This is not necessarily a "Small Water Secret" but rather a Fly-Fishing Secret. We've all heard the old adage of "Leave 'em wanting more." The idea is a common one in the entertainment industry, meaning, if the audience is at the point where they want more of the show that is the point where you want to get off the stage. The reason that you would get off of the stage at the point where the audience is so into the performance that they want more is because that feeling of wanting more doesn't leave the audience. They go out and tell their friends about the show, they come back to the show on another night, etc. If the show continues past the point of "wanting more" the audience is not as likely to tell their friends, come back again, etc. The worst is when you go past the point of the audience actually enjoying the show and they start to get negative about it, this could be for a few reasons, it's going on too long, the performance begins to fall apart, etc. It's at this point that the audience will actually begin to tell others not to attend, want a refund, etc.
So? What does this have to do with Fly-Fishing you might be asking. How do we leave the fish wanting more?
The reality is, this article isn't about the fish, it's about us.
We've all been there. The day is beautiful and just the right one for a fishing trip. You got to the creek early, the sun had just barely begun to peak over the peaks of the mountain. The fish are hungry and you just know that it's going to be one of those day that you net eight or nine. The fishing is perfect, fish are rising to your dry flies and everything is going perfect. You begin to wonder what's around that next bend or what monster fish might be living in that pool just ahead. Soon the sun is overhead and there's not a cloud in sight, you're feeling thirsty and you just know that the nape of your neck is turning a beautiful, lobster red. But there might be a monster in that next pool or what's around that bend, you keep telling yourself. The fish are still biting, but there's more time between each take. You're stumbling over the boulders in the creek. But what's around that bend? What's in that pool?
You look down at your watch and realize that you needed to get out of the river an hour ago so that you would be back home in time to go to your daughter's soccer game. You hurry out of the water, get back to the truck, strip everything off, throw everything haphazardly into the bed of the truck, tear down the old washboard road. You arrive at the soccer field in time to see the last half of the game and the wife is thankful you're there but still upset you're late. You get home, you've had time to relax, and the wife has cooled down enough that she is still willing to make you dinner. You stand up from that cozy recliner you've been sitting in and your legs begin to throb, you notice how thirsty you are, and your neck begins to burn like nothing you've felt before.
We've fallen into similar situations as this story describes. The fishing is just so good that you don't want to give it up. You begin to tell yourself that you still have time, that you don't need to take that shower when you get back, you'll be fine, ten more minutes. Ten minutes turns into thirty minutes turns into an hour, and so forth. Eventually, that high is lost and all you're doing is searching for it, never able to replace it and you eventually get out of the water tired. Worse yet, you get out of the water grumpy and frustrated.
Fly-Fishing is one of those hobbies that can just suck you in. There is nothing quite like being alone, only the river, the fish, and you bound up in one single, eternal moment. And that's why it's so easy to get drawn in for so long. But after too many of those trips, as described above, it becomes a little easier to stay home on the next weekend, and then the next, and the next. Eventually your rods begin to gather dust and your flies never get wet.
You have to leave, wanting more! It's hard to get yourself into that mindset, but if you are able to do it, you'll enjoy Fly-Fishing for the long haul. Here are a few tips to help you "leave wanting more:"
This article, for us, was a wake up call. You, our faithful reader, probably noticed that our article submissions have been declining. The reality is, we were getting burned out. We were going fly-fishing, personally, every Friday and Saturday on the same few rivers. We would leave before the sun was up and didn't return until well after noon.
We took some time off and then decided to change our approach to fishing, we wanted to leave the river wanting more. Hopefully this helps some of you who have found yourselves in similar situations. As always, good luck and guid luck.
Growing up along the Provo River in Utah, I've seen countless numbers of Fly Fishermen search for the Tug. It's in the small streams that the dream is realized.