Helping people seems like it would be more common, or at least on the river where we are joined together by the sport of fly fishing. However, often times it isn’t true. I am not sure if it’s because if we get too close to each other we’re afraid the next fisherman will learn our secrets, like what fly we are using, or rod we prefer. Seems silly to me that we make such a big deal when really, I feel that fly fishing is the most amazing and wonderful sport so why not share and help others?
I’d like to tell y’all a time I recently had when someone helped me on the river. I even shared it on my story on Instagram having been so amazed.
"I was wet wading like I often love to do in the summer and was straddling a log on some debris in the middle of the river."
I had a double nymph rigged up and was fishing a shelf when I caught a beautiful rainbow! The stubborn- or smart rainbow swam under the log I was sitting on and threw the hook. The hook then got stuck on the log and I just couldn’t stand to lose those flies; I was about to get sick over it. It was too deep and I had no way of reaching where they were. A kind, older gentleman saw my struggle from a flat bottom boat he was fly fishing from and slowly paddled over asking if I needed help. He was the sweetest thing ever, gingerly using his paddle to lift my fly line all the while explaining how him and his wife were retired and bought a cabin on the river. A few figure eight paddle attempts later he got both of my flies untangled and then inspected them.
He nodded to himself seeming to have approved of my choices that I was throwing that day.
I was elated, in such a fantastic mood and thankful he took the time to help me. I made sure to thank him several times. Almost awkwardly so in my typical nature. HAHAHAH!
I have thought of that small act of kindness over and over. It cost him nothing but a moment of time and completely changed my day. Several times recently this encounter has made me think of ways that I can pay it forward. I already have flybraries with flies up at various public accesses in Arkansas, but what else can I do? I could offer advice, a fly that is working for me on the river if I see someone struggling. Heck, even acknowledging others and engaging in friendly small talk. Something small could change someone's life forever and besides y'all never know what other people are going through. Most of us use the water to get away so you could be the catalyst to help someone make a step forward instead of two steps back.
What ways do you think I could add to my list or how would you help out others on the river? Tight lines and good vibes y’all!