The Descent – How Fly Fishing Started Ruling My Life
I wasn’t always an unshaven, semi-homeless looking guy with a lot of fly fishing gear on the back seat of my truck.
No, I was once an up & coming, hot-shot geologist. Still unshaven, still semi-homeless looking. But without fly fishing gear.
To back it up a bit: I fished a fair amount with my uncles when I was younger. Then I discovered (in no particular order) rugby, beer & girls. The three of them went hand in hand, especially on roadtrips. Fishing ended up down a few spots on the priority list
After a few years of playing competitive rugby and working hotel & bar jobs, I enrolled to study geology. There was no real love affair with rocks; just a desire for a job that paid me to travel.
Fast-forward a few years: I have a fairly sizable mineral discovery under my belt, an expensive apartment in Vancouver, BC, and I’m making more money than I ever thought I would in my life.
And I was completely miserable.
Sure, taking a helicopter for fresh pastries was fun, as was hanging out of said helicopter to photograph my project manager skiing down virgin slopes. In fact, there were lots of positives about the job.
But I was my job. I did nothing but work. All of the time.
I was laid off when the markets crashed in late 2008. Not wanting to sit out a lengthy downturn in the economy in the most expensive city in Canada, I loaded my dog, Awesome, and my few leftover belongings into my truck & headed back to the east coast.
Over the winter, I randomly read an article about fly fishing. Then I read another, and another, and started talking to my uncles about fishing, and bought a fly rod combo. Spring arrived, and I started fishing…with extremely limited results. But it was fun!
Later that summer I was working towards starting a consulting business,. I was doing random research and came across a story that changed my world forever. It’s copied below (with links to provide credit where credit is due, copyright nonsense, etc).
A while back I went to a conference in Boulder, Colorado. It was a business conference, but I went because I was curious. There were two people who were going to be there that I wanted to meet.
While there, Jonathan Mizel, the conference organizer, told an interesting story. I’m telling this from memory, so I won’t get it word for word, but you’ll see the point, I think.
It was about his first discussion with his new business coach. Jonathan was really excited about the process (he has big goals). The coach asked him what he wanted to get out of their conversations. Jonathan said he wanted to get rich. The coach asked him what he meant by rich, and Jonathan said he wanted to make a million dollars.
The coach asked him, “What would you do if you had a million dollars right now?”
Jonathan thought for a second and said, “I’d go fishing!”
To which the coach replied, “Jon, you don’t need a million dollars to go fishing.”
– (Taken from “A Simple System to Achieve Your Goals” by Paul Myers)
While in the midst of pondering this over several days…
…I caught a very respectable trout on my 3wt.
And so it began.