There is no one person in the fishing world that really shows us all the mishaps of fishing like Bill Dance (See video). As a professional, the public expects what they see in the videos or on television. Things are rarely so perfect. Last night I went and worked with the boy scouts on the fly fishing merit badge. In a normal situation when I’m fishing or tying flies, there are always kinks to work through. I don’t generally notice these most of the time because I am concentrating on what I am doing. Last night was a different story. What can go wrong, will go wrong.
Right off the get go, when I am presenting the proper way to cast, I get my feet tangled in my fly line. In a room full of 12 to 18-year-old boys…of course there was a little laughter and some comments. But I pushed through my embarrassment and moved on. When I sat down and showed them the proper way to tie flies, I was a bumbling mess of broken string, missing components and flies that looked like they were peeled off of a semi windshield. Even though each little mistake I made tugged at my own insecurities, I made light of my screw ups and laughed with the boys. Overall, I think I gave them an idea of what a true fisherman is. I shared with them my passion, my sense of humor, my mistakes, and my perseverance. Not a lesson I’m sure that they were aware of, or wanted for that matter, but one I hope sticks with some of them.
Next month the boys will be tying their own flies under my expert, albeit unorthodox, tutelage. Nervous breakdown here I come.