Trout are slightly smarter than stone

I have been trying to learn from people for almost 50 years now and there are certain experiences and conversations that I will never forget. The majority of those conversations came from one man usually during a cup of coffee, very early in the day before the chaos woke, in my "special" place.

The way I remember it, most of the meaningful bombs of wisdom he dropped were in late summer/ early fall when the Northeast humidity loosened its grip and let the early morning, relaxing breeze blow cool. My summers back then were busier than my summers of late (if you can believe that). It always seemed like the first real breath I took after any insanity was on that back deck over looking a ravine of 100 year old Oak trees. It was a place and a time with a person that helped me relax and gain perspective on the complications of my 20's and early 30's. He explained how one day all this serious, end of the world as we know it shit would be side splitting hilarious to look back on.
 God was he right.

I was a handful, so there was a lot of advice for me to choose to believe in or not. Like the quick and easy internet learning path of today. I always listened. I didn't always learn.

One glorious morning with the conversation centered around my financially challenged, non-college educated, yet entrepreneurial business sense; he explained something that has stayed with me to this day.

" just need to be smarter than your product"

I was a mason at the time and you might think it would be an easy chore to be smarter than rock, right? Wrong. I had to learn it was not rock at all, but stone before I could make it work for me and not against me. As I stopped fighting it and found out things about how it lived, I found ways to trick the stone into doing what I needed it to. I began to master it and found joy in the time it took to learn even when it felt like hard labor.

With the help of many masters I would go on to out smart wood, tile, and renovating old homes as well - which brings us to fish.

While I will not claim to have mastered the trade of fly fishing, I can say I have learned how to not get the beat down as often. I have listened to many fish masters, some wise and some not; in my long search for THE answer to out smarting fish (my product) with feathers. But; it wasn't until I actually started understanding the proper path to out smarting something with the brain the size of a pea was to put less thought into it; that I would find the secret ways to trick trout into doing what I wanted.

I seriously ask a lot of questions.

Trout are only slightly smarter than stone but none the less I struggled for a long, long time in our battle of wits. So after nearly 30 years of paying my dues, as well as really close attention, I now realize they are pretty predictable creatures and the days I over think things, usually are the forgettable ones. Dumb things down, use your pea sized brain, start thinking like a trout and the answers will come but, you have to find joy in the process of chipping at this giant stone we call fly fishing first; for the knowledge to find you.

In today's day and age, patiently learning one million tricky little things without a reset button is not a comfortable or common way of going about things. The countless dirty tricks required to fool stupid trout can't be learned quickly or on this computer machine. Going home after a suck show and beating your head against a wall wondering about the what's, why's and where's is not going to bring you closer to the light either. Time and experience will learn you that ultimately its the power and mood of mother river that decides who wins and when. No one can out smart that so stop trying to over think it and get some sleep.  

I promise when you look back at the struggle you will find it side splitting hilarious how easy it really was.

Happy Birthday month KMB, I miss you. RIP 

Carry On

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