November / December Meeting




Persistence and Walter Babb, Year-End Chapter Activities

I was inspired after our zoom chapter meeting last spring with our guest presenter Tim Flagler; his talk was about trout spey fishing.  I remember comments like “easy on the shoulders” and “great for larger streams and rivers” among other things.  Some of his talk I forgot about—until later.  So, I shelled out the shekels for an 11’4” 4 weight trout spey rod along with the skagit heads and it has become my object of persistence.  After purchasing the ‘millstone’, other demands on my time kept me from trying out my new toy and I forgot some of the elements of the technique.  Hence, upon my first go,  I was a little disappointed; my casts were anything but graceful or effective—gr-r-r.  On the way home I was mulling over my failure when a thought came to me from a presentation Walter Babb gave to the chapter a number of years ago on the early days of his fly-fishing experience.  He would go out fishing, maybe have some luck among his mistakes, come back and read or reread some of the books he had gotten, and then go out and try again usually with some improvement (he didn’t know any local fly fisherman at the time and guides were very few and far between).  So, I tried the same thing; now of course books are at least partly replaced by the internet and Youtube.  I delved into spey rod instruction videos on YouTube and the internet, found a few ‘aha’ moments and went out and tried again (including how to correctly rig a skagit head which was pretty fundamental).   I repeated this cycle a couple of times with only marginal improvement; another thing came to me was that Tim Flagler said it took him a couple of years to get the hang of the casting motion (!!!) – yipes!  But inspired by Tim and Walter I tried again this past week.  And the day started out pretty the same, casts collapsing only a moderate distance out and no fish.  Then right at the end, something clicked and the line sailed out much farther than any before and landed as it should; a couple more casts of a similar result followed—EUREKA!!  The rain started falling pretty hard and I had to quit but was encouraged. Persistence had paid off; now if I could only catch a fish ….

Year-end and the holiday season are rapidly approaching.  Our chapter has a couple of few activities I hope you can put on your holiday calendar.  First is our online Auction.  Larry Davis and Bob Bishop have done an awesome job putting together this event.  At last count we have some 40 items for you to fill out your personal holiday wish list or that of someone else.  When you read this the Auction will have started.  Eighty Percent of the net proceeds will be going to the Fisheries Department of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a cause we can all agree on, I think.   Then our year-end chapter meeting will be on Thursday, December 2nd.  It will be held at the Chilhowee Women’s Club building because the Bluetick Tavern space is already taken.  The highlight of the evening will be a display of all the items that are in the auction.  It is an opportunity for those attending to get a last look at the items and alter their bids before the Auction closes on December 5th.  Finally, the Pistol Creek Cleanup on December 4th; we are being joined by members of the Keep Blount Beautiful organization so there should be a good group there.  More information on all these activities will be forthcoming.

Hope to see you at one of these events.

Tight Lines!
 Steve Young

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