Yoga and Fly Fishing

A fresh mix of extreme athletes dedicated to making things much harder than they really are, have began the march to be recognized. Anyone awake in the 80’s has experienced this before, they called it “cross training” combining two or more sports on the same day or in the same event. Now it seems that cross training has reached a spiritual level and people are starting to blend Yoga and Fly Fishing. Worst of all, it seems to have started in the bow of my boat. Fly Fishing and Yoga have been around a very long time and both have their own special soul or feeling, I am just not sure they should be mixed. Combining these two very old practices can lead to some dangerous moves left only to people who hear on a different frequency than most guides talk. I have spent enough time with people who enjoy Yoga and I’ve tried a few moves like, “Down Dog”, “Cat” and “Cow”. It take’s practice, a nice mat and LEVEL ground. That has not stopped a few people from taking it to the next level by trying to pull this off in a moving boat with a fly rod in hand. Here are a few moves I’ve seen recently.
THE LOON: The beginning pose usually involves standing off balance, in the front of a boat, on your tip toes with your casting hand 3 feet above your head. Your other hand is blindly scrambling around your waist trying to find the tangle in your line. The slack is in your mouth. The fly rod is pointed straight up at the August sun in a desperate attempt to collect slack from the cast that just landed next to the boat. Now with a mighty 3 inch power snap of the wrist, accelerate the pile of line up off the water and around the tip of your rod, which is still above your head. If this does not work on the first pitiful attempt, you are probably not using enough calves. I think this is called the LOON because of the strange bird like noise most people make after the cast, not the way they look.
THE ROCK CHUCKER: You can always tell what move an ex linebacker will settle into as the cast begins to come apart. The stance widens, the hips begin to open and close like a beer league softball player and they begin to grunt a bit. The arm motion becomes long and much too strong producing huge gentle loops that land in pretty little piles. I’m not ashamed to admit I have spent a few day’s quietly day dreaming about “ribbon dancing”, which I think was an Olympic event at one time, still no reason to do it in my boat. Apparently the rocking motion their cast is causing doesn’t feel proper until they slip out of the leg locks and throw the balance of the boat completely off. The waves from the rocking boat put a gentle jigging motion on their buddy’s nymph rig.
THE SIT AND SPIN: This is a very important move to know your directions, your left, right, front and back. This is much easier in a raft with a fishing frame, it’s not practiced in drift boats for some reason and it almost always happens in the back seat. The move starts when the guide begins to pull the boat from it’s drift down the left side of the river and say’s “right side”, yogi say’s “what side?”, guide say’s “right side”, yogi say’s “that’s the other side, right?”, guide nods. After a 20 second pause to absorb the complicated vocabulary going on, lift your knees to your chest while keeping the rod pointed at the left bank. Now while sitting, spin yourself to the right side by swinging your legs outside of the boat past the dangling anchor, keep your rod pointing at the left bank. Now since your casting arm is behind your head gently swing an underpowered, backhand flip with your fly rod. Your cast should either tangle in the anchor or pile up on the guide’s oars and it should always be followed by “this side?”
Before I have every Yoga instructor and their legions stealing the plugs from my boat please know I don’t hate Yoga. There is just no room for it in my boat. If you are exhausted after getting out of the boat on the first day of a three day fishing trip you are obviously doing a little too much………Yoga. If you properly move that special piece of graphite, whether it be a 10 wgt or a 5wgt your casting arm should never get weary. The only thing that should hurt after a day in my boat is your ears. Believe me, you are better off training for that trip by building a shed with your cousin the carpenter. That’s the only motion I teach, the swing of a hammer. Start your motion from your elbow with a strong wrist, follow an accurate swing plane and use your eyes. I may reach as far into my bag of tricks to put a golf ball in your arm pit. The effort of trying to keep a wet golf ball under your arm will help most people stop using muscles that should be relaxed. I understand we are all getting busier and multitasking is a way of life. Decide intelligently what pleasures you mix and most importantly, where. Please help keep Yoga out of the boat.

The picture is of my nephew Jason doing his best Claka Bow Pose. Thanks for the dance kid, you made me smile all day.

1 comment:

  1. I like the contents of this blog. you have really done a great job.

    Alaska Fishing Resort