Hitting for average

Lately I've felt the need to set different expectations with my clients. Most everybody comes blasting into the shop thinking they are going to set records on their first few swings because it's "just fishing". Used to be I would wander out and just let it be, just let them shoot what ever score they shot and try and put the day in perspective on the way home.

we began battling the weeds on the Upper Colorado

Ultimately clients say or do something very early on in the day to express their expectations. The smart ones ask what they might expect to accomplish seeing as they only do this once a year. The naive ones assume they are about to shoot 2 or 3 birdies cuz they paid for a good caddy. Truth be told this game called fly fishing is a sport. It requires coordination, focus and some concentration. If things are are not clicking the fly rod tends to have a mind of it's own and it's devilish if you don't take control of the pesky thing.

"Sort Of" for Trico Time
Extended Body Chocolate Thunder
PMD Version

So lately when peeps start discussing the potential success ratio I simply bring up of all things, baseball. Day in, day out I have been keeping track of all the stupid things that go on around rivers and fly rods and I have become very aware that nobody bats a thousand. A good hitter in the major leagues hits somewhere around 300, that's a 30% success rate. Now win, loose, success and failure are big words and ones I try and leave out of my language during my day but the fact is you are going to put a few shots in the bunker and strike out now and then, we all do, it's a sport.

Duane Redford at work

So explaining to my new friends very early in the day that there are going to be struggles, natural ones that just come along as baggage with this silly sport, can set a positive mood for all the shit that is about to hit the fan. I've seen all different reactions from people once they understand that they just plunked a whole bunch of jingle down and they realize their day is going to include struggling 70% of the time. But at the end of the day when everything is added up like most people do, if they went 3 for 10 on landing hooked fish, making good drifts or hitting spots, it was a good average, they hit par...Good job.

Like a man. 
The accounting dept down the hall from my boat does the numbers, and hopefully people are hitting more like four or five hundred but there will always be hic ups or hurdles. For the first hour of most trips, guides watch 1 in 10 casts go where they should. Most presentations are terrible and most everybody only understands 10% of whats being said. If people treat the process like a sport and try hard to get better, the percentages go way up and they begin to understand the rhythm of the sport. But if somebody takes the first 3 hours of a 4 hour trip to get things on par that doesn't leave much time to catch fish, especially if the fishing is tough, just sayin.

One grip and grin can't hurt

I'm not making excuses here, I am always rooting for the fish to cooperate, but sometimes they don't. But I would rather pick a guy up by telling him he did a great job even though it was only 30% of the time. Dude just went out and put up Jeter numbers, he hit for average and should be happy with himself. Earthlings need to know that's how it goes and they should come and give this fly fishing stuff a try again.

It's been a busy time around me this summer, sorry for the lack of work on this blog thing