Forget about the pyramids. Screw the crop circles. The cinnamon bun with Mother Teresa’s face? Old news. Even Sasquatch is passé. Friends, I am here to tell you that I have witnessed a miracle.
Normally this is the sort of thing I would chalk up to urban legend, but I was there. In the flesh, and I saw it with my own eyes. Following is my account of what actually happened.
This past Saturday I attended a fishing clinic at a flyshop in Dallas. I spent roughly ten hours with anglers of every skill level, fishing guides, casting instructors, flytyers, and the team from the shop. Now, I know what you’re thinking…this sounds like a lot of fly fishing power in one room. Not to mention a real mix of personalities and attitudes. The optimal breeding ground for competitive story telling, conversational turf wars, and self-fueled bravado.
But that’s where the paranormal mystery begins. You see, I spent Saturday with the kindest group of ego-free anglers in the universe. It was other-worldly. We actually achieved zero gravity in the fly fishing ego chamber. Someone better call the boys at Guinness. (Book of World records not Beer.)
The clinic was hosted at Tail Waters Fly Fishing. I can’t say enough about this store and the company behind it. Open just under a year, Tail Waters is already a topnotch flyshop that offers quality merchandise and a team of a people that bring a deep bench of experience.
These guys have manners, smarts and soul. They are as generous with their fishing knowledge as they are with their hospitality. And while they seem to be having an awfully good time, they are extraordinarily passionate about creating a reputable brand and solid business with Tail Waters. And they’re working their asses off to make it happen.
The seminar itself was for women anglers of any and all ability. The women in the group were amazing, and skill level was irrelevant the moment we started. Everyone was attentive and eager and very supportive of each other. It was nice to look across the field and see someone helping someone else out with her cast. The mood was low-key and open, but the group was focused and engaged and asked a hell of a lot of good questions. I learned a ton.
The ultimate credit goes to our fearless leader for the day, badass flycasting instructor Stacy Lynn Trimble. I’ve heard about Stacy and her husband Billy Trimble for years so I was over the moon to meet her in person and learn from her directly. Reality far exceeded expectation.
First of all, Stacy is beautiful. But don’t let her angular good looks fool you, because her angling looks damn good too. She is a phenomenal caster and a natural-born teacher. She seamlessly and skillfully facilitated a group of women with wildly differing capabilities – and still managed to keep us laughing dawn til dusk. During the casting portion of the clinic, she had us do a horizontal casting exercise that essentially brought everyone to the same level, then teaching and empowering each of us to analyze our own casting strokes.
Nothing like a casting clinic to make me realize I suck at casting. But Stacy has me convinced that I need to shake things up and break things down so I can get to the next level. At this point I’m just going to believe anything she says because she’s as cool as they come.
The remainder of the day included substantive sessions on the best gear choices for women, basic knots and Texas fishing organized by species, season and locale.
Another highlight of the day was the chance to meet fellow fishing blogger Texas Fly Caster. I was waiting patiently for the ladies room and he boldly cut in front of me in line. An honest mistake, but while he received a light ribbing from the rest of the crowd I had the opportunity to meet him properly.
This is a guy who is passionate about Texas fishing and fly fishing photography. He’s got a great tagline on his blog – Fly Fishing Culture on the Skids – and he’s nice as hell. Stay tuned because hopefully we’re going to find a chance to fish together and collaborate on some creative projects for our blogs. Before he took off, he slipped me a little film canister with some of his favorite super secret North Texas flies.
Did I tell you I met nice people on Saturday or what??
This seminar was a benefit for Casting For Recovery. I had so much fun it’s kind of amazing to think I actually did something slightly selfless on top of it all. It was great to meet Mary Rohr of Texas Women Fly Fishers and Susan Gaetz, Planning Coordinator for Casting for Recovery in Texas. More cool women kicking ass, catching fish and making the world better a better place.
Now I don’t actually believe in UFOs or Bigfoot or nuns faces appearing in pastries. But you have to admit, it’s a pretty rare treat when you stumble across one of those blissful days where moods and attitudes all seem to align just perfectly.
And I’m not sure how to explain these…