Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Humble pie

I don't like pie.  Especially humble pie.  But even as my life marches on, and I have ample opportunity to eat said delicacy, I haven't acquired a taste for it yet.  

With the "off" season for Wisconsin inland trout fishing in full swing now, I spent some time cleaning up my fly tying station.  A little re-arranging here, organizing there, and general preparedness for the upcoming winter was just what the doctor ordered last weekend.


With the lab in good shape, and a hearty Bloody Mary in hand, I settled in for some good old fashioned "MacLoosh" time at the vise.  What quickly became apparent was that I am sorely out of practice.  I had figured that I would start off with a nice simple pattern that I have tied more times than I care to admit.  A bead head pheasant tail.

It was, in a word: clunky.  I can't quite figure out what wasn't clicking correctly, but I have never had to work so hard to come up with truly un-refined flies in my life.  That muscle memory that I was planning on utilizing, had flown the coop.  Is it possible that fly tying is a use it or lose it skill?  Had I already lost it?  I was starting to wonder.


I suffered through a few mediocre PT's, then promptly said "to hell with it" and switched to an activity that I am REALLY good at: drinking.  We all have our innate talents and alcohol consumption is among mine.  And,Yes...that's right...I can work up one hell of a good Bloody Mary in a time of need...

Fast forward to tonight, when my son asked me to go to the basement with him for some "guy time".  I was all in.  I had visions of the two of us having a farting contest and talking smack while I tied flies.  But as soon as I hit the basement and took a long look at my last effort (still sitting in the vise), I said "well, what do you want to do?".  I was hoping for an answer that was ANYTHING other than tie flies.  I just didn't have it in me tonight.

His answer was to do origami with him. (He has been VERY into origami lately)

Sure, I said.  No small amount of relief in my voice.  Teach me something simple.  In a flash he had the computer fired up and was Googling "Simple origami".  We mutually agreed on a flower pattern neither of us have ever done, figuring we would give the fruits of our labors to Mrs. MacLoosh.  (With the obvious unsaid ulterior motive in the back of both of our minds...already counting the brownie points we could score with a few folds of paper...)

After nearly an hour of suffering through vague online instructions and multiple pieces of paper, my son noticed that I was starting to unravel.  Like a true diplomat, he put his own flower down to help me.  I was floored at his ability to work through the problems that I had created with errant and sloppy folds.  I was also floored at my own inability to follow simple directions.

So as he corrected my paper flower as much as he could, I wondered if I shouldn't have just sucked it up and gone straight to the lab for some fly tying while he did origami.  I might have fared better, that's for damn sure.

What I now know for certain is that the next time I am having a hard time getting into the swing of tying flies, I am sure as hell not going to turn to origami as a back up plan.

Oh, and those brownie points we were supposed to earn?

Yeah...still working on those...

Yours in humility,

-M

1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining Mark! Can't wait to read more!

    ReplyDelete