Fishing on Wednesday and Thursday I was once again reminded of the role that a fishing guide plays in the company of his or her clients. I have learned how to let situations develop over time that then place the ‘consequences of realisation’ squarely on the shoulders of the client! This is a patience game that must also be accompanied by what I consider to be quality contributing and supporting factors.
Of course a healthy local population of fish is a necessity.
I can recognise, appreciate and assess wonderful fishing environments very quickly. I can determine the support infrastructure that needs to be in place, and I can analyse the ‘environmental’ fishing influences to a tee. As a fishing guide my methods are often very slow and for me all of these important things need to be in place. They play the role of the foundations of any fishing experience, a skyline, a run of water, a sound of birds, and a place, where after it all, after your day, you can stop, rest and think a little perhaps in the company of friends, good food and a pint or two of Guinness!
On the water, once clients are safe, I advise and provide support, tackle, encouragement, I also tend to watch the speed of development and or progress of one or two important aspects of the fishing very intently. I do not rush this and at times a client may feel slightly disengaged, on the edge, challenged, but that’s where I want him or her to be, at least a little! Yes of course I can answer every question but I’m not always prepared to do so instantly. By steering the situation as a consequence the next step is very often discovered, realised by the person fishing.
That significance once grasped is far greater than anything I could have ever told or demonstrated to any client.
Sometimes a lot of small significances roll over and add up until the end, but the end is only ever where and when a client feels ultimately satisfied with the realisation of what he has achieved. Be it a cast, a presentation, a consistency, an understanding or a confidence. This can take a hell of a lot of time; it can also prove difficult and testing for both of us if patience or time are an issue.
The consequences of small achievements lead to the understanding of and the recognition of the next challenge. This is constantly in evidence when saltwater fly-fishing for bass and seatrout from the shore. Time is often of the essence.
I believe that because it is such a significant challenge, and at times it still feels daunting, the many many bits and pieces to the endgame are not like any other type of fishing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not superiority I’m talking about here, but too often the considerable input and achievements made along the way by any successful saltwater fly angler are often dismissed or forgotten, taken for granted even.
The path to the endgame, if there is one, can be short or long, anticipation for me is always one of the greatest feelings!
The long challenging personal investment in saltwater fly fishing is probably beyond measure on so many positive levels.