Casting Into New Pools

Fly casters aren’t the only creatures searching for the best fishing hole. Grizzly bears enjoy a trout dinner, too.

It was about 4:00 in the afternoon and the water was still, so still that I could see the brook trout’s shadow from where I crouched, about 30 yards away. The shadow toyed with the flotsam on the pool’s surface and when it encountered an actual insect, swallowed it in a quick splash leaving only a spreading ring.

I straightened myself slightly, careful to avoid any sudden movement that would reveal my presence. That would end the brook trout’s snack time and send it irretrievably under the brushy overhang on the opposite bank. I tried a few casts downstream to get line out. Then, satisfied I could drop my lure in front of the shadowy trout, I swiveled my torso while false casting, faced the pool and made one last backcast to dry my fly.

As the line took it’s measure behind me, a June bug struck my right ear. Distracted, I slipped on a rock. My arm slammed forward as if striking a roofing nail. My line followed, crashing into the still water with a mighty splash.

The brook trout’s shadow was gone. Undoubtedly the splash caused it to swear off surface feeding for the afternoon, and now it was settled under the bank and the brush where I couldn’t place a lure.

Time to cast into a new pool.

The healthcare service and support industry is a lot like fishing. A lot of folks are satisfied with weighting a stout line, affixing a reliable worm, dropping it into the deep penetralia of a well-known fishing hole and sitting back to wait for the fish to do the work.

Others wade into the stream looking for new fish and new ways to tease them onto a line and into the creel. In other words, they like to do things the hard way. But unless someone makes those roll casts from a difficult angle, there won’t be any new pools where the main body of fishermen can drown their worms when the old fishing hole is depleted.

Contributing editor Bill Collier is one of our industry’s more adventurous anglers, and he encourages all of us to cast, not dunk, in his “Down to Business” column on page 20.

Where do we find the lines of our Orvis-clad explorers in healthcare technology management, service and support today? Freestanding ambulatory surgical centers, without a doubt. Like a brook trout, the managers of surgicenters are wary quarry — shrewd business people who won’t jump onto just any hook baited with a service contract. You have to play them a little, understand how sensitive the surgicenter is to small changes in cash flow, and offer the facility a program they are hungry for.

Want to try these waters? We have tips on how to read the habitat of surgicenters, and some additions for your technology management fly-book, starting on page 22.

Fly casters aren’t the only creatures searching for the best fishing hole. Grizzly bears enjoy a trout dinner, too. If you are going to enter their woods, you’d better know how to avoid being mauled. The same goes for when you cross into the territory of an even more dangerous creature, the operating room supervisor. Dave 

Harrington offers basic skills to help you survive that trip “Behind the Swinging Doors” on page 26.

It’s easy to acquire bad habits when you teach yourself how to fly cast. To avoid this, ask someone to watch you practice and spot flaws in your motion before they become permanent features of your fishing style. Jean Ridgway has watched her husband Malcolm, and the rest of our industry, since the days when electrical safety ran like Pacific salmon. The observations of this very thoughtful lady can be found on page 34.

The nice thing about fly fishing is that there is always another day, another hatch and another pool to cast into. That’s also the nice thing about our industry.