Reflections: I’m Not A Patient Man
I’ve never been a very “patient” man and it has been to my detriment. I have always been a striver, a type A personality. I think it comes from my upbringing. A first-born son, a star athlete needing scholarship money to get into college, a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and a Captain for a major airline, all my life I have had to make quick decisions. The definition of patience is the ability to wait calmly; the capacity to accept delay without getting angry. Because of where I have been in my life, my patience, unfortunately, is usually limited. There is a saying that patience is a virtue. Supposedly, it is the ability to wait for something without frustration which is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality.
Now, I love to fish, always have. I think because the water, the environment, the locations, the creatures, etc. have always had a calming effect for me. It’s something I need, that calmness, to get through the rest of my hectic life. It’s almost like taking a deep breath before you get upset or lose control, except it lasts longer when I’m fishing. Fly fishing seems to take it to the next level.
I am here to say if you are not patient you will not be a good fly fisher. Tangles, wind knots, tying knots, changing flies, hunting fish, putting gear together, changing the depth of your indicator, adding more weight or taking off weight, fly selection, observing the stream, etc. etc. all will drive you crazy if you don’t have patience while fly fishing. Fly fishing has taught me patience and I am thankful for it. Because fly fishing is about the whole experience, the setbacks are all part of the process. You will learn this the more you fly fish. It’s not about catching a lot of fish but more about catching that one fish that you have targeted. It’s not about getting everything exactly right but more about enjoying the waters, the creatures, and your buddies. It’s about taking the time to think and figure out the best tactic to use or the best presentation to make. It’s about patience – and it is a virtue.
I am a good fly fisher (“no brag, just fact” as Walter Brennan used to say in the TV show The Guns of Will Sonnett) and I owe a lot of it to patience. I’m glad that I am becoming a more patient man and my family likes it too. My goal is to carry my patience in fly fishing into the rest of my life. When I am patient during my fly fishing, I feel different and I like who I am. It’s always therapeutic. It’s soothing to my soul. It’s how and where I want to be.