Why do you love to fly fish?

I was asked a question the other day by a long time customer: "Why do you love to fly fish?". When he wouldn't accept any of my usual easy answers, I had to stop and think. Sure, there are plenty of reasons I love to fly fish. There are many things I absolutely love about fly fishing. But is there a simple, bare bones answer to that question? Is it like figuring out the definition of  a tailing loop - "the rod tip is travelling under the straight line path" as opposed to all the long winded causes and examples of a tailing loop? Is there a definable reason as to why? I'm not sure, because I haven't been able to find one that truly satisfies me. The closest I came that day with my customer was this: that in the act of fly fishing I feel I have surpassed the stage of being an observer of nature and have become a participant. That fly fishing has given me a connection to this earth and the "circle of life" that I have not found anywhere else. But that is only one reason.

Maybe the answer is different for everyone. For some people it may be much too complex for a short and sweet answer. There must be reasons why we choose to risk frostbite and hypothermia fishing and camping in the winter months, in snow and sleet and hail and hurricane winds or endure penetrating heat and salty winds on the flats. Why we chug gut-eating energy drinks to drive straight to our destination, whether its an hour or twenty away or face jetlag and fly halfway around the world. Sore muscles, fishless days, leaky waders, hooks in various body parts, chapped hands, the risk of drowning, being stranded, and on and on it goes. Is it the element of risk, the brutal punishment we sometimes put ourselves through that makes the reward so sweet and makes our bodies and minds feel more alive? Is it the escape from our day to day lives and the pressures and responsibilities that go along with it? Is it the chance to be alone or the chance to be with friends? Every day on the water is different, every trip out an opportunity to learn and grow and experience more. There's satisfaction in the grab, in catching fish on our own flies, in mastering new techniques and becoming comfortable with new gear. There's contenment with the familiar and excitement with the new. I could go on forever.

My life revolves around fishing, so maybe my best answer is I just plain love it, the bad and the good. Do I need to elaborate?

Why do you love to fly fish?



After seriously neglecting my blog for the past month, its time for an update. I still have not had a chance to finish up my report on Russia, but here are some firsts and personal bests from the last little while.

My first Atlantics.

My first browns.

My first sea trout.

My first Pike.

My first fly rod sturgeon.

And my biggest sturgeon yet - 8'8".