What would Peyton do? | AspenTimes.com

What would Peyton do?

Fall is here, and to us that means two things: football and fishing. While watching the Denver Broncos game last week, it occurred to us that Peyton Manning and fishing share many of the same traits.

Preparation is paramount to success, whether you are Manning scheming a game plan against the Cowboys or you are a fly-rod wielding angler heading out on the river for a day. Without proper preparation, success is usually marginal (yep, we're calling you out, Jay Cutler).

We see it all the time: Anglers venture to our valley spending thousands of dollars on airline tickets, hotels, fly rods and reels, only to be fishing the wrong flies in the wrong places.

Manning relentlessly studies his opposition, both before, during and after the game. He may not be the fastest runner (best caster), but he makes up for his lack of leg speed by knowing how to read the defense (water).

The best fishing guides and anglers do their homework on and off the water, so when they're in a certain situation, they can rely on their previous experience or learn from the experience at hand and make some halftime adjustments. Manning shows up with a game plan every Sunday, but defenses (or trout) often force us to call an audible (change flies or techniques).

Manning always walks onto the gridiron with confidence, and so must we. Success is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent perspiration, and when we take the time to gather intelligence, our success rate vastly improves (fewer interceptions, more touchdowns).

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Neither of us claim to be the best anglers in the world, but we both surround ourselves with anglers and guides who are better than us to improve ourselves. Winning the Super Bowl is Peyton's goal; yours may be finally catching a trout over 5 pounds. Let's all take a page from Peyton's playbook this fall. Survey the field. Find the opposition's weaknesses. Capitalize on those holes in the defense. Execute the proper play and lastly, be humble ambassadors of our sport.

"On the Fly" is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.