Fly Fishing & The Gig Economy
If you haven’t ever taken the chance to go fishing, I highly recommend giving it a go. Yes…it can get messy, yes…the fish can be smelly, and yes…it can get a little cold depending upon the time of year, but it’s also a truly incredible experience. Over the years I’ve grabbed the opportunities to fish both for fun (catch and release) in Ontario, Canada and for food (dinner!) in Upstate New York and Alaska. What I learned through these experiences is that the type of fish you’re looking to catch, determines the skill set you need to bring to the water. For example, fishing in the turbulent waters of the Lower Niagara River in Ontario, Canada for small mouth bass where you may get a nice little fight that keeps you very actively engaged, is quite different from fishing for halibut in Homer, Alaska, where you need to rely purely on shear strength, as it’s more akin to raising a barn door off the ocean floor (biceps…don’t fail me!)
I remember watching the movie, A River Runs Through It back in the 90’s, where the complexities of the characters’ lives were navigated and understood through the art of fly-fishing. I decided then, that one day I’d get to Montana, stand in a cold river with hip waders, surrounded by beautiful nature, and try my hand at fly-fishing. Although all fishing requires some level of ability, fly-fishing seems an art onto itself. Knowing when to cast, where to cast, and how to cast, requires a combination of technique, timing and luck. It also requires a zen-like, meditative patience and the ability to become “one” with your surroundings and the act itself. It’s contemplative casting in the hopes that you’ll get “get a bite” and when that bite comes I can only imagine that it’s exhilarating, exciting and worth it.
Working in today’s gig economy can seem very similar to fly-fishing at times and I think there are a few takeaways to be learned from this sport/art, to assist the adventuresome souls who embark on this particular career journey.
Here’s a few tips:
Fishing isn’t for everyone, I get that. And, neither is freelancing and/or independent contract work in the rapid growing gig economy. But those who decide to try it out, are usually seeking the flexibility and autonomy that a traditional workplace may not offer. There are trade-offs such as consistency and stability for the professional adventure of charting your own territory and doing things “your way”. A steady paycheck for monetary droughts and floods. I also imagine that most fly fishers, don’t head to the river with the number of fish in mind that they want to catch for the day. They’re doing it for the experience of being at one with their surroundings and doing something they just plain enjoy it. So, if you love what you do, but not necessarily where you’re doing it, or how your being told to do it, maybe you’re a fly-fisher too, just waiting to get out there, cast your line and yell “Fish On!”.
by Christine Demcie