By: Bob Streb (Guide & Author of “Bobber Talk“)
-Ramblings, dribble and puzzling observations from a Rocky Mountain fishing guide
Remember that kid back in the day that could pick up any stick, club or ball and make it look like he’d dated it forever? Smooth, effortless motion, speed and strength screwed firmly on a clear head under pressure. When I was in grade school it was the Burke brothers of the 19th ward. Junior high was Steve Anderson and in high school it was Tittle and Kermie. While everything came naturally to these .001%ers the rest of us practiced and worked hard to be at least good enough to be on the team when something great happened. Some guys would skip the work expecting the magic button to turn it’s self on and end up with a sour taste for the experience.
The challenges of fly fishing require practice, dedication and attention. When you put the work in you are rewarded be it with fish, incredible natural beauty or a set of perfect presentations. Two dudes putting the work in right now are my friend Brandon Soucie. They both make fishing and guiding seem effortless, I have been witness to both. These youngsters are that .001% of our sport but they have worked hard to stand there by spending hundreds of days a year with a rod in hand Lately they have decided to take the show to the limited competitive fly fishing circuit and have been racking up wins for a few years. Their latest win came last weekend at the Frostbite on the Ark. To go along with the “huge” prize money ($1000, plus $250 for the big fish by Soucy) they were rewarded with a few grenades. I’m not going to be that guy to add to the drama with specifics, some other ass munch on a losing team beat me to it. The tournament is in existence to raise money for TU, not to make fly fishing legends of a bunch of Wanna Be’s who simply don’t have enough game. Do you need a reminder of what’s really important (water & fish) and who helps protect that (TU)? The reality of it is our sport is filled with more punters and high school golfers than dudes willing to go in the corner and take a hit. If you are going to enter and compete bring your version of Tigers old game, practice hard and shut it.
Everything worth doing requires work; tying flies, parenting, running a business, guiding, rowing or enjoying a great relationship takes time, patience and practice. I thought the other day as I continue to teach my boy to skate that “this is going to take a while”, then I took him to the High School game and thought about how soon it will be. Unfortunately in my world most people show up without practicing and that’s fine, but like learning to skate, expect to fall. I guide in a tourist trap, not north of here, and its my reality that some people think they can shoot a few pars on their first trip. My boat has no room for the magic button, I bring the jelly beans instead and normally only share with those who try. Thankfully the experience is worth it and most people have no expectation of catching fish like Brandon, hell I dont.