I have a friend in the investment business who often refers to himself as a contrarian. He observes many, if not most, investors become emotional about their decisions, and lacking the discipline to stick to their plan they succumb to the “group think” of the masses. He believes it’s important to stick with your long-term plan especially when you see the multitudes moving money between investment classes that is contrary to to your long-term plan. This usually occurs when short-term events cause emotional distress. He somewhat jokingly quips that when he witnesses this type of unjustified, emotional mass-movement it’s often fruitful to move in the other direction. I believe he is right.
Fishing can be like that sometimes. Some of the very best fishing I’ve experienced was during inclement weather, the type of weather that keeps most anglers dry and warm at home. Some trips like that which come to mind are Martis Creek, Henderson Springs, and Cumins Reservoir. Of course, I’m not speaking of thunderstorms and other severe weather, but rather those colder, overcast, drizzly days. Not only do the larger trout seem more careless to accept imitations, the bonus is that most fisherman don’t like being out in lousy weather. Often, seeking to go against the grain does have its rewards.
The Lord says very similar things throughout the bible. He reminds us that we belong to Him, that while we are in this world we do not belong in this world. Jesus himself was a contrarian. The Savior King whose mission was to save the lost and broken in this world. He did so not by our worldly standards of aggression, dominance, and manipulation, but by serving the least of those amongst us, consorting with all sorts of sinners and broken souls, and by allowing the world to crucify him on the cross of its sins. All that seems pretty contrary to our societal expectations, it seems to me. (If interested, look up these bible verses: Romans 12:1-2, Mathew 23:11-12, Luke 19:1-10, and 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.)
So what does all this have to do with today’s blog? Well, I awoke to low clouds, cool temperatures, and a steady drizzle. I was sure that the ice was off the Cold Creek Pond, and that it might even be snowing. Last weekend I finished building a new 8-foot, 5-weight fly rod to replace my old one of the same specifications. When he fishes with me, Brian likes to use that older rod and now I’ll have two in case I want those same rod specifications when we’re fishing together. (My favorite fishing rod is still my 7.5-foot, 4-weight, but there are times when that extra half-foot and heavier line weight makes a difference.)
So, inclement weather, new fly rod… it was all too much for me. After dropping Evan off at high school at 6:30 am I high-tailed it to Cold Creek, where it was indeed snowing lightly right at the pond elevation. The temperature at 7:15 am was right at 32 degrees. I fished for just 45 minutes as the snow got a little heavier and my fingertips were burning and growing dysfunctional in the cold. I admit to no strikes, but that was OK with me. The fly rod performed just right and was appropriately broken in. Maybe my next trip will be to Cold Spring at Wayne Kirch where there’ll be some good early spring action, and maybe some inclement weather, to boot.
So, don’t be afraid to go against the flow, to be independent of thought, and especially don’t fall into the entrapments of this work for they are fleeting, but set your sights on the Truth.