Welcome to the first "Irish Flies" blog post of 2015. I truly hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Well, It is that time of year where we take a little time and reflect back on 2014 then look ahead to 2015. It is also the time of year when we usually say to ourselves "this year I am going to..." I think resolutions, if treated properly, can be a good thing. I also feel that if not handled correctly they can become an extreme burden on one's mind and soul. Take for instance the person who has been stuck in the same dead end job for the past several years. They may decide that this year is going to be the year to make a change. They take their time, do the research, and only when all the "I's" are dotted and the "t's" are crossed they make an educated decision to change jobs. They may move to a different department within their current company, move to a new company or change careers all together. Whatever the case may be they have weighed all the options and came up with the one that is the best for all involved. This is an example where the resolution of "I want a new job" was used as a motivator to better themselves. This I can speak to first hand, in 2014 I left a company that I had a combined 21+ year history to move to a new manufacturing job. A decision I can say my wife and I are happy about so far and seems to have been the correct decision. On the flip side take for instance the 20+ year chain smoker. Every year they say to themselves they are gonna quit cold turkey on the first of the year. I have been at parties where people have walked outside 10 minutes before the "Ball Drop" and said this is my last cigarette. Having never been a smoker I do not have first hand experience about trying to stop. I know cold turkey is rarely effective and many people only last a week or less and are smoking the same amount if not more than they were before they tried to quit. This cycle can, for some, can be devastating and is a instance where a resolution can weigh on your mind and soul. This is a fishing web site so I will try not to go any "deeper" than I already have. What I am trying to say is if you are going to make resolutions make ones that are attainable that will give you a sense of success or completion. Resolutions that will expand and improve you and your abilities as a fisher person.
In order to move forward you must know where you are. Take a hard look at you and your abilities and be honest with yourself. If you have never fished the salt and don't own a stick heavier than a 5 wt making a resolution to catch a world record Permit may not be a responsible choice. Remember the attainable aspect of the goal. Perhaps your resolution should be to purchase an 10 wt set up, take a series of casting lessons and fish the local salt for Flounder, Stripers, Blues and Trout. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. If your resolutions are to far out of your grasp (for one reason or another) you will lose interest or worse become discouraged and you may give up entirely. If your end goal is to catch a world record Permit you need a "jumping off point" and this is an attainable goal to start your quest. When you have built a solid foundation of casting skills, salt water fishing experience, knowledge of your quarry including gear, rigging and flies, then and only then should you start to plan a trip to chase the elusive world record.
With all of this in mind I will share with you 5 of my "fishing" resolutions for 2015.
1) Give "Irish Flies" a solid 100% effort. When started "Irish Flies" I was realistic about my goals and what I wanted to get out of it. I told my self I would give it a solid 100% effort for one year. At the end of the year I would re asses the situation and determine the next step. I believe I have given 100% so far and the response has been positive, A trend I hope continues.
2) Fish with people that are "better" than me every chance I get. "Better" is subjective in this context. Better at what? I guess what I am trying to say is every time I have chance to fish with someone who can teach me something (which actually is everybody regardless of their skill level) I will not be intimidated and take the opportunity.
3) Fish rivers that expand my abilities. If you only ever fish over stocked Trout you will get very good at catching stocked Trout. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. I fish stocked rivers all the time. What I am saying is you will learn more by catching the skunk on Valley than you will learn landing a bunch of stocked fish.
4) Read everything I can about fly fishing. One of my resolutions last year was to read a book a month. A resolution I fulfilled in September (I finished my 12th book of the year sitting on the beach while on vacation with my wife). This year I want to get more in depth into the history and try to obtain some of the classics. Suggestions welcome...
5) Help as many people as I can start or expand their fly fishing knowledge. We all started somewhere and I am fortunate enough to have a few mentors that have helped me greatly reduce the learning curve. Some of them I still learn from every time we fish together. (see resolution #2) I would like to be looked upon as one of "those" guys and I do enjoy helping people.
There you have it, my 5 resolutions for the new year. I encourage you to pick a few resolutions of your own. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Pick solid, attainable goals and I'll bet at the end of 2015 you will have expanded your skill set as a fly fisher and as a person. Until next time...