If I had a dollar for every time that phrase was mentioned when I was growing up, I would probably be a millionaire by now. But how true this phrase is.
For 2014 my new years resolution was to pick up the fly rod more and get more practice in. Well practice might not be making me perfect, in fact I am a long way off that but it has definitely helped me improve.
For a couple of hours, 2 days a week you will see me, as some would describe “trout fishing” Lake Illawarra. Ha, ha gee that still makes me laugh. Why does the general public associate fly with trout, it is a persona that will hopefully dwindle as more and more people become aware of the saltwater possibilities as well.
I am not actually on the Lake to catch fish – well that would be a great bonus if I did, but to practice my casting in all the possible elements mother nature can throw at me. It is great to practice on a nice grassy paddock with no water tension, no weed, perhaps a spot that is sheltered from the wind, nothing to hit behind you and no frenzied fish feeding right in front of you. It is so different being subjected to all the different elements that I feel like I am improving with each week being tested in all different areas.
Don’t get me wrong I still have some shocking days where people must look at me and say that crazy women is talking to herself. I curse myself if I do a terrible cast, if I don’t wait for the loop before snapping forward, for being too wristy etc; I am starting to identify a lot of my own faults. There are still areas I need help with. I will take and learn from the help wherever I can but I also think you have to find what you are comfortable with that is going to maximize your cast. It might not be correct by any standards but every body is different and you just have to find the right fit.
I surprised myself the other week, when I went to strip and the line tightened, I straight away went into self doubt – is this a fish or have I let the fly sink too long? With the next strip this fish took off. I am sure across the lake you could hear me shriek. I had no one else but myself to share this with. It was such a thrilling moment. One second being in the serenity of correcting my own casting and next minute “fish on”. I had ended up catching a mullet. To say I was chuffed is an understatement particularly when I am going down to practice not expecting to catch a thing. I tried to man handle the fly rod, the fish and pull the phone out of my pocket so I could share this experience with the world. Apparently mullet are a hard species to tick off the bucket list.
What makes me more dedicated to learn fly-casting is that I was born with two left feet – yes I have no rhythm, which makes fly fishing for me an even harder skill to conquer. So I will keep heading to the water to keep practicing and although I won’t be perfect, I will at least improve enough so I have a better chance of catching fish.
Practice makes perfect.