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December 19 : Au Sable & Manistee River Report

I just got back from a presentation to the Michigan Fly Fishing Club http://mffc.org/. The MFFC, based near Detroit, is one of the biggest fly fishing clubs in the state and a generous supporter of our area rivers.

When they first asked I refused - not because I didn’t want to do the presentation, but because for some strange reason, the last time I did a large public speaking engagement, I got the jitters for a bit at the beginning of the talk. It was strange because I’d never had that happen before. I taught college classes for a couple of years and have given tons of presentations to students, classmates, peer groups, and faculty.  It caught me off guard.  Anyone that’s ever experienced speakers’ anxiety knows how uncomfortable it is.

Anyway, they kept asking and I agreed to do the presentation. They are a great group of folks and treated me like an honored guest and friend. There were maybe a hundred there and I knew pretty much everyone. I was relaxed and confident when I walked into the room.  I’d been practicing my presentation for a week and knew it perfectly.  But when I stepped up to the microphone and looked out over the crowd, man, my mind went blank and I couldn’t even remember stories I’ve told hundreds of times.  Yep - I had the jitters again.  There wasn’t much to do but laugh about it and fight through it.

I settled down after a while, made some jokes, and everything ended up going just fine but it drives me crazy that I’ve had the flop sweat twice now. I guess there’s only two options: give up on giving presentations all together, or stand right up and keep doing them.  I’m going to keep right on standing up there… never tolerated not being good at things very well.  So if you need a mediocre speaker or just enjoy watching someone squirm a bit, give me a shout.

That was most of my week. I didn’t get a lot of time outside. I guess that makes sense, this is starting to be the time where we do more talking about hunting and fishing than actually going.

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I’ll remedy that this week.  It’s going to warm enough to fish and I’d like to set a few traps. If nothing else, Christmas Eve day has traditionally been an outdoor day for me.  When I was a kid it used to be beagles and bunny hunting but once the dogs were gone it’s been trout fishing or grouse hunting.  It really makes the Holiday for me and when you end a day in the field with family, friends, food, and a present or two . . . well, that’s just about as good as it gets.

I hope all have a fantastic Christmas and we see you soon,

Andy

Click Orson for the audio report:

OrsonWells

Comments

  • Helms

    Sorry I missed it. Merry Christmas to you and your family and everyone at the shop.

    Reply
  • Rob Woodland

    It must be that the all the zippers and buttons on the individuals in the crowd were dysfunctional. You know the advice that is always given to nervous speakers. I guess it only works if those devices cooperate.

    Have a Merry Christmas, Andy.

    Reply
  • Andy, you never seem to have the jitters at the shop. Keep after it. May you, your family, and all the great people at OAFS have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Reply
  • Doug Harris

    You taught college courses ? I trusted you man.

    :-)

    Reply
  • Doug Harris

    You taught college courses ? I trusted you, man.

    :-)

    Merry Christmas Andy.

    Reply
    • Spence Vanderhoof

      Andy may have felt like he was having a meltdown, but he did just fine. I even had one of our members come up to me after and compliment me on my speaker choices for the club.

      Most of us have known Andy for years and were happy that he came down to share his thoughts on the changes seen in our hobby over the years he's fished.

      Next time down he'll have to loosen up like I do..."Another Molson Canadian please."

      Thanks again, sir!

      Spence Vanderhoof
      Corresponding Secretary
      Michigan Fly Fishing Club

      Reply
  • Spence Vanderhoof

    Andy may have felt like he was having a meltdown, but he did just fine. I even had one of our members come up to me after and compliment me on my speaker choices for the club.

    Most of us have known Andy for years and were happy that he came down to share his thoughts on the changes seen in our hobby over the years he's fished.

    Next time down he'll have to loosen up like I do..."Another Molson Canadian please."

    Thanks again, sir!

    Spence Vanderhoof
    Corresponding Secretary
    Michigan Fly Fishing Club

    Reply
  • Mike

    Merry Christmas! It was a real pleasure meeting you on the river this summer at TRAEFL. Jake was right! Your reports are the best! Hope your 2015 plans are a huge success.
    Mike

    Reply
  • Greg Hoover (Tennessee)

    Picture your audience wearing rainbow trout pajamas. (If they are a bunch of middle aged men, you DON'T want to picture them in underwear.)

    Reply
  • Joyce Haxton

    Hi Andy..thanks for coming down..love the stories and you did a great job!!! Merry Christmas!!

    Reply
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