This really rings true with me. I used to teach people photography(in film days) when we had beginers loading tanks cutting the film and working into small slots over ball bearings. I’d tell them that though it’s completely dark ..Close their Eyes.If that sounds a bit abstract try this. Close your eyes.
( rather than trying to struggle in the dark)
Once your eyelids are down I guess communicates that the eyes are out of action and the brain engages the other senses like feel. And you feel calmer.
( pretty unscientific but that’s what I told them) . It’s probably just that we rely on ours eyes too much to get us out of a mess, and don’t notice/trust the feedback of the other senses.
I’ve loaded thousands of tanks. Always with my eyes closed and it’s a habit now with tricky jobs . Struggle , close eyes , feel calmer, engage feel, Getting a wrench on a tricky nut, fitting in tight mortise joints, struggling Re-attaching appliances, struggling with a key in a lock, even threading my petitjean bobbin holder are what come to mind …but I do,do it a lot.
Thinking about it now I guess it’s like the dexterity of a blind man with Braille and walking with a cane.
I had a not very experienced reservoir fisher come to fish the brook this year. He spent more time with his head behind him watching his cast, so I spent 20 mins gripping the back of his head making sure it pointed at the water ahead and learn to trust that the spot he was looking at would be the place his fly would land ( ok we know there’s more variables but it’s an aspiration).
I also try and get people to watch the stream a head at all times like when your driving. Fly tangled round your rod ? Quick glance then watch the river while you feel it free.
Changing fly quick glance to thread the eye, then do the blood knot twist by feel. Getting out the frogs fanny and unscrewing it … there’s no reason to look at it. Of the four of five tubs and bottles in my pocket only one feels like that.
The more times the eyes are on the water the more chance your going to get to notice that odd rise or bulge or tilt by the weeds. It’s the best use of your eyes, feel sorts out so much more when we learn to trust it.
I can’t wait to get down there again where I have been practicing casting and close my eyes and try a feel it . The Blackberry bushes await my wayward attempts in eager anticipation, and I’m sure they’ll be some frustration but I’ll give it a go. An open lawn would be easier , but we like a challenge!!
Maybe that’ll get me to understand the ‘feel’ thing and trust the backcast without the urge to turn my head back, ruin my body plane and unbalance the cast.