Changing the Fly
Early in 2014, I was driving to pick up my wife from a women’s retreat in the North Georgia mountains. Just outside Helen, GA, the Chattahoochee River is adjacent to the highway for about a mile. As I approached the curve in the road that would place me beside the river, a flash of light caught my eye. Out of curiosity, I pulled off the road and got out of our SUV in an attempt to find out exactly what I had seen. The answer was soon evident. A man was fly fishing in an attempt to catch the trout in that stretch of the water.
I love to fish and have done so in lakes, streams, ponds and even the ocean. But I quickly admit that I don’t understand fly fishing. More accurately, I don’t understand fly fishermen. I had taken my camera with me as I had left my truck and thought that I’d quietly take some photos of the man casting his line. But in my attempt, I got my first lesson in not grasping the art of fly fishing. Apparently, the man did not like the fly he had on his line when I first saw him. I write that because after one more cast, for the next 15 minutes (and perhaps more), he carefully clipped the line to remove the old fly, tied on the new fly, adjusted the manner in which he had tied it to the line, readjusted it and then started all over again when he clipped that fly off the line. Now, I admit that I can be impatient. And while my mind was shouting at the man to please cast his line so that I could get some photos and leave, I did quietly wait. During that time, I did take some pictures of him working on his lure. I’m so glad I did because somewhere during the time, I realized the painting idea I was seeking might not be the man casting his line. Instead, it might be him changing the fly.
By the way, the man did finally make a few casts. And I use the word “few” literally because after about 4 or 5 casts, he decided to change the fly again. It was at that time that I realized that I had my painting ideas and for at least that man, his joy was in the preparation.
This is the original of “Changing the Fly.” It is a watercolor on 16” x 12” 140 lb cold press paper and is copyrighted by Gerry Grimes, the artist. He retains all rights regarding any form of copies and/or reproductions regardless of the ownership of the original by others.