In the nearly 40 years of casting a fly it seems like fly fishing is no longer a outdoor pursuit but a way of life. No matter what hobby I have done in those 40 years, and there have been a lot of them, it's always fly fishing I come back to. It calls to me and even if I cannot ford swift streams or climb down into remote river canyons like I used to, it's still a lasting love.
I've read about the legendary fly fisher Mike Kennedy who requested that his favorite bamboo rod be cremated with him and the ashes sprinkled off of Mott Bridge along the North Umpqua and I think Mike knew then what I finally know now.
It seems to me that fly fishing isn't something you do casually. One can dabble in fly fishing, never really letting it become a life long pursuit but it must feel kind of hollow . If you take it seriously it will take you places, if only in your dreams, that you never imagined. You become intimate friends with the trout you pursue and the notion of ever killing a wild trout is unthinkable.
Certain rivers become your home that you always long to return to like a world traveler coming home from a long journey.
To feel all these emotions you must be willing to make your journey into fly fishing more of a pilgrimage. You are a traveler into the joys of trout.
Does this make sense? I hope so because it makes perfect sense to me. When I can no longer get to the river I will spend the rest of my days thinking about my fly fishing adventures. The fish I hooked and the fish I lost. I'll remember all the wonders of the rivers I fished and the wonders of the things I experienced.
You can go there too my friend. You have to be willing to take it all in like a child would at a toy store. Remember that you have been given a wonderful gift.
This pursuit of fly fishing should never, ever be a stressful thing but a thing where you are constantly renewed and thankful.
It's hard not to over think the pursuit of trout on a fly and yes it can be a difficult pursuit at times. Difficult but even after a rough day of wind knots,broken tippets and lost fish you can still come away with the satisfaction of walking in the steps of people like Roderick Haig-Brown, Lee
Wulff ,A.H.E. Woods and Mike Kennedy. As great as these fly fishermen of the past were they still had a beginning point point, just like the rest of us. They achieved fly fishing perfection in the truest sense. The perfection is something that has alluded me but that doesn't take anything away from the pursuit.
So if you are willing to let this angling pursuit take you to all the wonder that it holds you will never regret it. Enjoy the journey friends!