It's what steelheading has given me so far this season.
Or, more accurately, what I've taken away from it. From what I understand, everything you get from this pursuit is earned.
Reflection has been ever-present in my fly fishing experiences. Without it, I'm not sure I would have been able to develop any reasonable level of skill, much less write about it.
Since starting this blog, I've maintained a religious steelheading schedule.
If it seems that I've nothing to show for it, so be it.
It's part of being a beginner.
I recently came to grips with that on a particularly windy day. Presented with a strong on-shoulder breeze, I had no choice but to cast cackhanded. That didn't worry me at first--my cacks had been pretty consistent--but for some reason, everything was falling apart and I couldn't figure out why. To make matters worse, fish began surfacing in the fading light.
"Not much time left," I thought to myself.
Consumed, I continued to flog the water in futility.
Disgusted with myself, I gave up...and thought about my first days with a single hander...
When I started fly fishing, I couldn't do anything right. Cast, tie, find the fish, you name it--I was incompetent.
Through observation and study, I began to shed some of my inadequacies, identifying my bad habits and rethinking my approach.
"Why should this be any different?" I asked myself, attempting to cool my frustration.
It shouldn't. You have to start somewhere.
Now, with a spey rod in hand, it's simply time to do it all over again...