Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On No Longer Working in a Flyshop

There are those days when I miss working in flyshop. Yes, it was a retail job, and carried with it all that any retail position entails. The good, however, generally outweighed the bad. Think about it for a moment. I could talk fishing all day, tie a fly or cast a rod out on the pond, and the powers that be thought I was doing my job. Looking back on the experience, I realize just how much I learned while chatting with folks in front of the rod rack or sorting through the bugs in the bins.

Knots. I learned how to tie knots. Arbor knots and Albrights. Nail knots and Bimini twists. Perfection loops, surgeon's loops and even a spider hitch. I learned them all, tied most of them hundreds if not thousands of times, and like a diamond, a knot is forever. Barring some dreadful accident or debilitating disease, I'll never need anyone to rig a line for me. I've got it covered.

I learned to double haul. I won't be entering a casting competition anytime soon, but when Mercury aligns with Venus, I can really lay it out there. Mercury only seems to align with Venus once out of every thirty casts or so, but the double-haul isn't just about distance. It's about accuracy, and if nothing else I can thread the needle nearly every time the fish dictate I must do so.

I also learned that people need help and reassurance, and that this is especially true of fly flingers. If one is in a position of authority, not unlike a flyshop employee, then he or she will be called on to testify to a customer's aptitude or answer a client's questions. If the employee doesn't have the answers a customer seeks, he or she must to be able to refer the client to an appropriate source. The most respected guy in any flyshop isn't the one who casts the farthest, catches the biggest fish, or can recite all of the technical specifications on every rod in the shop. Rather, the most respected employee will be the one who shovels the least bullshit. I miss being that guy.

Conversely, I don't miss being the guy who couldn't spend the weekend on the water because he had to work. On days like this past Sunday, when the fishing is spectacular even though the catching leaves something to be desired, I am especially grateful I no longer receive a w-2 from the shop.To better illustrate my point, let's just say that I was casting an eight weight and some ginormous streamers to what may have been the biggest stream-bred trout I've ever seen. Yep. The fishing was amazing, and I was there for it.


Shaq said...

This is truth...former flyshop monkey is a great job to have.

Anonymous said...