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Ronan's report

Sunday August 1st, 2010

One of the many truly wonderful things about this sport of fly fishing is that it's a cradle to grave pastime, another is that it has a really rich history of constant innovation. Although the bulk of the refinements might seem relatively insignificant, over time the sport keeps re-inventing and refining its details. But apart from the fishing and the friendships what I like best of all is that there's a general lack of secrecy around fly fishing. Through many sources we get to hear about the latest and greatest subtle tweaks and developments in the sport. We've all benefitted from ground that was ploughed by generations of fly fishermen who came before us, and who so willingly shared their knowledge. But second hand knowledge, enthusiasm and the very best tackle are not enough. Experience is king in this game.

Contrary to what so many seem to think this is not a sport that relies on strength, it's more like a game where rat cunning and the wisdom of the years gets you further than brute force and the testosterone of youth. It's a game where age is a plus, where the experience and accumulated knowledge from countless hours of doing are of far greater asset than enthusiasm and luck. Yep, there's a couple of things we "older guys" can't do as well as we used to, like climb fences or wade deep swift pools, but that's not a crime. We learn to find the gates to get past the fences. We become smarter and better casters than we were, consequently we don't need to wade those deep swift pools, and we learn the value of a wading staff and the shoulder of a friend. We learn to find the ambush points and wait for the bonefish to come to us. We learn to take more care with the important details, not the superfluous ones, and we learn that landing big fish is almost ALL about technique, not muscle. You also learn things like the ride down the back of the boat on the way to and from the fishing grounds is always much better than the ride anywhere else in the boat - and you come to appreciate that fly fishing will always be great country for older men, we just have to fish a little smarter and make all the days count a little more. And don't step aside for anyone, they'll have to bury me for that to happen.

I like Billy Connolly's advise for those turning 50.
Never miss the opportunity to take a piss.
Never trust a fart.
And never waste an erection.
Any others from the over 50 Loopers?


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