I was coaching my daughter this afternoon on getting her homework done and over with quickly. As all “old farts” do, I related my own school experience, and the memories came flooding back.
At boarding school. we had early prep, which must have been somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes in duration, followed by supper and thereafter “long prep”. In early prep we were all showered and dressed, but many were still red in the face from the exertion of the afternoon’s sport, and spirits were still high. Little work was done. Most procrastinated, figuring they still had long prep lying ahead of them like a vast and miserable desert.
What does this have to do with flyfishing?
There was one bloke, who worked like a machine in early prep, in an attempt to get it all done in half an hour. That was me. 51% would do. (I didn’t tell my daughter that part.) And that was because, if I got it all done in first prep, I could tie flies for the whole of “long prep”.
After supper, in the prep room, the vice was out, and I was churning out DDD’s by the dozen, while my mates did maths. There were several of us who fell into this pattern.
Some of the slower learners (and I was by no means a fast learner), were also keen fly-fishermen, and they too tried this. Unfortunately their marks plummeted, and the result was that fly tying during prep was eventually banned at the school. What a bummer!
And speaking of slower learners: There was one fellow, who shall remain nameless, who provided us a lot of entertainment. He was one of those gangly, uncoordinated kids, who fly fished, but couldn’t quite get fly tying right. He was inclined to bind his fingers to the hook or suchlike. So I sold him a few flies. Another chap witnessed this, and concocted a plan. He snuck in through the dorm window, and stole the flies that had just been bought. Within an hour he presented them for sale to the same fellow, claiming that they were tied much better than mine. The plan worked. What’s more, he did it several times, each time stealing exactly the same flies and re-selling them! After a while guilt set in, and we came clean with the fellow, restoring his pocket money , but denting his dignity.
I can’t help feeling that we must have done him a service in some way, and contributed to his education, because I bumped into him a few years ago, and he is now a captain of industry. But someone must still be taking money off him, because he still doesn’t tie his own.
So, my advice to my daughter: Get it done in first prep, (and learn to tie your own flies, so that you won’t be had).