Just so you are not led astray and think I have the
real cost of fly-fishing here for you, I don't. With
that out of the way, let me make these observations.
I see it especially on the FAOL bulletin board, some
new guy catches a trout and becomes the one who is
It continues with him buying a 'inexpensive' rod, he
doesn't want to spend too much on one right now. We
all congratulate him, but we lie saying that it will
be a fine rod. Soon he will discard it in favor of a
much more costly one or two or three. There is no end
to this progression. Then comes fly-tying, the end of
which is equally elusive.
The real facts are that he could buy the finest hand-tied
creations of the most famous fly dressers and have
mega-bucks left over, if he would just not decide to
save money by 'tying his own flies.' But no, we all
chime in with useless drivel like, "Hey, way to go,
nothing like catching a fish on a fly you have tied,
right?" The sad part is, he believes us; and I guess,
we believe ourselves. The poor guy doesn't have a
chance, we gang up on him.
Then there are the little tiny expenses, incidentals
like waders, fly-vest, net, hats, jackets, gloves,
boots, PFD's, blah, blah, blah. In time these things
can add up to a tidy sum. For sure we don't mention
these to the newby. Nope, mum's the word on these
Why do we encourage them to jump right in and go
through the years of euphoric frustration we did.
Do we feel that the whole thing really was worth
the 'cost'? Would it be cheaper to rent all your
gear for a lifetime and buy all your flies? That's
for each of us to answer I suppose. Seems to me that
the more folks we can get into this game, the better
chance we have of them becoming involved and then
even voting the right way to help us all keep the
things we have grown to cherish. Little things like
fish, water, environment, ethics and such.
We try to help him learn the water and take him by
the hand whenever possible with his casting and even
exactly where to fish and how. We are 'encouragers'
for the most part. We are driven to help, to teach,
to share, to guide, to instill knowledge and values.
And... well, those are just for starters.
The 'real' cost of FF'ing? Perhaps a better question
might be, how much does it really 'pay' to be a fly-fisher?
~ James Castwell