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. The days when you know you have a challenge on the water, but rise to the occasion and catch a few fish under difficult circumstances, can be even more satisfying than the big bag days. There’s a sense of achievement that you produced the goods when the odds were stacked against you. Always go to the water with a degree of confidence, but with an element of humility, because no matter how good we think we are, we all get humbled some days.

    • Very true.Reminds me of last Thursday when I was fishing the Blue river tailwater through Silverthore CO. The Blue is like the Taylor river’s bratty little brother. From ultra clear water to big fish who seem to melt into the river bottom, It is a hard river. I was having a rather tough day spotting/ presenting to fish, and decided to take 30 minuets to sit back and re-group. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly capable of catching these fish, but it was a tricky day. During that time I happened to spot a fish rising to midges. I ended up catching that fish, and it turned my day around. Sometimes all it takes is seeing one fish and then you know what to look for or where to look. Needles to say the day culminated with a gorgeous 18 inch bow.

      • You had one shot to turn the day with that one rising fish. Not as easy as it sounds. The pressure was on. That’s a result. Carpe diem!

  2. So much truth… thanks for this reminder. That sense of over-eagerness and the desperate hope of capitalizing on the opportunity works against me so often.

  3. Great article Kent! And an excellent comment from Rob…it’s the “figuring it out” each day your on the water that I find most rewarding.

    • Exactly, particularly “figuring it out” when the going gets tough. When it’s clearly a difficult day, I ring the changes and try to figure it all out and it maybe comes together to achieve a modest result, but nevertheless a satisfying result under the circumstances. We can even learn from blanking, but that’s usually in the thought processes after the fishing itself and what differences we may apply the next time. Tight lines!

  4. Great article. This is so true. Whenever I get too focused on numbers I lose sight of the “why,” my fishing suffers and it’s really no fun. Again, great post!

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