February 17, 2015

Why I go Fly Fishing

I've really been missing this space. I've got an endless list of things I would like to share but unfortunately not enough focus to do it. My mind is constantly racing and with a new little girl taking up much of my brain capacity (and the memory on my camera) it's challenging to sit down and blog. This post in particular has been brewing in my mind for well over a year and it's time I share with you why I go fly fishing.
This type of fishing forces me to slow down. It's much different from when I was a kid and we stuck a worm on the hook, plopped our line in the water and waited. Fly fishing is very interactive. From the time we drive up to the water I'm engaged in the process. Slipping into waders, squeezing into wadding boots, setting up the rod all while taking in the environment. Is there a hatch happening (are there bugs flying around in the air)?  What's hiding under the rocks on the shore? Can you hear fish feeding? Do you see any ripples in the water? It's important to collect clues so that you can determine what type of fly to use. A fly is used as a lure which provokes the fish to strike, therefore it's important to choose a fly that resembles what the fish are interested in at the time. Should I choose a fly that will float on top of the water or one that will sink below the surface?

I'm far from an expert on fly fishing its an endless learning process and that's another reason why I enjoy it. You really don't need to know all the fly fishing lingo, names of the flies, specialty knots or all the different ways to cast in order to enjoy fly fishing. You just need the desire to learn, a fly fishing rod and a few flies to start. Oh and maybe a net in case you actually catch a fish. There are so many resources out there if you're interested. You can find information online like the "New to Fly" info the Redington site provides. There are tons of books at the library. You can even find classes and organizations that provide lessons.

Fly fishing is incredibly therapeutic. Being outdoors surrounded by the sound of water always refreshes my soul. Often when we go fly fishing we are out at a time we wouldn't be otherwise which means we get to experience things we wouldn't typically experience. I can remember waking up before dawn many times in PA and enjoying the sun and the fog rising above the fields and the water. The light is magical and the sounds of nature coming alive are extraordinary this time of day.
In Colorado we've gone fishing in the evening more and we've seen many beautiful sunsets. Being in the middle of the water also gives you a unique perspective. Fly fishing is a gentle, quiet sport which not only allows you to get closer to the fish but other animals too. We've seen all sorts of wildlife when fishing. I can clearly remember one evening as the sun was setting looking up at the bank and seeing the most striking silhouette of a buck.
If this sport wasn't therapeutic then there wouldn't be groups out there dedicated to giving people a fly fishing experience. One of my favorite organizations is Casting for Recovery. They provide free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer. I love seeing the pictures of these women and the smiles on their face when they catch a fish. I've also heard of amazing groups for veterans.

I find so much beauty and creativity in this sport. I never really thought much about insects before learning to fly fish and quiet honestly I didn't like them at all. Now I find them absolutely fascinating to watch, except for the pesky mosquitoes. It's amazing how flies are made so intricately and creatively to mimic specific insects. I've not learned to tie my own flies yet but I really want to use my husky dogs hair when I do.
Even the equipment is beautiful to me. My reel and rod are nothing fancy but I still love the way they look. I especially love seeing handmade rods; it's unbelievable the work that people put into making their own. My husband has his Grandfather's bamboo rod hanging in our guest room. It doesn't function well any more but it's beautiful to look at.
Of course one of the most exciting parts of fly fishing is actually catching a fish. I can remember my husband telling a story of catching a fish and describing what it was like to pull it out of the water, he said, "its like pulling jewelry out of the water." I didn't know what he meant until I pulled my first fish out of the water and observed it's shimmering scales up close. Each fish you catch is different and incredibly beautiful.
My husband is the one who taught me how to fly fish. He's also probably the main reason why I do it. It started out as a way to spend time together but it quickly became something I really love to do. We both learned when we were living in PA. We had a creek behind our house that was constantly inviting us to enjoy it's bubbling presence. Oh how I miss hearing that sound regularly. It wasn't long before any moving body of water was calling our name and we discovered great fishing very near to our house.
We've since moved back to Colorado where there is incredible fly fishing sometimes it just takes a little more work to get to.
We're still perfecting the art of fly fishing and every time we go out we learn something new. I didn't let pregnancy stop me from fly fishing and I'm happy to say that now that our little girl is here we still go. She's almost three months old and we just took her for the first time. I can tell she loves to be outside! Now is probably the easiest time to take her since I can just carry her and she sleeps through most of it. I'm so looking forward to teaching her one day!
You may be thinking how random of a blogger I am and it's true that I blog about a wide range of topics. I've come to understand that fly fishing is an art form and a type of creativity that engages and slows me down all at the same time. I share my experience with you as I do all my experiences to encourage and inspire. Maybe it's time you try fly fishing if you haven't before. Of course if you have please do tell I'd love to hear your stories.

For me there are so many reasons to fly fish other than having trout for dinner or having the biggest fish tale to tell. I do it because it feeds my soul and it's way for me to spend time enjoying something together with my family.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! We all need something that will quiet our minds and still our hearts and you did a beatiful job showing why you love this so much. It looks incredibly peaceful and serene.

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