Why Flyfishing and design are more similar than you think... Or maybe you never thought that... ever.
There is something really therapeutic about Fly fishing… I don’t know if it’s being outdoors, the sound of the river flowing over rocks, the birds chirping over head, or the rhythmic feel of the fly rod in your hand. But it is really relaxing and it’s easy to spend hours out on the river and lose track of time. At least that’s how it is for me now, but it wasn’t this way when I first started to learn how to fly fish.
I remember being introduced to fly fishing by my older brother. He invited me one day to go with him on the Provo river in Utah. I watch as he waded out in to the current and gracefully cast out over the water and then gently drop a fly down just above where he told me he knew a fish would be feeding. I was mesmerized by the way he would cast back and forth, feeding more line through his fly rod, and then how the fly line gently curled out onto the river until the fly dropped exactly where he said he wanted it to land. It was a true art form and a thing of beauty! I was in a trance as I watched the tiny fly floating on top of the water when suddenly all of the peace and calm was interrupted by an explosion and splash of water directly where the fly had been floating… It actually startled me. My brother was as calm as a cucumber, as he calmly, but quickly raised his fly rod as if he knew it was going to happen, and set the hook in a good sized brown trout. The trout took off up the river like a torpedo, and my brothers reel screamed as fly line was quickly being pulled up the river by this fish that seemed like it would never stop! It did stop though, just enough for my brother to reel it in a bit, but only for a moment, as the trout decided to take off again. This happened a few more time until finally he got the fish close enough to scoop it up with his net. As I watch my brother gently remove the fly from that beautiful trout’s mouth and release him back into the river, I was hooked (No pun intended)! I was hooked and I hadn’t even put my line in the water. I just knew at that moment that I wanted to learn to fly fish and I wanted to be good at it!
I spent the rest of that day, summer, and fall slapping my fly line on the water and scaring any and all fish away. I would grab the juiciest fly I could find in my flybox, tie it on my line and toss it out onto the water. I would pray, plead, and sometime beg that a fish would take it, and every once in a while I’d get lucky… But a lot of times I’d go home without a single hit, or even a sign that there were even fish in the river.
I’ve learn a lot since then about how to catch trout…
Like you can’t just toss your fly out onto the water and hope there is a fish there ready to take your fly. You need to know where the fish lie and feed and place your fly where they will notice it.
Or how you don’t just pick the juiciest looking fly out of your flybox. You have to know the size, color, what fly hatch is happening. And last but not least of all you have to present the fly in a way that looks natural or appetizing to the fish. You can’t just slap it down on the water and expect the fish to think it’s an actual insect.
This always reminds me of what it’s like to be a designer. Fly fishing can teach you a lot about how to find and target your potential customers. At first you need to do some research and figure out who you want to attract or target. Like where do your customers hang out, what are they reading and how you can find them. Then you need to understand what they are interested in and what bait will lure them to your message. You got to get your message in front of them and present it in a way they will find interesting. And then after you got there attention and they take the bait, you can set the hook with an offer they can refuse.
Just like fly fishing, it took me a while to figure this out. I’ve made mistake along the way, throwing my message out there, hoping, praying, and sometime begging someone will take my message.
Sometime I would get lucky. But I’ve learned if I want to attract the type of clients I want to work with, I need a more thoughtful, targeted approach to locating, attracting, and bringing potential customers to me.
If you’d like to learn how to find and target your customers with a more thoughtful approach contact me. I’d love you show you what I’ve learned!