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Receiving and giving

A fly fisherman reflects on the past year

As Christmas draws near and 2021 comes to a close, I’ve thought about some of the events that have happened this year, some involving fly fishing and some not. Some have been good, some bad, some hoped for, and some a surprise.

The bad, hoped for, and a surprise can be summed up in the following: COVID has been with us almost two years, there’s a new president, and we have the same ole self-centered, stalemated Congress. To avoid a heated argument I’ll ask everyone to decide for themselves which items go into the different categories.

For me, and I hope you, fly fishing fits into the good category. So, what good things did I receive from fly fishing this year? I was able to travel to several new locations to fly fish for trout, bass, and saltwater fish. My fly fishing associate was able to help keep me upright, and when I wasn’t upright, helped to pick me up. She also kept me humble, on several occasions, by catching way more fish than I did. I felt safer and had more fun. I was able to buy good cigars for the areas I was fly fishing, and have a good single malt at the end of the day. I found I was still able to focus on casting and catching and, therefore, I blocked out all the news of the world. Being able to laugh, all day, at all sorts of things, as I was casting kept me on the water. I also received the ability to accept the fact, due to old eyes, that using size-16 flies would be more common than using 18’s and smaller. All-in-all, a good year of receiving. But what about giving? After all, isn’t Christmas supposed to be about giving?

So, what are some of the time, talent and treasure, (3T’s) for fly fishing we can give in 2022? I like taking my time and talent to help anyone wanting to either learn to fly fishing, or sit on the bank and drown worms. To work with others I suggest you seek them out, don’t just wait for a call from someone. Finding others to help with fly fishing is really easy. Stand in a river and watch for someone struggling, then gently offer some unsolicited advice. Or, if someone asks you what fly you’re having success with, offer them a couple. I have a friend who helped his neighbor’s sons learn to cast standing in their driveway. Then took them to a pond to use their new skills to catch fish.

Let’s say, for whatever reasons, you don’t have the time or talent to help someone with fly fishing. There’s always the last T of the 3T’s – Treasure. There are any number of nonprofits, local, state or national, that use fly fishing in their missions. They are always in need of treasure to help achieve their goals. If you’re not aware of any nonprofits just google “fly fishing nonprofits,” and you’ll find people needing your help.

As we end 2021,and start a new year, I want to thank each of you for reading my columns. I also appreciate the positive comments many of you have made about the columns. That is truly a great gift to receive. Next, I will once again leave you with my annual politically incorrect statement.

I wish everyone Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, a good Eid al-Adha, and, of course, Merry Christmas. If none of these fits your beliefs, then may whatever touches your heart with hope be with you for all of 2022.

Reach Don Oliver at durango.fishing@gmail.com.