Congratulations Castwell you made it!       

November 22nd, 1999

By Old Rupe

Old Rupe is sitting in for Old Castwell this week. Castwell got his feet tangled up, fell and broke some ribs. Sitting at the computer doesn't make it. Hope he is back soon. ~ Publisher

I remember the martial arts TV show of the 80's where the student is called Grasshopper by the mentor and is gradually shown the lessons that the mentor studied a life time to really understand.

The student is respectful, quiet and attentive. As the result of this the mentor devotes a lot of his elder years to instructing the student in the correct way of the art.

Since I have taught a few students I can appreciate the parallel. I have shown a few serious students a way of life that I spent a life time to learn. A very few. If I would bother to devote a serious portion of my remaining years to their education in the art then it couldn't be a nasty thing for "Old Rupe." I won't spend a significant portion of my later years trying to instruct a "smart-assed student" in the art that I find so dear.

Those few remaining years are dear to me. I wish no problems associated with those years. If it's not a pleasant thing it just won't play. I want no student making me sorry I ever met him. If he want's to learn what I know that's not a problem. I might spend 40 hours a week trying to show what little I know, but I don't need a hassle doing it.

Remember I know my art. He doesn't. I have spent forty plus years learning it and if he expects the answers in 10 sentences he's sadly mistaken. If the student is not smart enough to understand how a student should act and to be patient and listen to me explain my sport as I see it then maybe he should buy a video. The bottom line is don't ruin my sport just to try and understand it. I'll help you but I won't ruin my life for you. What you see is all I will give you. The grasshopper act plays even here.

My best students, some even became fanatics, were respectful quiet people that didn't intrude on my life style. Maybe that's why I worked so hard teaching them. I just don't need a student whose reason for being there is to show me what a smart person he is. I'm disrupting my life to accommodate you, don't make teaching you a chore. I may find I have other commitments.

Fly fishermen are generally quiet reflective individuals who really don't interact much with the rest of the world. I can count on two hands the number of individuals I would want to spend a day on the stream with. My social interaction is in general satisfied with internet contacts where others are kept at a distance. When a different personality type intrudes he has no clue why his act doesn't play. We tend to group together in clubs and such searching for a kindred soul.

Few find one.

Most clubs tend to be collections of individuals that pursue the sport but that don't have enough in common as to view point, philosophy and skill level to enjoy a beer together in the evening after fishing all day. Most enjoy fishing alone and even if they don't many rivers mandate the solitary fishing thing. Its nice to spend a day or two with an individual every year or so but few associations or friendships would stand three to four days on the water each week.

A student must therefor tread very softly so that his repeated presence is a pleasant thing. The mentor will in general tolerate few of his peers for any length of time, and will never tolerate a student that doesn't fit in.

Grasshopper, I like you best when you don't chirp too much. A quiet grasshopper who seems to blend in can be around for quite a while. It's hard to step on something you like.

Green can be a nice color. ~ Old Rupe

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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