Paying Your Dues

November 22, 2008

Thoughts, Tips

Taken from Xstream Outdoors.

This is an issue I have been debating over the past year and fishing the Provo River last night finally has pushed me to share my thoughts on the issue.

I grew up hearing all the quotes about working hard for what you get…”Practice makes perfect”, “Step by Step”, “If you work harder than the rest, you will be the best”, etc… from my personal experience and through countless trials and errors, I have found this concept to be completely true. If you want something or want to be great at something, than you must pay your dues. “Paying My Dues” is a concept I have gained over my years of playing traditional sports in high school and college. It is equally important in any activity that one pursues and especially crucial in ones progression in Fly Fishing. The key to the concept success is the level of desire/passion of the pursuer. This is simple, some really want to be great, some kinda do, some do, but are scared, some do, but don’t want to invest the time, and some just don’t care and enjoy being average. This level of desire/passion is something that isn’t(can’t) be taught, but is within each of us and is our personal driving force. Levels of desire can change as one decides to. For example my little sister always came fishing with us boys, but she really didn’t care if she caught a fish or not. She would usually fish for an hour and then spend the remainder of the day reading a book or hiking around. But as her desire/passion of Fly Fishing grew over the years, through learning and practice. She now spends all day fishing and leaves the book in the Jeep. On the last trip to the Green she had close to a 20 fish day!!!

In Fly Fishing it is pretty easy to get to the point of going to a river tying on a fly and catching a fish or two. I consider that the first plateau and where 95% of fly fishermen are. These are the guys who catch fish, but can’t tell you why it happened, it just does, they are also the ones that fish maybe 1-2 times per month and mostly on weekends. The other 5% and the second plateau (which is a lot harder to reach) are the ones that are passionate about their sport! They eat, drink and sleep fly fishing. They are the ones that if they did have to think about anything, they would think about fly fishing and getting better. They are the ones that have “Paid Their Dues” over long hours on the river or lake not just fishing, but studying and being taught. Most of their favorite books are fishing related and the Internet sites the same. They hunger to learn and are passionate about getting to that next level. They are never content with 30 fish, but are usually after that one that will challenge everything they got. When you ask them how they did they just quietly shake their head and say OK. To them its not the quantity that makes a successful trip, but the feelings remembered. Most would rather fish alone. I only know a handful of these legends

So what I am trying to say is like everything in life, to be good at that thing, one desires or is passionate about, one must personally pay their dues to reach the level they desire. Nothing in my life that is worth while, has come free or easy. I have spent countless hours practicing Baseball that helped put me through College…and in fly fishing I didn’t have anyone to teach me the basics. I had to learn the sport alone with a $20 wal-mart special and in a way it made me into a better fly fishermen for it.

So if you want to progress to the next level here’s my suggestions:

  • Go fishing and learn from your own trials and errors, don’t have someone do everything for you.
  • Tie your knots, net your own fish, find your own spot, figure out what flies to use. (It doesn’t help you to have someone to lean on, what if their not there?)
  • Gain more knowledge. (Read, watch, ask questions, Internet, etc…)
  • Spend the time-each season is different and the only way to know is to experience it
  • Don’t get down…Fly Fishing is hard and learning new techniques can take time.
  • Think like a fish, really!!! Not like a human…Stop and use your brain
  • Hangout and learn form others who know, then try it

Side Note: Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite aspects of Fly Fishing is taking people out and helping them to catch fish. There is nothing better than seeing someone new to the sport get so excited when he or she hooks up with a fish. I like to think of that as the introduction phase, deciding if they like Fly fishing or not. But it is those that have passed the intro phase and are on to the second plateau that I am focusing this post too.

My wish and hopes are that all fishermen can find there own path to happiness, no matter what that be or where it may lead them.

I am a solo fishermen,

Dr Gillespie

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One Response to “Paying Your Dues”

  1. simmons Says:

    I love where your head is at and thats why we call you the “DR”.


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