I will have to admit that I am not a very handy or craft-oriented person. That might put me at a disadvantage during our collectively imposed isolation for the foreseeable future.
As long as I can, I intend to get out in the woods and do some fly-fishing to help me focus on the beauty in nature and take my mind off of things.
When the order comes that travel is further restricted to only trips to the grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical facilities, I know that I will need something productive to do with my time. Some of my Payson Flycasters’ Club member buddies are already way ahead of me.
I get emails and calls from members asking about the flies that the elementary and middle school fly-fishing programs need. Every spring, club members tie a dozen flies for each of the kids fly boxes. Students add those boxes and other fly-fishing tools to lanyards made during an after-school class.
Usually the kids make lanyards in early April, have a casting lesson the following week, and then fish at the Green Valley Lakes for the rest of the school year. The prospects of students returning to school this year is increasingly doubtful, however, whenever they return, the kids will enjoy the kindness of club members who have tied flies for them.
Just like fly-fishing, fly tying requires a great deal of focus and concentration. Hours at the vise go by quickly and I am left with flies that, in my case, are not works of art, but still fool plenty of fish. It feels good to give flies that will catch fish for kids as they learning fly-fishing.
Some students that have been through the introductory sessions and the more advanced class, which focuses on fly tying, are already good at tying their own flies. Many of these kids have their own vises and will hopefully spend some of their time at home this spring tying flies. In fact, some of them have sold their flies online. I love calling on these now veteran tyers to provide a demonstration lesson for the new tyers in the class.
I also have had time lately to realize that I have a lot, no doubt more than I need, in the way of fishing stuff that could use some straightening and organizing. There surely will be a fair number of lures, fly tying materials, and fishing tools that I’ll put aside for my grandkids and the school kids when we get together again.
Looking at my bookshelf, I notice several books that I really have enjoyed over the years, but haven’t read in a while. Although several are historical fiction, probably as no surprise, many of the books are fishing books that I think my older grandkids might soon be ready for – after one more reading on my part.
My oldest grandson has tapped me for information about the Civil War, a favorite reading subject of mine, as he prepares a report to be turned in online. I’ve already sent him some reading material and look forward to talking with him about his school project.
My wife, who is way more handy and craft-oriented than me, has been knitting for others and just made a doll and some doll clothing for our younger grandkids. She also paints with watercolors and frequently gives away art to family members.
Activities like these are a way that we can stay connected and plan for a time when we get to be with family and friends again. I hope that you are making time each day to stay connected remotely as we support each other through these uncertain times.