Before a recent fly fishing trip with two of my daughters, I was asked by a colleague if there was a connection between fly fishing and maintenance in terms of planning and scheduling. I thought that question was a little off but after I started thinking about it, I realized - yes, planning and scheduling is an important part of all that we do.
Simply stated, without proper planning and scheduling, you will not be as effective or efficient as you would be with proper planning and scheduling.
I was on a 3.5 hour drive with my youngest daughter to meet my oldest daughter in Lock Haven, PA, to complete my fly-fishing team. My youngest daughter fell asleep after about half an hour of questions…I think she was faking it.
So I had a lot of time to think.
Have you heard the term “winging it” or “by the seat of your pants”? I have a fly rod and some fly fishing gear in the trunk of my car and have been known to pull off the road if I cross a stream or see a pond – only if I have some spare time. This is “winging it”! Try whatever you have and see what works.
Sometimes, this is how we do maintenance and yes, sometimes it works, but often times it doesn’t. As a result, I just wasted a valuable and limited commodity: time.
Basically, wrench time is a measure of the efficiency of your actions. Without a plan, you will spend a lot of time figuring out what to do while you are trying to do it. How do you figure out what to do? In Planning and Scheduling, you get one of your best techs, the guy or gal who knows what to do. In fly-fishing, you find a local who knows the water and pick his brain.
This local knowledge is key to a successful fishing trip. There are two rules in fly fishing;
Pretty simple right? Not really.
How do you know where the fish are and how do you know what they are eating, when and where they are eating (top of the water column or on the bottom). I have spent hours on a stream without catching anything, while at other times, I catch my limit in an hour.
Without adequate planning I spend a lot of time changing flies, searching for the fish and doing it all over again. If I had planned the trip instead of winging it, I would have known where the fish were, what time they were eating, what they were eating, where they were eating and how to get my fly in front of them.
Sounds like precision maintenance, doesn’t it?
Think of it as if you send a technician out to fix something without a proper job plan. By nature, he or she will get the job done, but it will take a lot longer and cost more than if they had a good job plan with all the steps, parts and a little bit of local knowledge.
Sometimes we can see the fish, but just don’t know what they are eating. I have spent a lot of time casting to these fish with no results. I just did not have the right flies or technique, or the fish just weren’t eating. I just couldn’t walk away.
Same with maintenance. I know I can fix it, I just don’t have the right parts or tools or local knowledge, but I keep trying because I hate to give up!
Back to that trip with my daughters. My older daughter had some of the local knowledge. She is working as a biological field intern for Trout Unlimited and has been sampling some of the most beautiful streams central PA has to offer.
So, we knew where the fish were and what they were eating.
About two weeks before the trip, I started researching some of the streams and gathered as much info as I could from different web sites and fishing reports (the OEMs).
What flies best imitated what the trout were eating, when the hatches were, what type of leaders to use, and general information about the streams; water flow, water temps, access points, etc. So, I had most of the info that I thought I needed.
This was my job plan.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start. Now, what I needed was some more local knowledge. To talk to the guys who work the stream every day. The experienced technicians. Have you ever hired a good guide that did not know what they were doing?
Not all water is the same. Specific spots produce more fish, and the experienced technician can give you some ideas of what techniques to use, what flies, and even special spots that are not documented; where a cold water tributary joins the main stream. Trout like this colder water in the summer, so if you know where these are, you have a better chance at hooking a nice fish.
Bottom line, just showing up will guarantee you have a good day on the stream. Being prepared will guarantee a great day on the stream.
When we got to our first spot, my older daughter and I were planning how to approach the fish we saw from a bridge above a beautiful pool. Meanwhile, my younger daughter grabs her rod and heads right into the stream and on her first cast, hooks a beautiful brown trout that ended up breaking her leader. My fault, since I didn’t have the right size leader. I made sure I updated the job plan.
What a great day we had. Any day on a stream fly fishing for trout is truly a blessing. To experience it with two of my daughters was a little bit of heaven!
The right time.
The right place.
The right resources.
The right steps.
Director of Sales, Maximo.
Matt has been involved in the maintenance and reliability industry for over 30 years. A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, he has served aboard US flag merchant vessels and upon graduation, he was commissioned in the US Navy and served aboard the USS Jesse LRead More..
Director of Sales, Maximo.
Matt has been involved in the maintenance and reliability industry for over 30 years. A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, he has served aboard US flag merchant vessels and upon graduation, he was commissioned in the US Navy and served aboard the USS Jesse L Brown, FF1089, where he was responsible for operations, maintenance, engineering, and safety programs.
Matt has worked at the Charleston Naval Shipyard where he was qualified as a nuclear engineer in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of S5W and S6G nuclear propulsion plants. He has also worked as a plant operations and maintenance manager where he was responsible for 186 facilities in Washington DC.
Matt has helped many customers leverage the data in EAM Systems to support the safe and reliable operations of their critical physical assets. He has also earned an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland.