July 24th, 2006

Take It Easy
By James Castwell

The LF (my wife) and I were discussing fly fishing a couple of evenings ago and our conversation led to a subject we have agreed upon several times. Learning all about fly fishing too fast is not a good thing, even though it may seem to be exactly what each of us are after.

It's kind of like if two aspirin are good for you why not a whole bottle? If driving sixty gets you there fast, why not a hundred and twenty? Some things just should not be done fast. How can learning fly fishing really fast be a bad thing? Because it is not fishing, it's 'fly fishing.' And they are not the same thing, not even close actually.

Oh, you may have started out thinking one was just an extension of the other at first. Perhaps it was, when you first used a fly or a fly rod. You were just fishing using a fly instead of a worm. Then you expanded to using various types of flies. Then you discovered 'fly fishing.' You realized that fly fishing is not just fishing with a fly, but is in reality, a whole new recreation.

One of the elements of fly fishing is the constant learning process. Not so with just fishing, or even just fishing using a fly. Fly fishing is a process. One that you will never know all of. And that's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. It's what keeps us coming back for more. In fact, without it, we would quit.

"Whoa there JC, did you say quit?" Indeed I did. It has happened to several fly fishers over the years. Here's kind of how it goes. You find a stream you really like and have easy access to. Hours and days are spent, season after season, until you know each fish by name. You actually name 'ld Herman' over there under that slanted log sticking out from the far side bank. When the insects hatch and the spinners fall you are right there, ready and geared up with the exact imitations. Catching fish becomes simple. You know where they are, what they want for diner, you have it and offer it, they rise to it and you feel guilty because you have interfered with their day and needlessly caused them to expend energy and got nothing back for it other than a sore lip.

So, where's the fun. Where is the challenge? Why bother? When there is nothing more to learn there is no point to fly fishing. Be grateful that you don't know it all, yet. It is a journey, a way of life, a system of ethics, it's a discipline for a lifetime.

So, don't be in such a hurry to learn all the tricks of the trade. Take your time and enjoy the trip. The thrill of discovery is part, the anticipation of the day, the trip, the rise, the take, the hook-set, the...

The magic of it all. The magic is in the journey, not the destination. Don't ask how the Magician saws the pretty lady in half. Just know that at the end of the day, all will be well. And you will be glad you do not know it all; there is still more to come. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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