August 25th, 2003

The Real Cost of FF'ing
By James Castwell

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 'hooked.'

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 too.

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

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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