Everyone has his faults. I have more than my share. One that I have been noticing lately is that I’m not happy doing just one thing at a time, especially while I am fishing. Why can’t I just finish one thing before trying to do something else?
If I hadn’t tried to tear the wrapper off the candy bar as I was walking to the next pool, I wouldn’t have rammed my rod tip into the careless tree by the trail.
If I would have taken the fly I just clipped off and placed it securely in the fly box it came out of (instead of rushing to get the next fly on), I wouldn’t know that those foam shoulder patches for holding flies don’t hold flies.
If I’d been keeping my eye on the dry fly instead of looking for the next pool, I wouldn’t have missed the rise.
I’m not sure why, while having all day to spend on the river, why I must try to do more than one thing at a time? Maybe it’s because time on the river is so coveted that it’s worth trying to double by doing two things at once. Inevitably, the results are never good. I’d like to think that other fly fishermen do the same things that I do, but it’s more likely that I’m just a little weird.
Does anybody else try to tie on a fly while wading to the next pool? Does anyone try to eat lunch while driving over cratered dirt roads to the next spot? Inevitably, it never pays. Either I drop the fly I’m trying to tie on or trip over a stick. I spill my drink or the last bite of my chicken sandwich falls off my lap and onto the floorboard. It’s the old adage proving itself to be true: haste makes waste.
After relieving myself in the woods, if I hadn’t been pulling up my waders and throwing on my shoulder pack while hurrying back to the river, I wouldn’t have left my wading belt behind.
Sometimes, trying to save time by trying to do two things at once sets off a chain reaction of missteps. If I hadn’t tried to check my fly box for a better fly while I was backing away from the plunge pool, I wouldn’t have tripped over the rock behind me. If I hadn’t tripped over the rock behind me, I wouldn’t have felt the cool water rush down my back. If I hadn’t felt the cold water rush down my back, I wouldn’t have tried to flip over quickly and catch the frigid water running down the front. If my waders hadn’t been filled with icy water, I could have caught my fly box before it floated out of sight.
At the end of the day, when I found that the last river pull-off I was planning to stop at before the long drive home was already filled with vehicles, if I would have just parked the car for a few minutes and taken my wet clothes and waders off, I wouldn’t have had to explain to the state trooper that the reason I was weaving down the Interstate at 65 mph was not because I was drunk, but was because when he saw me and pulled me over, I was trying to extract myself from my waders and get into some dry clothes. That would also explain why I temporarily had no clothes on.
In the interest of truthful blogging, that didn’t actually happen, but I fear it will every time I change clothes in the car, trying to do two things at once.
Am I the only one, or does anyone else create new problems for themselves by getting in too big a hurry while fishing?