Saturday, February 04, 2017

"Slow the F**k Down!"

Haven't written anything fresh here for awhile so pardon my rustiness and poorer than usual punctuation.
So you might be wondering about the title of this post? The original inspiration for the title goes back several years ago.
I was fishing one of my favorite runs on a small Oregon coastal river and struggling, as usual, with my Spey casting. I had obtained a really nice Thomas and Thomas Spey rod and could not seem to cast it worth a damn. No matter what I tried to cast this rod efficiently seemed to end with a mess. Every once in awhile I did boom out a nice cast but never seemed to be able to repeat it.
I noticed a blue raft coming down stream and I recognized the man on the oars as my Spey casting mentor Mike. Mike was/is a giant in the Pacific Northwest Spey casting world. Mike, in my opinion, is almost without peer when it comes to fly fishing for steelhead.
I say Mike is almost without peer solely because of his two Spey casting colleagues. These three Spey geniuses revolutionized the way we approach the use of the long rod in a way no others ever have.
Also Mike's wife is a WORLD CHAMPION SPEY CASTER along with being a most excellent steelhead,salmon and trout fly fishing guide.
Anyway there I am anxiously awaiting Mike's arrival into my pool. As always, I enjoy any and all time I can spend with Mike and today was no exception.
When Mike rowed up I knew he was going to comment on my casting or as he calls bad casting "River Pollution"
Shane! I have only four words for you today about your casting...."Slow the Fuck Down" and I immediately knew what he was talking about.
I was rushing my cast and not allowing my rod to word correctly to cast the line. Mike went on later to be my absolute Spey guru and whatever success I have with a Spey rod I owe it to him!
Mike's advice was taken to heart and I become a better caster because of Mike....Thanks pal.
When out on the river "slowing the fuck down" can mean more than just our casting prowess but also in taking the time or slowing down to observe what is happening around us.
Let me be blunt here. If you are fishing just to fill your freezer with salmon fillets and not taking in where you are and what you are doing then you are kidding yourself. To you the river is just a means to an end. The river could have high rise apartments right to the water's edge and you wouldn't notice or care. You just want "meat"
Have you ever slowed down to observe the world along the river? The ever busy water ouzel trying to make a living along the shore line or shallows of the river. The river always has a lot to reveal if you slow down and look.
It's a nice thing to catch a fish because after all isn't that the root reason for being here? If you feel like you are a failure because you aren't bringing home a fish every trip then wouldn't it be cheaper to just go to the docks in Garibaldi or Astoria and buy your catch right from the commercial fishermen?
Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song called "FeelingGroovy" and one line especially speaks to all that I am trying to say here....slow down down you move too fast.You've got to make the morning last.
Enjoy all that is around you. Take the time to enjoy what the outdoors has to offer and if you happen to catch a fish then so much the better.