Three or four years ago, I started fishing with a friend of a friend. At the time, Ben Jose was a die-hard spin junkie, but gradually he turned to the dark-side - or the light depending on your particular perspective.
In the thirty or so years I've been fly fishing, I've been fortunate to learn something from all my fishing partners, and from Ben I learned to better appreciate my time on the water. I started to shift my gaze from the river to the trees just a little bit more, sit down and take it all in just a little bit more, and ultimately to better enjoy my time on the water. Observing Ben forced me to re-examine my preconceived notions of the what, where, why and how of bug chucking. I suspect that he would tell you I've been more a tutor to him than he has to me, but I would disagree. I may have taught him how to double-haul, but he taught me much more important lessons.
Several months ago, Ben introduced me - via Facebook - to Drew Price.
I've never met Drew face to face, never heard his voice, shaken his hand, or watched him cast, but I feel as if I've known him for a long while. Since our introduction, we've had any number of online conversations about fly fishing, tying, and guiding. Drew has eclectic tastes when it comes to the long rod. He chases species about which I've only ever read, and he is quite successful in those pursuits. He was the first Master Angler in Vermont's new Master Angler program. Drew Price is nothing if not original.
Like Ben - and all of my fishing partners, for that matter - Drew has had an interesting effect on the way I think about bug chucking. For example, I was sitting at my tying bench the other night, and as I often do I was browsing through my material in anticipation of tying some Hendrickson emergers. I discovered I was a little low on the the Patridge 15BN I use for the fly. In browsing the web to find a supplier, I discovered the 15BNX, a relatively new hook with a more severe bend than its predecessor.
Oddly enough, my first thought wasn't of Hendricksons or trout. Rather, I found myself day dreaming of fish rooting through the weeds of a nameless, muddy backwater. I found myself thinking that new hook would make for an awfully tasty piece of carp crack. I found myself thinking of oddball fish and oddball flies.
Oddball fish. Oddball flies. This is The Drew Effect, and this is in part, why I'm so looking forward to 2011.