Relax, Read the Water and Believe

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My buddy Dan Flynn knows all about keeping “the want” in check for success. Photo Louis Cahill

Sometimes, wanting too much can get you in trouble on the water.

If you set your goals too high and lose sight of the real reason you’re out there in the first place (to be blessed with  catching a few fish and relaxing), before you know it, you’ll find yourself standing in a river feeling lost and heart broken. It’s not that wanting is bad, it’s just that too much of it, like most things in life, can be detrimental. Want has the ability to turn into greed very quickly if you aren’t careful. And fly fishing with greed on the mind is the quickest way to doom yourself to failure. Greed fogs your mind, keeps you from thinking rationally on the water and your fishing, in turn, suffers.

Success in fly fishing requires focus, constant reasoning, persistence, and foremost, patience. It requires the mind, body and soul to work together in harmony. Whenever you find yourself getting too worked up over your rod not getting bent, take a deep breath, and tell yourself, relax…, read the water…, and believe. Forget about the catching for a minute, and focus on the beauty and the art of what you’re doing with that fly rod in your hand. I’ve found that by doing this, my presentations and drifts improve, I fish much smarter and it’s only a matter of time until I find success.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Relax, Read the Water and Believe

  1. True words of wisdom. This sport rewards persistence and patience. I love the trial and error aspect to “solving the puzzle” of flyfishing. I try to force myself to switch techniques or flies to test whether the fish are specific to a method/fly or it is a matter of right place/right time. I also try to cherish those epic moments and understand those days that are not. Just my perspective.

  2. This article nails it. There are some days where finding a log to sit on next to the bank for 10-15 minutes can be more healing to the soul than 100 casts.

  3. Good stuff. Dan is such a great guy, so sharing of his time and expertise. And he’s a great steward of the sport and the environment. We went out twice recently, and had a magical “dark thirty” top water finish which we should have known we couldn’t possibly match the next evening. I accused the fish of worshipping over some false idol but I was wrong. We were so blessed to be in a beautiful place surrounded by God’s glory and love, and we didn’t get skunked. Hallelujah!

  4. Well put. I must confess that I’ve found myself in the “must catch a fish” mode on too many occasions and have to consciously pull myself back away from the moment to find a new perspective on just what it is I’m doing out there. Thanks for the reminder.

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