Carol Northcut | Wednesday, 26 October 2022

We have the best neighbor. Bill came down to help Steve cut up a 24”+ diameter dead tree we had taken down. We had to ask (pay) for help from a tree service to take it down, but it was up to us to buck it. Bill came over with his bigger chain saw and tractor to help Steve buck up the largest rounds and take them to the splitting/stacking area. Thank goodness for Bill’s tractor or I’d have been making 36 trips with our little cart. At 70, and having survived a triple bypass and carotid artery cleaning, Bill is an example of the vegan life and with a generous heart made of gold. He is able to lift the 50-60# rounds without breaking a sweat. That all got me to thinking of … fly rods, of course!

The right tool for the right job. You wouldn’t think of using a 9 ft. 7 wt. rod on a small stream, nor would you think of using a 7-1/2 ft. 3 wt. fiberglass rod fishing for steelhead.  As a beginner, though, you might not know the difference. So why do fly shops often tell beginners that a 9 ft. 5 wt. rod is an “all-around rod.” I suppose it’s true for the angler who doesn’t fish for anything bigger than trout with dries or nymphs. Even so, there are so many flex patterns in 5 wt. rods. We should probably call the 5 wt. the first fix in an addiction that can cost you multiple thousands of dollars, causing marital disputes, and ending up alone (at least on the water).  Anglers Anonymous.

As for asking for help, well, that’s another topic that came to mind as Bill was driving the tractor around.  We were fortunate that he offered to help, and we were happy to accept his assistance and friendship. But why do we, in our society, find it so difficult to ask for help? We really see it in fly casting. Do we not want to bother the other person? Are we afraid of being seen as a “pest” or a “taker?” Or are we afraid of being seen as not good enough? As lacking proficiency? That someone will confirm our deficits? Or is it that once we are shown are deficits we will be obligated to work on them? We are so afraid of being seen in those lights that we stumble and struggle, trying to fix things ourselves by watching videos. We’ll seek answers on YouTube before asking a real, live expert. Granted, YouTube is fantastic for things like replacing the fuse on a microwave (a recent experience), but not so good with personal athletic skills. We need a trained eye for that. Or maybe the reason is that if we spend money on fly casting lessons we won’t be able to buy a new fly rod. Ah ha. I think I’m onto something there.

Short article. I’m off to work out my casting shoulder with a paint roller.