Thursday, April 02, 2009

Why Fly Fishing?

What is it about fly fishing that attracts you? For me there is a mystery about fly fishing that I just can't explain. The solitude I find where I am able to "escape" for the moment and my only worries are whether I'll have any wind knots to deal with.The satisfaction of laying your line out perfectly and the anticipation of a fish rising to a dry fly. The screaming of your fly reel when a steelhead takes line off of it and the graceful beauty of a well executed roll cast.The famous fly fishermen from the past couldn't explain it either. Why is one drawn to this method when there are so many other more productive methods out there for taking fish? We fly fishers often maligned by others as being "elitists" that's is unfortunate because in my years of angling I've found just as many elitists among the various other styles of fishing. Maybe it's the satisfied look on our faces after a day on the river that some cannot understand.In a world of conspicuous consumption I am happy to be able to just hike up the Deschutes canyon for a few hours and maybe see three or four others along the way.The rewards are many for me in fly fishing but they do not revolve around catching a bunch of fish. Maybe that's the mystery Those of you that know what I am talking about can've been there.
I like to reach out to the traditions and lore of fly fishing. Read any book by Haig-Brown or Arnold Gingrich and see if it does not move you.
Someone once said the if fishing is a religion then fly fishing must be high church. The sermon is the sounds of the river and the choir is the line as it it leaves your reel at high speed when you've hooked a hot trout.I've often marvelled at the quiet of the river when I am pursuing cutthroat trout on some coastal reach. I almost always return from a day of fly fishing empty handed but that certainly is not the measure of a successful trip.A successful day of fishing to me is the absolute satisfaction of achieving what I set out to do on the river.
It's futile to explain this to those who do not fly fish and even to some that do.
Being a successful fly fisherman is a personal thing to me. I feel I am in that I get the reward that I seek.So many of us became fly fishermen after many years of conventional angling. Why did we quit fishing that way? For me, at least, it was a desire to go beyond catching a bunch of fish. I did that! All sizes and all shapes as a matter of fact so to me fly fishing was just a natural progression to expand my enjoyment of the outdoors.
Putting it all in retrospect I can answer why I fly fish as simply this! At my age there is not much that gives me as much pleasure than a trout rising to a dry fly and to my way of thinking that is just part of the whole joy of fly fishing.
We all have our reasons...what is yours?

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