Sometimes I forget to do the obvious. Some things that I need to do, very obvious things, get forgotten. It's an interesting (to me) phenomenon. I'll realize I've forgotten to do something, generally after it has caused me some grief, and I'll try to figure out just why I didn't do it.

The best explanation I have is "that I wasn't thinking". I've known that to happen a lot, not just to me, but to nearly everyone. Even those that I respect and admire have those lapses now and then. I'd be willing to bet that you've experienced it too.

The most recent and particular thing was that I had gone fishing a few days before and still had a fly tied onto my leader. Now I am perfectly aware that the Brazos has some salt in it and corrodes hooks rapidly. I'm also aware that a knot tied in fishing line gets progressively weaker over time due to material fatigue.

Combine a rusting hook eye with an old knot and when a big fish hits, the hook comes off. I had left the fly on and should have removed it, cleaned out the eye and tied it back on with a fresh knot. I guess out of laziness of thought, out of turning a blind eye to the obvious need to refresh the hook and knot, I just left it on and started casting.

I got a hit after a while, a very hard hit from a big fish. The rod was nearly jerked out of my hand. This would have been a great battle, and one there was no guarantee I'd win. But within just a couple of seconds the fish was gone and I had a leader that was empty except for a couple of little curls on the end. I knew immediately why. It's hard to kick yourself when waist deep in water - but mentally I kicked myself all the way home.

What a stupid act of brazen failure to do the simplest and most obvious thing in the world. I won't make that mistake again. Not for a while. But given my history, it could happen again some day down the road.

So the next time I go fishing I will work my way through a mental check-list of obvious things to do. Maybe I should print myself a check-list of obvious things to do on a water-proof card and carry it with me fishing.

Problem is it might take a large deck of cards...
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer

Warm Water Fly Fishing Nut