While the youngsters flit about, expecting a burger delivered before they order, fly fisherman become one of the last bastions of
stubbornness patience in a world moving at the breakneck pace of broadband.
People will visit a commerce or news website less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds (a millisecond is a thousandth of a second).
‘Two hundred fifty milliseconds, either slower or faster, is close to the magic number now for competitive advantage on the Web,’ said Harry Shum, a computer scientist and speed specialist at Microsoft.
But speed matters in every context, research shows. Four out of five online users will click away if a video stalls while loading.”
As a youngster, I always assumed that those old fly fishing guys — a group to which I still feverishly claim not to belong — were slow because of age. Time’s revealed that I was a bit hasty in judging.
Sometimes it’s a method, sometimes superstition, and more often than we might care to admit, an unwillingness to think that it’s us that’s the problem…or a belief that any problem can be rectified with just one more cast.
It might be obvious that changing flies or moving up river is an answer to refusal after refusal after refusal. But obstinately I place faith in my ‘confidence flies.’ I don’t think I’m all alone; count the number of magazine articles, blog posts and forum discussions extolling anglers to swap flies after three refusals. And that same fisherman who knows the steelhead shuffle will sight cast to that single big brown while shadows grow longer.
Then there’s that one fish that’s the ‘fly in the ointment.’ The same fish that takes the fly on that last cast — the cast after which I was going to move up river; the cast after which I was going to change flies.
It’s that single fish that seems to have slowed me down; requiring the devotion of
more time than appropriate thought to every move, every change, every cast.