Voices from the River: The impartial third party

By Jenny Weis

I imagine the following series of events has played out in households other than just mine:

Partner loves fly fishing and goes all the time.

Partner tells me *he thinks I, too, would love fly fishing. 

I believe him and am genuinely excited for him to teach me!

Partner teaches me to fly cast in the yard. 

I rock at it, and tell him I am ready to go.

Partner and I drive to river, approach the water, get set up, and begin fishing.

Partner catches and releases fish. 

I keep casting.

Partner catches and releases another fish. 

I keep casting, and start feeling a little jealous. 

Partner catches and releases another fish. 

I get my line stuck in a tree.

Partner approaches me and gives me pointers on improving my cast.

I freak out at Partner for daring to correct me despite his best intentions of “helping.”

I continue casting and/or untangling (mostly untangling).

Partner catches fourth fish.

I go eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich on bank of river thinking that fly fishing might just not be my thing after all.

After a few seasons of this, it was time to take matters into my own hands. I finally got a few pointers from a professional. The all-important, impartial third party. 

Game changer! With one-on-one instruction and the guide taking the time to watch me (instead of returning to fishing right away), I was able to improve my cast and finally enjoy actually catching a few fish. I used to think that just standing in the river enjoying the scenery is 90 percent of the fun. Maybe you’re even “ok with not catching fish,” but let me tell you: you want to be catching fish! 

You’ll be hooked (no pun intended—hopefully).

Ladies and gents, to any member of any relationship: have someone else teach you to fly fish. Trust me, your cast, your tippet supply, the surrounding trees and brush, and your relationship will benefit from professional help. 

Have fun!

*Of course, "he" can be interchanged with "she," depending on your household.

Jenny Weis is the communications director for TU's Alaska program. She lives and works in Anchorage.

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