(NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you can't fish?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jerry Daschofsky, May 28, 2003.

  1. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +658 / 5
    Just something I've been thinking about. What do you do when you can't fish. I mean, like ARE NOT ABLE to fish? I've been injured pretty bad a few years ago in an accident during a delivery. Slowly over the last 3-4 years it has become worse. Doctors kept delaying saying "Just see what happens". Then, with a few other circumstances it has blown to a full out crippling injury. So, my fishing has been extremely limited. My boat rowing is to NIL right now. Spey rods, forget it. I can do the occasional fishing trip, as long as it doesn't involve alot of casting and reeling (blew out my shoulder/neck and alot of the muscle/nerves in there). But, can't do alot of reeling, hence do alot of trolling/plugging. Can feed a flyline, but casting is half the fun for me.

    So, here's a question to any of you who have been in similar circumstances. What did you do? What if it happened pre internet so you couldn't surf? I know personally I've been doing alot of flytying and lure making. But it really started to get old about 2 months ago when I was making them for EVERYONE but me. :( I still love to do it, but reminds me of how depressing it is not able to fish. I go out for walks, but can't leave my neck unsupported for too long or aches really bad (can only take so many percocet a day). I realized that almost all my activities are physically dependant. I've done alot of work in my garage. I can stop luckily when I want (rebuilt my fishing section over a few days of work). This is the picture of just before it's done. I have places for my vests/jackets to hang and made my rack so all my flytubes can sit upright with my conventional rods. http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/522/243fishrack.JPG

    But, I've been doing alot of stupid things. Like slowly doing, *gulp* yardwork while painfree. Which isn't long. I'm also doing little household repairs. I even rewired some of my house (had some old switches). Luckily most are within my pain threshhold without heavy lifting.

    Now, can I ask you. Is this "home" stuff normal? I'm a supposed to keep doing this AFTER I'm healed up? Looks like I may miss most of the summerrun season :( and don't want to think I'll be doing housework. Is there ANYTHING else I can do?? Help. Please. If anyone can get me into something better, I'll be buying them a :beer1 .

    Man, this sucks. But, here's to all of you who are able to enjoy what I can only dream about doing soon. :beer2
  2. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,597
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,652 / 0
    I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

    I know how you feel. I've had surgry(sp) on both knees. Thank god not at the same time. For the first week all you can do is lay flat on your back and take lots of drugs. Now a few years after they are healed I still can't go up stairs very well. Long walks are out and when ever I wade I have to be careful where I put my feet so I don't fall. Doctor says if I go in for any more operations on my right knee that they will have to replace it. That is something I don't want to do. You can only beat up your body so long and then it rebels.

    So fellas when ever I complain when I'm fishing don't laugh at me as I could still be in pain.

  3. Nailknot Active Member

    Posts: 1,895
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Steelheader69, sorry to hear about your injury. God willing you'll be back in action soon. Here's an idea: write a book! You're obviously a good writer and communicator, have a ton of fishing experience and stories to tell. I've always had a tremendous respect for folks who can actually get their experiences down on paper (or computer). Seems to me a lot like steelheading- goal oriented, requires a lot of patience and persistence and fortitude. It would offer a chance to go through your fishing memories with a goal of getting them down on paper instead of just reminiscing... visit old fishing spots, looking at the water with new eyes, thinking about flies, motivations, characters, and all that stuff- but with the goal of writing a chapter. I dunno, just a thought. Get well soon brother.


    PS I bet Bob could help ya out in such an endeavor.
  4. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +658 / 5

    May be something to do. May actually do it the old fashioned way. Actually write it down first. Getting really tired of the computer. Would rather be out in the sun when it's out. I've done alot of posting since I had nothing else really to do. But, am getting the itch to be outside more during the day. May take a trip after the 1st and do some 1 arm flyfishing with dries.

    Hmmmmm, could be a good thing. At least get stuff down on paper. I still have my journal when I was an exchange student. Have alot of my fishing trips down, just wish I put the rivers I fished down in the UK. But, was fun nonetheless. I was too busy having legal beer at 17, and some damned tall GORGEOUS european girls to chase after. Had my mind on OTHER things then to write exact details in my journal. }(

    Thanks for the tip, I may just do that.
  5. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...

    I vote for writing about it also. Relive all those great memories and share them.


    " When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee" Isaiah 43:2
  6. Backyard SANCHO!

    Posts: 1,690
    The River, WA.
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Man, Forget writing... Just go lake fishing with us. You think we actually cast for fish? Nah we just do it to prove to everyone we can. HA! If you can just drop your leader in the water, just kick out till you have enough line out on the lake and your golden! :thumb

    No sh!t though. Just come out, If anything you can hang at the campfire and watch me drink till i can't remember meeting you.
  7. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've had my troubles, too numerous to list. I hate them and I really hate to even talk about them. It bores me and I can only imagine how they bore others. So let's just forget the negative and on to the positive. Here are some things I do when I'm not fishing, either because I don't feel like fishing or I am not well enough to do so:
    I build things, all kinds of things. Furniture (I built all our furniture including the beds) additions on the house, storage sheds, a covered shelter for my big boat, new decks, lots of fishing related stuff, etc. I have a nice shop with all the goodies you need, but a table saw would get you started. Wood is free; just go beg some from the scrap piles at new construction sites. Don't worry about what to build, just get the tools (used?)and the wood. Ideas will come. At the library, go through old woodworking magazines and you'll see lots of stuff you would like to have. Build a few and you are hooked.
    I carve birds. I have a Fordam carver ($250.00) and I just love this. I know it's bucks but that's what you've got to have to really get started. Over your lifetime, such purchases are but pennies a day. Good tools never lose much value and I consider them free and good investments. It's not hard. You get patterns, you get books (library has many); you get started; you take classes. Your stuff will get better and better until you are very proud of it. I have all kinds of decoys, a cat, an American Avocet (I worked two months on that baby and got so excited about it, I couldn't sleep at times). Oh, song birds, sculptures of different stuff ( a mountain lion is on my list of to things to make; I've been eye balling the one mounted on top of the gate at Woodland Park Zoo). It's made out of scraps of plywood and I know I can steal his idea. And so on. A lot of this you can do in your lap while watching T.V. It's not about how good you are; it's about filling your life up. Carving will help do that.
    I study French. Any language will work but I got started on French at U.C.L.A in 1960 and I've kept working at it until this day. Now I speak fluently and have been able to do so for years. But the literature of French is never ending and their are always words that I don't know so I study and make a list of these to memorize when I get a chance. This hobby always entertains me (French movies, books, tourists I meet, dinners with French speakers, foreigh travel,classes at the WSU extension, etc. etc.) Pick out a language and go to work on it. Not all day but just a little here and a little there. It will come over time.
    I grow orchids. I'm big in this orchid world, have a greenhouse (you could build a small on for peanuts), have several hundred plants and I'm always doing something with them. The are my friends and we talk all the time. They don't say much in return but they listen very well to make up for this. I write a regular column in an orchid publication, "The Journal of the American Oncidiiniae Alliance." Sounds big but knowledge always comes with work and effort. So you could learn to grow some specialty. Not just yard crap but a real hobby; get a book, buy a few of those types and get started. Rhodies are a good choice, fruit trees, roses. You could steal a few wild ones if you like and then buy a few here and there and build up your collection as I did. Takes time, my friend, and taking time is what you need to do.
    I've got a bunch of cameras, some old Nikons that belong to my wife. She said I could have them, and as soon as I get things together I'm going to go out to some streams and lakes and places I love to be in and I'm going to build up a scrap book of my work. Sounds like it might be fun. I've always wanted to do it.
    I'm an artist. I have hundreds of drawings, some paintings, etc. People think I very talented. But actually I'm just mediocre. Don't care. I love draw and that's all that counts. Take a class in this and see what happens. You probably have a lot mote talent than you think. My wife was an art teacher and she belies anyone can be taught to do something. Don't get involved in that crazy art test scam but see what UDUB has to offer for adults, If not art, you might see something else you might like. Who knows, it may lead to a degree someday if don't already have one.
    I wanted to fix up old cars but I don't have much time as you can see.
    I am a writer as you know. I write all the time because it is a passion of mine. I write here and there and I don't care about money. It's just the for the fun of it. If people don't like my stuff, then they don't have to read it. Suits me fine.
    And the list goes on an on. I've been thinkiing about volunteering somewhere. Don't know though. Still thinking.
    I hope some of these ideasmight help you. You need to get busy so you can fight off depression which might kill you as it nearly did me.
    Good luck to you, my friend,
  8. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +770 / 1
    Well Bob, now you've gone and done it, let the cat out of the bag. When you gonna show some of your work???


    Good things come to those who wade...
  9. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,285
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +770 / 1
    Build rods, it's a sweet way to spend your time and you can fish a little, right???


    Good things come to those who wade...
  10. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Many good ideas for everyone Bob. We all can broaden our minds instead of our behinds.

    Something else you might add to your list of things to do Steelheader is be a mentor. Lots of kids would love to have a fishing teacher. Check with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. You could plan a program from fishing itself to talks and discussions of types of fish and habitat. Making rods and lures and tying flies. It is endless. You could effect some real change in the young where it would do a lot of good.

  11. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,597
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,652 / 0
    I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

    After reading all of this I got so tired I went back to bed.:p :p

  12. Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Posts: 1,433
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...


    After reading some of the excellent thoughts in this thread I'm not sure I can add anything of value. I thought I had done at least a few things of value until reading Bob's post...geez.
    Anyway, since I'm a latecomer to flyfishing, I've spent a lot of my "discretionary" time prior to this in carpentry and home improvement projects, but it sounds like you're about tapped out there. Others mentioned volunteerism, and although I know this'll sound cliched, working with others, especially kids, can sure get you out of your own head, which is one of the risks of being physically limited after you've been really active.
    Another item mentioned in passing was photography. Of course, it takes some investment if you don't have some specialized (wide angle, telephoto) lenses and a good tripod, but as an excuse to get outdoors and watch wildlife, there's hardly a better reason, and you may discover yet another talent.
    I also second the idea of writing. Sounds like you've got a great life's worth of experiences, and even if your audience is never larger than this group, or maybe a local newsletter, you'll get some feedback that says you've had some impact. If you're not sure how to present your own stories, track down some old-timers (no offense intended to anyone here...) and get to know and interview them, share their stories while you work on your own. Myself, being new to the PacNW and all, I'd LOVE to hear from some of the folks who were here before this part of the country was dammed up and paved over in so many places. Don't know where you're at, but there's probably some great local history there waiting to be spilled.
    Obviously you've made an impression here and the responses you're getting have to tell you something. It must have been a little scary to spill your guts and be, you know...we men hate this...vulnerable.
    Good for you. I have a whole new sense of who you are, and hope all these well-meaning responses will spark somewhere. We're all brethren here, regardless of gender, physical condition, age, politics, spiritual beliefs, etc. and it's amazing how it can come together like a good village should. We're never alone, are we?

  13. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    I second that. I've been a 'big brother' for 4 years now. (Big Brothers / Big Sisters of King County)

    Josh was 10 when he signed up for the program. His mom was single and doing her best to raise Josh and his little brother - but she realized he needed a father figure or male role model \ mentor. Josh's dad was an alcoholic and lived in michigan or something. Josh saw him once a year up until he died in car accident a few years ago.

    Anyway, Josh was on a waiting list for 2 years until I (and my wife - they have a 'couples' program) signed up for the program. They do profiles on you and the potential 'littles' and try to match based on common expectations and interests. Josh wanted to learn about fishing. I wanted to take and teach someone about fishing :thumb

    We started out fishing together 2 to 3 times a month. We didn't always fish, but 3/4 of the time that was on the agenda. Now 4 years and 3 kids later (and after moving another 40 minutes farther from him) we are luckly to get together once every other month. But we have a great friendship and have shared many fun adventures. And I know in some way I've made some kind of difference...

    So there's a little plug for BBKC. Email me if you want more info :beer2
  14. Big Ben Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    First thing I want to do is apologize for the testy tone of a couple of my previous posts to you SH69. Hope there are no hard feelings. Last year my father-in-law had lung cancer, but on days when he felt good we traveled. Saw the whales on the coast and hit all the Mt. St. Helens visitor centers. I would also second the writing idea. If you're close to a Community College see if they offer an intro to fiction writing class this summer. Fiction is easier to start with and a good teacher will let the class critique each other and show you how to submit a story for publication. I took it last summer at Clark College for $211 and loved it. You might even get UPS to pay your tuition. I submitted a flyfishing story for publication and I have four authentic rejection letters to show for it. Playing guitar is also something I'm learning and its pretty fun. I can struggle through "Will the Circle be Unbroken" and have mastered "Ode to Joy" and "Skip to My Lou". Hope you feel better soon.
  15. Wildram007 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...

    'Header -
    Would an (cringe) automatic fly reel alleviate excess reel winding enough to prolong catching??? Or, maybe you could vicariously fish by guiding others??? My guess is that when you do cast a fly rod that you are doing so with heretofore unprecedented efficiency...
    Man, THAT SUCKS!
    This Bud's for you :beer2
    To An Eventual Breakthrough Edgewise
  16. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +658 / 5
    No problem Ben

    I know alot of what I say sounds unreal, but once most get to know me, meet old friends of mine, or even see some of my old pictures they see I'm pretty much in the park.

    Well, I am on L&I, so I must stay on a strict regime (sp?). I have to be in my physical therapy so many days a week and MUST stick to what my Doctor says to the T. Going outside the box at all can lead to problems. Physically, I can't do my job, so I'd be screwed if they closed my claim because I was "supposedly" fit for duty. I have thought about going back to college (do have my AA). Actually, I am a mentor, for my kids. LOL. They take up all my time, plus I'm a single Dad. Would have to put them in daycare so I could be a mentor. I do alot of fishing with them. But my main problem is supporting my neck. After awhile of simple casting or doing traditional salmon/steelhead fishing my neck/shoulder starts to flare up. Feels like a heartattack to any of you that may have had one, just no damage to heart when it happens. Is purely the nerves leading down my left arm and into my chest spasming. Hurts like hell and freaks me out, eventhough I know it's simply the nerves and a nice friendly percocet evens it out.

    Thanks for all the advice all. Especially Bob. BUT....no fishing related activities. LOL. I do have a couple rods I do need to build. I have an old fenwick grizzly and a 7' 4wt Kunnan blanks to build. I also have enough flies to tie for clients to keep me busy. But all this leads back to not being able to fish and reminding me I can't. So, when I'm caught up on other things, want to get away from my fishing scene. Now, old memories are different. I do take my kids fishing, but with schedules like they are, hard to break away with my son half day in kindergarten and daughter in full day. I'm always coming/going to school it seems. LOL. I'd love to possibly take up carving though. Wish I could sign up for a course, but my PT hours vary so bad. Now, if their Mom lived here in WA, I'd be ok. But I don't like laying all my kid raising duties on my girlfriend. She shouldn't have to pay for me to play. I was hoping for more activities that I could do around here.

    Mentoring, ahhhhhhh. I actually did alot of mentoring prior to having my kids. Did some in highschool and college for some underprivledged kids. Even see some still fishing (got some hooked on it bad lol). I wish I had the time to add a couple more kids, but mine take first dibs on Daddy's free time. Let me see if I can get this pic to load of my two gems.

    My kids with some nice trout
    A day steelheading with my kids on my boat on the Nooch
  17. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,945
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...

    Others have already given you a life-list of excellent suggestions. Here are a few suplementry thoughts: Angling-related photography: When fishing, I usually have a camera at hand. Over the years, I've taken some good photos, among thousands of so-so or useless ones. I figured out that to be consistently good at outdoor photography, I should leave the tackle behind and go to the same places with better cameras, and concentrate. Somebody has to take those well-composed images of an early-morning angler executing a perfect double spey while silhouetted against river-level fog, etc....
    Is there a fly-fishing or steelhead or conservation group in your area? As a founding member of a fly club, and longtime newsletter editor and Board member, I assure you that a club can absorb all the energy you have to give.
    This is delicate, but would a neck brace or one of those multi-legged head braces enable you to get about for longer without pain? They look rediculous at first, but only at first. Like canes, hearing aids, or dentures, they're just devices to deal with what ails a person.
    We live in one of the most varied and beautiful places on Earth, and one of the best ways to appreciate it is to walk; hike, stroll, backpack; whatever pace suits you. There are many hiking clubs and informal groups, or you can go solo if it's safe.
    Have you thought about target shooting? There are many forms, and one of the most competitive involves sitting still at a bench: benchrest shooters are dedicated amateur technicians, fanatics about eliminating any barrier to the challenge of putting all their bullets into one ittybitty hole. Any kind of target shooting concentrates the mind wonderfully.
    As Aunty Mame said, "The world's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
  18. GreekGeek New Member

    Posts: 34
    Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A..
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...

    Well I can understand being laid up...even though I'm only 31, I've already seen 3 major surgeries that had me down for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. It's not a lot of fun, and you do tend to go stir crazy. I do have a suggestion for you though...it's something someone did for me, when he wasn't able to do much more than get around the house. Teach someone to tie flys. I had a WWII Vet pull me under his wing...he ties the most beautiful feather wing Atlantic Salmon flies (something I still can't to) and he humbled himself enough to teach me how to tie wooley buggers! I'd go by his house we'd have a cup of joe, and I'd tell him what I needed to learn to tie. He'd sit down at the bench and whip one up while I watched him. Then he'd take his razor, slice the bug off the hook, hand me his bobbin, and say "Now, it's your turn".

    I learned more about tying in a few months, than I could of learned in 50 class sessions at a fly shop. I got one on one instruction from my friend, and that has turned me into a pretty damn decent flytier. BTW, I still see the salty old guy, He's in a rest home right now, he is in a wheelchair and has very limited movement in his hands, so he can't tie anymore, but I still take him my bugs to show him, and it makes him proud as he can be to see his "prized student's" work!

    I only suggest it, because it has been something that has changed my life and helped me to appreciate someone who most people would overlook. Matter of fact, I took him out for a spin in my new rig the other day, and we went to GI Joes for a little shopping...it made my day to make his day.

    So I would say, if you are tired of investing your time in things...invest your time into people. You just might touch a life.

    Just my two denarii's worth.

    Tight Lines,

    AKA Matt Williams
  19. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +658 / 5
    (NFR) What do you do with your spare time if you ca...

    Well, the neck braces would have to be the one's that faceted to my head to keep it motionless. I don't have a big enough neck (was the classic lineman in high school LOL). To my dismay though, L&I won't pay for one (since it's not a requirement, and if I'm hurt I should be sitting on my butt when not at PT by their remarks). Can't afford to pay for one out of pocket right now. Pretty much stuck.

    Actually, you have hit a couple of ideas that ran through my head. Actually, not new pics, but old. Have alot of pics when I was in the UK/Europe. I am digging for a really nice picture I took of a statue in Berlin. Was taken from rear as the sun was nearly down. It's the Victory statue in center square. I was thinking of taking it out and blowing it up and framing it. Have a few other pics that are pretty good too. I wish my Dad still had his old camera. Was an old Minolta, but took AWESOME pictures. Had 3 lenses. Was great. Will probably buy another one eventually. Love the quality over the 35mm.