Futzing is anything one does with a fly rod in hand that is not fishing.
Practice casting is a form of Futzing but a very productive one that most everyone should try before meeting your guide.
Tangles count as Futzing.
Time with a beer can in hand is Futzing but its often necessary to help enhance an anglers focus; or not.
The form of Futzing most notorious in the fly fishing game is the hand check. This is with out a doubt the number one reason people miss fish. They are looking down checking in on what their hands are doing instead of paying attention to the smart end of that wand they are holding. It is rarely the fly rod that complicates a good day of fishing; it is very commonly a persons own hands ruining their chances. Hands people have spent every day of their life with decide to go completely dumb and fight with each other instead of cooperate and fly fish, I see it a lot, from beginner to expert. I have a fool proof way of curing all this non sense with a quarter but you have to pay for a trip to see how that works.
Ever hear the guide 3 boats down scream set loud enough to scare you? Trust me, he doesn't want to holler. He doesn't even want to talk by this time of year, but doing two other peoples jobs while trying to do your own job and row a boat can raise a persons volume now and then. Sometimes the guide has to scare someone's rod up if their head is down. Part of the game if you aren't going to pay attention.
Lets say you are standing in front of a nice gentle glide that is giving you an easy twenty second drift. Most people Futz through at least half of that just struggling with line management. That means if you are on a four hour trip with some non listener you are really only getting two hours to get it done. If the non listener is also a non learner, you can cut that two hours down to around thirty minutes of fishing time. I'll do the numbers for you; if you pay for a four hour walk wade trip for yourself, and fish all 240 minutes perfectly it costs just over a buck a minute. If you spend the day hand checking and Futzing and get one of those thirty minute fishing days, its going to cost you more like twelve bucks a minute.
"Be a good listener today" says my guide friend Chef Anthony Mazza
Don't Futz, Fish
This warm, low water, drought year cut into my urge to publicize, analyze, or scrutinize anything fly fishing on social media. I normally apologize for my lack of attention to this blog and it's six loyal readers this time of year anyways as things are always busy, but this year was a real bitch. Thanks to everybody who changed trip times, went early, skipped the grip and grins and showed great respect for our resource, the trout and most important, the river.
An evening swing with big Golden Stones on a recent overnight trip
While the conditions on the Eagle continue to get scarier by the day the Colorado is holding strong, Thank you to whoever is keeping these fish alive with a good flow of cold water. It has been a productive year fishing and guiding despite the weather and water conditions. Its been early to rise and afternoons off most of the season but it has been a blast as usual.
You know there have to be a few pictures...
Next time we discuss the leprechaun and the rattlesnake that live in my boat.
Bring on cooler temperatures, La Nina, College Football and the Fall Streamer season!!!