Rowing the Boat
I think there are two types of people in this world, those who enjoy rowing and those who put up with the task until they can get off the sticks. I’ll admit it, I like to row. It may sound strange to those unaccustomed to fly fishing but casting from a boat floating down a river requires constant focus and attention. Reading upcoming water, thinking about presentation, considering changing out the bug, trying to keep line from catching on that damn boat bag zipper again, critiquing the last cast, and about 100 other thoughts are incessantly zipping around in my head. In the rowers seat I’m able to appreciate the river, unwind, and maybe have an occasional cigar. My reaction to seeing a bald eagle is totally different in the seat compared to when I’m fishing which is just a quick glance and the obligatory “we’re in luck now fellas”.
I enjoy the challenge of putting friends at that perfect distance where the boat isn’t likely to spook fish yet not making them struggle with long casts they can’t consistently deliver. Alternately, I hate the feeling when I blow it and have the boat on the wrong line or completely forget about the glass eating boulder at the head of a run. The process of successfully hooking and landing a solid fish is heavily dependent on the rower. The mayhem of the fight is way more intense when the rower is not doing his part in the job. I have the opportunity to fish with some guys that are very good at the task of rowing. What strikes me the most about how they go about it is that I don’t think about boat position while they are on the sticks.
Take some time to improve your game in the rower seat. Put some effort into giving your casters their best opportunity to hook up. Your friends will appreciate the effort and maybe put a few in the boat worth remembering years down the road.