On the Fly: Life is Short, Change is Constant | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Life is Short, Change is Constant

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

Scott Spooner on the Roaring Fork River. Christian Hill/Courtesy Photo

Sometimes breakups are inevitable in the world of fly fishing. Most of us have a built-in tendency to “dance with the one that brought us,” and are almost loyal to a fault. These breakups may be with your now less-than-favorite fly rod, a certain pattern that has always been your old reliable, the way you rig your flies, those darn leaky waders, or even a fishing spot that doesn’t produce like it used to. The only reliable thing in this world is that all things, for the most part, tend to change.

Embracing change makes us better anglers. If you’re fortunate enough to have fished the Fryingpan River since the 1900’s, you already know the flies that used to work (before fishing pressure increased exponentially and flows became susceptible to the mood swings of decades-long severe drought) now evince near-sarcasm from those PhD finned friends of ours. The size 12 Brown Hackle Peacocks that were your never-miss flies in the 80’s have all been replaced by Chocolate Thunders, Bling Midges and Roy Boys in a Lilliputian size 22 in these modern times.

Changing your mind doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, either. We’ve all spent a small fortune on a rod we thought would be a game-changer, just to find out we despise the action or the length. Just because you were a Tibor and RL Winston devotee doesn’t mean you can’t switch your gear over to Abel and Sage, if that’s what you want to do. There are no rules, and life is too short to fish with gear you can’t stand or have outgrown.

Speaking of change, rivers change more than you would expect; anyone who tells you they know every bend, nook and cranny is full of it. Pools fill in during runoff, new channels appear, and fish can relocate. If you’re not feeling the love, it’s ok to break up and move on. There’s a fish out there somewhere –ready to make a bad decision and eat your well-presented fly!


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