Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 40 - I Like Fly Fishing

I like fly fishing. In case you haven't picked up on that fact. But when I say that I like fly fishing, I mean that I really like fly fishing.

Some people like the idea of fly fishing. They like the nobleness of being outdoors, taking in the sounds of the water, the smell of autumn leaves, and the warmth of the sun on their necks. Being outside to them is a sense of being connected to the Creator, the One who created each and every one of us. Glimpses of other wildlife flutters their heart in exhilaration as they break through their normal everyday drudgery. I also enjoy these things, but I really like fly fishing.

Then there are the meat gatherers. They are the wild spirited men and woman of adventure. They have big appetites. These are the ones that cast gi-normous flies, with whole steaks tied onto gargantuan hooks. They tie these monstrosities onto ropes instead of normal fly lines and are content with catching only one fish a day (so long as that trout is of trophy size). You can see these "hunters" stalking through grass on their bellies and casting from behind trees so as not to spook "The Legend" trout. The idea of catching big trout appeals to my soul as well. But seriously I really like fly fishing.

The bug nerds are next. The like to enter the stream with their fine seine nets held into the cold current. They crawl around on their hands and knees in the stream, scrutinizing the bottoms of rocks. They carry vials to collect their precious specimen. When around them you wonder if they aren't more religious than yourself with they way they spout the holy language of Latin. Oftentimes they are seen in the presence of the fly tyers and can often be confused with one another. I too love to debate about whether that bug that just flew by was of the class of baetidae or ephemeridae. But seriously I really like fly fishing.

I like what it means to be fly fishing. I could have just as well picked up a spinning rod and cast heavy Panther Martins to the trout, but I didn't. Instead, I choose to trick my quarry into believing that a cleverly tied hook with feathers, fluff, and fur is an edible meal. I choose to hold myself to an unspoken set of standards that is meant to showcase my own trickery and skill in defeating a worthy prey.

I like the characters that fly fishing creates. The old angling clubs of the New England states didn't prejudice a person on race, class, or sex. Doctors would stand shoulder to shoulder with mill workers in a stream, casting to trout or salmon. Today we see professional anglers (who we secretly worship) and the no good smelly trout bums (who we secretly wish to be) on the stream. Redneck, leatherneck, and no-necks... young and old, men and women... they all share that passion of independence from the societal norms. Tiger Woods, Jimmy Carter, Tom Brokaw, Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau... athletes, presidents, anchormen, writers, and philosophers all fly fish.

I like fly fishing for all its creativeness. I like the colors of a wonderfully tied Jock Scott, or the iridescent mystical color that peacock herl gives on a Prince Nymph. I am transfixed by the power transferred into fly line by the rod, shooting through the air with a rocket-like loop, energy slowly dissipating until the fly at the end gently lands upon the water with the most delicate of dances.

I love fly fishing for all that it is. For when I step into the water and raise my rod I am cosmicly connected to a historical host of anglers, great and small, and it makes feel like I am a part of something greater than myself.


  1. What a great article! I love it too ;-)

  2. Great post! I think Charles said it best..

    "Often I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito bitten, but never, with a fly rod in my hand have I been less than in a place that was less than beautiful.".. Charles Kuralt