The mend. A correction of the fly line as it is impacted by different currents in the stream. I am not the greatest at this, yet it is vital to obtaining the perfect drift…and the reason for my blog name. Underneath the surface of any given trout stream is a flurry of activity. Trout and other aquatic creatures move and dance with a current that is constant yet ever changing.
The need for the mend in your drift is to keep the fly line from presenting the fly in a way that does not look natural. For success in most cases, the drift is the single most important and often overlooked portion of a cast. Get it right and success is at hand, botch it and your fly either skitters across the surface like a water skier or jumps over every fish in the stream.
Each stream in any particular area has multiple hydrological issues that the fly line is moved, bellied, bowed, or in some cases, sank completely. It is the Zen of the angler to detect these things and move in accordance to what the water dictates. This is a part of our craft that never changes. We are always in hot pursuit of the perfect drift.
Life is much like this. As our life moves downstream, we are often impacted by currents that are not under our control. Frustration comes easily when we do not read the current of our days leading to an unsuccessful attempt or missing the mark. Often we dream of victory that seems to be right under the surface, but we go dancing unnaturally across the surface leaving these amazing life events behind.
I am often very opinionated, most likely a habitual offender of faithless living, and assuredly a man who allows his pride to block obvious blessing. All of these occur because I have lost the drift. I have not allowed myself to relax, see the flow, and make adjustments as needed. But thankfully I now recognize the correlation and have reached the point where the light bulb is flickering.
John Buchan is quoted as saying, “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” Much like the rest of our lives isn’t it? The big hurdle comes when we are faced with actually making life application out of our sport.
You may not agree…and I am fine with that, but I firmly believe that every area of our lives is intertwined to the point that one part will teach us something about another. That there actually are life lessons that can be learned in everything from a person we work with, watching a football game, or standing in a river waving a stick. It is all about how we choose to perceive small snippets of our lives.
So, in light of what I know to be my own shortcomings, and the desire to reach that unattainable thing we call perfection, I will try to learn from the river; that babbling cacophony of change and potential. I will seek to apply elsewhere that which I have gleaned from time spent watching a floating line being moved by a current that was moving before I was born, and which will be moving long after I have gone. Maybe, just maybe, I will have learned enough to get a few other things right. I can’t ask for much more than that.