You buy your portfolio every morning

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Dan Frasier

In the old days I ran a hedge fund.

That’s right. Half a billion dollars doing whatever I told it. Big trades, big profits (and losses) and big pressure. I learned a lot from a decade in that role that has helped me on the stream. (I know, it sounds like a stretch… but it’s true!) One of the prevalent sayings in Investment Management is “You buy your portfolio every morning.” What it means is, the decision to do nothing, to keep the investments you made yesterday, is still an active decision. It’s CHOOSING to go into the battle of that day with your current positions, rather than something else.
The truth in this idea hit me harder than ever on Sunday on a carp flat. I waded out of thigh-deep sand bottomed water to find maybe 150 carp cruising and feeding. They were working 12 to 18 inches of water over super soft mud-bottomed lake and eating like mad. I was so jacked up you could see the end of my 8wt vibrating in my trembling hands.

The fly I had on was too heavy for that shallow water.

It was designed to get down with accuracy to fish at three feet deep. Remember… I was coming out of thigh-deep water. But I was stoked and the fish were there and they’re just stupid carp and I can be gentle and what if the wind picks up while I’m changing flies and maybe it would start to rain and what if they saw me and spooked before I got a cast… You get the picture. So I went into battle with the fly I had on because not changing didn’t feel like choosing that fly. It felt like NOT choosing another. After 10 minutes of frustration and many spooked fish and errant casts I finally made the active decision to change to the fly I knew would work. And I proceeded to catch 17 fish.

Every time you start your false cast you are choosing the fly you have on your line; buying your portfolio. Stop, think about what you would tie on if you had nothing but an empty tippet, and then do that. It’ll make you more productive but, more importantly, it’ll eliminate that feeling of “What if I’d done what I KNEW was right?

Dan Frasier
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “You buy your portfolio every morning

  1. Good one Dan, I like it. Although, I believe flyfishers can sometimes waste time changing flies when they should just focus on presenting the fly they have to other fish and cover more water. But I guess this applies more in a stream fishing situation, and not so much when targeting a pod of feeding fish.

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