishing....


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