I think there are two types of people in this world, those who enjoy rowing and those who put up with the task until they can get off the sticks. I’ll admit it, I like to row. It may sound strange to those unaccustomed to fly fishing but casting from a boat floating down a river requires constant focus and attention. Reading upcoming water, thinking about presentation, considering changing out the bug, trying to keep line from catching on that damn boat bag zipper again, critiquing the last cast, and about 100 other thoughts are incessantly zipping around in my head. In the rowers seat I’m able to appreciate the river, unwind, and maybe have an occasional cigar. My reaction to seeing a bald eagle is totally different in the seat compared to when I’m fishing which is just a quick glance and the obligatory “we’re in luck now fellas”.
I enjoy the challenge of putting friends at that perfect distance where the boat isn’t likely to spook fish yet not making them struggle with long casts they can’t consistently deliver. Alternately, I hate the feeling when I blow it and have the boat on the wrong line or completely forget about the glass eating boulder at the head of a run. The process of successfully hooking and landing a solid fish is heavily dependent on the rower. The mayhem of the fight is way more intense when the rower is not doing his part in the job. I have the opportunity to fish with some guys that are very good at the task of rowing. What strikes me the most about how they go about it is that I don’t think about boat position while they are on the sticks.
Take some time to improve your game in the rower seat. Put some effort into giving your casters their best opportunity to hook up. Your friends will appreciate the effort and maybe put a few in the boat worth remembering years down the road.
When Janet Barsky’s husband Bill took up fly fishing she figured it would soon be added to his long list of short lived interests. Over the past few years Bill has loved and left a pile of hobbies such as home brewing, golfing, wingsuit flying, ukulele, astrology, ham radio operator, classic car renovation, leatherworking, and bowling. Last year Bill’s neighbor Dale took him to the Pere Marquette River on a Salmon outing and he’s been hooked ever since. Home projects have ground to a halt and Saturdays spent perusing Bed Bath & Beyond have been few and far between.
Janet realized she needed to take matters into her own hands when she overheard Bill talking to Dale about spending a week in Montana on some river called the Beavertail or something. Not normally a devious woman, Janet was conflicted about shutting down her hubby’s new hobby so she embarked on several subtle attempts to steer Bill away from the river from pointing out news articles on the dangers of Michigan rivers to hinting that neighbor Dale was once in a mental institution, but Bill kept at it and even joined a local TU chapter.
Janet began to think that all hope was lost until she remembered his allergy to cat dander. Janet’s first attempt was a home run. Having the neighbor’s cat Biff scratch up against the cork handle of Bill’s 5-wt each evening before an outing was all she had to do. Symptoms would begin about an hour after he started fishing and would get progressively worse until his eyes were swollen and eventually his sneezing fits would put an end to every outing. Dale stopped asking Bill to tag along and Bill finally threw in the towel after a few disastrous solo outings. According to Janet, Bill has taken up ice sculpting in the back yard and is terrified of going near a river. Janet mentioned feeling a bit guilty when Biff stops by the house from time to time but she’s convinced that having a confused neighborhood cat is a small price to pay.