Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Zen of Fly Fishing

There is something about fly fishing – rainbow trout. Steelhead, artic char this season – that I find deeply satisfying. Just spent 30 hours in a boat over 4 days at Dee Lakes near Kelowna in British Columbia with Mike (50), Matt (19) and John (75). The fishing is wonderful – we brought back 24 fish, ate 4, put back 50+. But it’s the concentration, focus, passion and engagement that strikes me as the core.

The routine is simple. Hearty breakfast, on the lake by 0930 and back to the cabin by 1930. Continuous fishing. We concluded that there are four kinds of fish: rainbow trout, gay fish (I caught one with a hook up the rear end), blow fish (they suck the fly in and blow it out again) and bastard fish (you know they are there, they show themselves, but refuse to be caught). Such taxonomies do not assist the task of catching, but offer comfort to we anglers.

I have become so enamored by the art of fishing that I have decided to tie my own flies. Bought a kit and materials on ebay and intend to tie several basic patterns – Tom Thumb, Royal Coachman and so on. I used to do this when I was very young (and I did it very badly), but now there are great resources online and in print and wonderfully useful CD roms – I feel sure I can get at this. I think it will be satisfying and will stop me working.

That’s the other thing. Fishing is both hard work and not work at the same time. You put a lot of energy into fly fishing – just one example, I suspect I cast every 2 minutes. Taking into account travel on the lake time, this means I am casting with my right arm and wrist some app. 250 times an hour for around 9 hours – 2.250 times a day for 4 days or 9,000 times. This is a lot of exercise for the right arm.

Enough. Now its back to work. Challenging organizational change issues in northern Ontario, intellectual property challenges in Alberta and the future of the ICT industry - should see me through till Xmas.

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