On a recent warm day filled with early morning meetings, I had my fill of nonsense and wanted to get as far out of cell range as I could and headed for the Pecos River. I can’t say I was too hopeful of catching anything; recent runoff has been strong and the water levels haven’t been conducive to good fishing. But catching fish wasn’t really the point of this outing. What I wanted to clear my head and simply hit my internal “reset” button.
I found a nice little spot where the water was slow and deep and on my very first cast I pulled out a nice rainbow trout. The problem was that I barely hooked it and in securing the fish, I lurched onto my rod and broke it in half. It seemed like a perfect way to end a week filled with addiction stuff and suffering. However, I wasn’t ready to turn around and go home.
I remembered that I had duct tape and a ball point pen in my car. So, I opened the pen and removed the ink tube and cut a 3 inch piece. I then placed the ink tube into the rod and then connected the broken pieces (effectively, the ink tube was a dowel that held the rod together from the inside). I then taped the rod together with the duct tape and resumed fishing.
At first, I was hesitant. Although my repair job seemed to hold together, I wasn’t exactly sure it would hold up under the weight and resistance of an actual trout. My first cast with the broken rod was a delicate affair: I actually held the top d of the rod with one hand and kept my other hand on the base of the rod. But I really couldn’t feel anything. It seemed that my hand placement diminished the rod’s sensitivity, plus I was focused on the rod and not the line. So, I reeled in the the hook and casted normally and help the rod normally and WHAM! a huge bite.
Not only did the repair job hold, it seemed to make the rod more sensitive with the extra flexibility. Within 30 minutes, I had caught my limit and came home. I cleared my head and caught enough trout for a nice dinner.
The thing of it all is that I’m always telling people that it’s not really about what happens in life, it’s more about how we respond to what happens. Had I simply accepted the broken rod, I probably would’ve been in a worse mood and felt like a doofus. Instead of accepting it, i fixed the rod as best I could and ended up catching a stringer full of fish and forgetting the bad juju I absorbed throughout the week. While I realize that it’s a much smaller scale, I do think it bears sharing with clients that they can accept life’s issues OR they can use them as a means of something from which they can learn. I don’t know what will come of what I learned, but i do know that I learned that I can catch fix with a broken rod. The Pecos River has met its match…..