Recently, I went to Wyoming on a fly fishing trip. The last time I went fly fishing before that was probably when I was 15 or 16 on the little lake I grew up on. Ok. it was more a pond than a lake, but we always called it a lake. Delusions of grandeur, I suppose.
Anyway, one summer, after a short tutorial from my father on how to cast (yes kiddo’s, before the Tube of You, we learned things in person from people we knew not from strangers on a screen)…
Sorry, I digress. After the lesson, I took my father’s fly fishing rod with a fly on it, stood on the bank, pulled the line out of the reel, waved the pole around and cast the fly out there, hoping I made a decent cast. Mostly the fly would land a couple feet in front of me and the line I had pulled from the reel would be all around the fly. Or the pole. Or my feet.
Obviously, I wasn’t very good at it, but occasionally, I would get the fly out there and then twitch it back to me, hoping a bass would hit it. I do not remember ever catching anything, and it didn’t take long before I went back to spin-casting. (Now I could go into a description of the difference between spin-casting and fly fishing, but that would take too long. I’m sure there is a good video on youTube you can watch).
I really didn’t get the appeal of fishing with a fly rod. Truth be told, I never got very excited about fishing at all, especially since I didn’t like the taste of fish and I never watched “A River Runs Through It.”
Then I got invited to “The Miracle Mile” in Wyoming and I learned there is fly fishing and then, there is fly fishing. (FYI, in Wyoming, the miracle mile is not a shopping district with bankrupt Neiman Marcus and Tiffany stores).
The Miracle Mile is a three mile stretch of river in the high desert of Wyoming, part ot the North Platte river. It’s rugged terrain with mostly scrub brush along it. From March to June, the river is filled with rainbow trout, brown trout, cut trout, and the lowly sucker fish.
Here I was re-introduced to fly fishing by experts who loved the sport. They taught us how to cast properly, set the hook, keep the proper tension on the fish so it didn’t get off the hook and so on. Then, we floated down the river on boats while these guides would not only row (no motors allowed) the boats to position us in the river properly, and tell us where to cast, when to try again, keep the boat steady, row back up the river so we could try again, change the depth of the line, and on and on.
All while avoiding all our casting mistakes and not getting hooked by our lines. Although, I did catch one of them in the beard early on the first day. Oops. Sorry again Aaron.
Without these guides, we still could have gone fly fishing. One of our group had a lot of experience and could have taught us how to cast and even could have tied the flies on for us. And I am sure we would have had a good time standing in the water in waders, fishing the same stretch of river for the day.
But it would have been a “meh” experience.
Having experts with us along the way created an incredible two days. We want to go back again and again.
Which leads to two questions…
Who do you have as a guide for you? Someone who has expertise and experience in areas you do not? Someone who can guide you on your leadership journey, showing you when and where to cast and when to just ride in the boat? (Yes, I can help with that, just shoot me an email).
And second, how are you guiding those who are looking to you for leadership? Are you helping them on their journey? Do they need you to give them more direction? Or less? (I can help you figure that out too).
Just some things to ponder.