Monday, January 10, 2011
A new perspective!
The new year often coincides with new things, or for that matter, new beginnings. Not that last year wasn't good or that I really needed to start something new, but sometimes a new perspective is needed. And that is precisely what I wanted to do - gain a new perspective!
Last year provided a glimpse into that world. My oldest son, who I have taken with me on many fishing trips, finally began to understand how to dead drift a nymph. Not only did he finally grasp the concept, but he began to excel in every aspect of this type of fishing. This technique was something that I had wanted him to learn for a while, and at times it was tough for him to fully understand and execute. Of course we would spend time at other places where the fishing was easy, and all he had to do was get the fly in the water to catch fish. But I knew that if he wanted to go on trips with Dad in the future, and be successful, he would have to work on getting this technique down. I can now say without hesitation, that he has finally figured it out! And I was very happy to be a witness to his success last year when he managed to catch trout after trout in a tough local trout stream. In fact - on one particular day, he managed to land a beautiful 14" inch wild brown trout all by himself.
His success did not happen over night. It took years of work, patience, persistence, and a great deal of understanding on my part. I learned that he needed to work on learning much of the nymphing technique all by himself, which meant that I had to put my desire to jump in there to help him aside. And I must admit this was at times very hard to do. But throughout this process I gained a new perspective....letting him see the world of fly fishing through his eyes and not mine!
Yesterday I took another step forward in my attempt to broaden that perspective and set up a few fly tying vises at the kitchen table. Yes...I was going to have two kids at a time trying to tie flies. And once things got underway I began to think "what did I get myself into?" Kids were reaching into boxes grabbing feathers, dubbing and boxes of hooks. I was jumping between each kid as they took turns asking questions, trying to stay on top of things so that they wouldn't get frustrated with the process. I tried to teach my oldest the technique of palmering hackle, but that backfired as I was busy trying to stop my other son from opening a box of size #18 nymph hooks all over the table. I felt like calling it a success after each child got to tie one fly, but I knew that wouldn't be good enough, so we all stuck it out. The kids eventually settled down and tied many flies together, some with Dads help, and some without. It was great to see each of them play with all the different materials and come up with their own designs. And I must say that I was very surprised to see how well my 6 year old daughter handled the bobbin, the materials, and how to apply them. I think she may have the best handle on this whole fly tying thing out of all the kids. And I can honestly say that I look forward to the next Bradfield family fly tying event....even though I know it will be a bit crazy!!!