I say a moment. It could be a period of time as well. For me, it was about a fly cast 498.

I was just about to shatter the glassy surface of the water by throwing my fly rod into it. Everything within a 25 foot radius of me could feel, and hear, the built up frustration within me.

Intermixed (repeatedly) in my previous casts, were results that included hooking small overhead trees, my back side, blades of grass and a picnic bench.

Somewhere, around cast 75, I heard the noise of a whip cracking and my fly line became a touch lighter. I had just launched my fly into sub-space on an ill-timed back cast.

I found out very quickly that watching someone on a fly fishing video or observing another fly fisherman can NOT be equated to being ‘well on your way’ in your fly fishing training.

By cast 200 and something, I had put my back into spasm by twisting around to pull a tiny fly out of the seat of my pants. I took note of the obvious lesson here: go barb-less.

Casts 375 and 400 rolled around and I was getting that whip noise again and small knots on my tippet. I compensated and worked on the timing of my back cast and continued trying to launch my fly forward again.

That brings us back to cast 498 again. It represents those moments in our lives where we wanted to quit. All 497 of the ‘good enough’ attempts and setbacks negatively motivate us to not make that ‘highly probable’ 498th botched casting attempt. It can be a critical time for anybody wanting to succeed. It is critical because it does not take into consideration the potential reward of casts 499 and 500 plus.

I overcame the urge to throw my fly rod into the water and worked my line up to prepare for cast 499. Unknowingly, everything became so routine now. I was thinking more of where I wanted the fly to go, than what I had to do to get it there. My line swished behind me – then back in front. The winged missile landed 10ft in front of me. No knots, no whipping, no boxer shorts attached. I repeated the process and, suddenly, I was at cast 500.

My fly launched 20ft.

It was like something clicked and for the next hour I was able to place my fly in front of me at will.

What cast are you on in your difficult situation? If you quit now, you may be one cast away from success. Your current set of circumstances could be preparing you for what is to come. Take that hook out of your ‘back-end’ and work harder.

Maybe you are at life circumstance 498 …