If you realize you aren't so wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you're wiser today.
It is not dissimilar to being caught in the ceaseless rise and fall of waves. They toss me indiscriminately this way and that, taking me at their will. One minute I am high on the crest, with clearest of view, then only too soon staring up from the darkness of the well between sets. Highs, and then lows. And on and on it goes.
No, I'm not describing my emotional status. Merely a small section of it; the part that is me, the fisherman.
There was always a jigsaw puzzle in some stage of assembly on a card table in my parent's house. They were always the ones with at least a thousand pieces, designed with similar colors and patterns. It was not enough to have so many pieces to search through. Finding similar colors and/or patterns was of little advantage, as the same colors and patterns would exist in several different sections, which made progress utilizing those themes hard to come by. But, little by little, if patience was taken, certain nuances in the shapes began to emerge. They became noticeable enough to provide enough success wherein with each subsequent sitting it became important to establish yet again a kernel of trust in that particular process, which would usually breed further, however tenuous, progress, making the decision to continue on using that strategy much more agreeable.
But, as with any method that has no definable, lasting parameters, the guarantee was not always quantifiable; the pre-eminent paradigm now a hoax. What was working is suddenly not. The eyes wander over acres of itinerant puzzle pieces that now, even when severely scrutinized, seem to all have the same shape and no connection with the current project at all.
I can draw a strong parallel between those puzzles and my fishing. Such conjunctivity. Not that I am in need of laws, or postulates upon which to base any theory I might construct as products of my experience. I do not pretend for a moment that when speaking of fishing, and flies, that one can build an airtight case for absolution, especially when part of the equation concerns the mind of a fish. One would seemingly need only to revisit his established sets of guidelines when specific situations demand a re-thinking of strategy.
It is in those times, however, that I most often stumble into the dark corridor of indecision. Where confidence borne of success struggles with lessons yet to be learned. Where the paradigm evolves endlessly. Where the only rule is that which states there are no rules. And finally, in the process of experiencing, I begin to assimilate what I have learned, feeling that knowledge subtly draw me closer to a high ground where I will see what I have always known. There are no absolutes. There is no wrong way. There is only knowledge. Through experience.