A truly stellar tying session!

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Posted by David Dempsey on 2013-05-07 16:17:34

I'm more or less retired (kinda sorta) :lol

I still teach fly tying --a small group (very small and for free)

I just don't have the temperment to guide (as in I want to throw people out of the boat or hold their head under water until the bubbles stop-- depending on how they voted) ;-)

I do sometimes speak or present at various fly clubs or events but...

...and I am preoccupied with building a house, a wonderful woman and a few health issues.

Why mention any of this?

Because it is sometimes too easy to get lazy, jaded or complacent --ie "This is the fly that ALWAYS works (and I've ALWAYS tied it this way)" or to decide a student or client is too hopeless to learn so you take them to the kiddie water or have them tie Wooly Buggers ;-)

It's too easy to take some things for granted.

Some of it is just job burn out--and I bet almost all of us have experienced it at some time in our lives; and it's extra ugly when a teacher, instructor or guide begins to show symptoms. We can unintentionally dampen enthusiasm for the sport or discourage the beginners.

Some of it is cynicism--cynicism about the degradation and decline of our rivers and waterways and about an uniformed voting public (if they vote) that apparently would rather vote for most popular chef or cute cat picture of the week.

Some of it is cynicism about the sport itself and the marketing and hype...

Regardless, I found myself feeling somewhat jaded, burnt out and cynical; and rather than just go through the motions, I stopped teaching --except for one small group of friends.

We get together once a month to tie and tell tall tales. The wine flows (seeing as how half the group are wine makers) and every one brings food to share. I suppose all the rules and regulations,insurance requirements--and all the hoops a legit club would have to go through eliminates this (and some people shouldn't be drinking anyways) but it sure makes for a great evening!

Regardless, I was running out of patterns--and my own time and financial constraints were sapping my enthusiasm for anything other than the food and drink...

...until the last month or so.

A friend --a superb angler and tyer in his own right, began sitting in on the group.

Some instructors are threatened by this. I don't know if it is a clash of egos or the thought that someone might siphon off students or clients but I have to say, I love it!

As an instructor, I always loved the engaged students--especially the ones that asked the tough questions--because it encouraged me to find the answers for them and for myself instead of just parroting back the status quo version.

Anyways having this person sit in on the group made for a wonderful exchange of ideas, new materials and tying techniques--and thinking outside the box! I did some of the best, most focused and engaged tying I have done in years. I'd like to think I rose to the occassion!

A big thank you to those of you who stir things up--and ask tough questions even if it has us teachers and instructors squirming in our seats once in awhile ;-)

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