Fly fishing. It’s a wonderful thing. What’s so great about it? Well it’s hard to put into words, but let me take a shot at it. Flyfishing is a sport that involves you on many levels. There is a conceptual side, an asethetic side, a physical side, and all the while it draws you closer to nature.
On the conceptual end, you’re actively involved in problem solving. There is always plenty to do; whether it be rigging your tackle; figuring out how a strategy for the present conditions; reading the water; judging the tides; deciding what fly to use; figuring out how to correctly present it. The list is endless. And that mental focus allows all the other issues in your life to quietly drift away. Nice.
So where is the aesthetic component? The sport is chockerblock full. The visual beauty of the fish, and the flies is certainly a big part of it. Both are a treat. And then there is the look of fine tackle, and the graceful arc of a well cast fly line. And to those things, you must add the sheer magic of water, be it a stream, a hidden lake, the coastline, or an estuary. They are some of the most appealing places on the planet.
Many folks think fishing is a sedentary sport. Yeah, they think anglers sit in chairs by the water, soaking bait while sipping a cold one. Fly fishing is nothing like that. With rod in hand you’re casting, stripping in line, wading, rowing, paddling, hiking through the woods or hiking down the beach. Man, you’re outside and moving around. It’s great.
And now comes the clincher, you’re doing of these things while connected to the natural world. Unlike most sports, you’re not dealing with white lines on a field, a net, or a goal post, a ball, a referee, or any list of man-made regulations. In fly fishing, nature provides the playing field and she also sets the rules. It’s about you and real world. Little wonder then that best fly angler are also naturalists. They work hard to understand the ecosystem . They learn about mayflies and caddis, and all the other the macro invertebrates. Some folks even learn their latin names. They learn about salt water predators and forage fish; they learn their habits, and where they are found. They make plans around changing of the seasons, the migrations of game fish; they figure in the phases of the moon and the direction of the wind. A good fly angler is deeply in touch with the planet.