This Week's View

by Deanna Birkholm

April 16th, 2001


Passion: 1. org., suffering or agony, as of a martyr 2. a) The agony and suffering of Jesus during the Crucifixion or during the period following the last supper, b) any of the Gospel descriptions of this c) an artistic or musical work based on this 3. A) any one of the emotions, as hate, grief, love, fear, joy, etc. b) all such emotions collectively 4. Extreme, compelling emotion; intense emotional drive or excitement; specif., a) great anger; rage; fury b) enthusiasm or fondness [a passion for music/ c) strong love or affection d) sexual drive or desire; lust 5. The object of any strong desire or fondness 6. [Obs.] the condition of being acted upon esp. by outside influences. .

I've often heard people speak of being passionate about fly fishing. With the Webster definition above, I'm not sure passion is the correct description for what happens to us as we proceed in the journey of fly fishing. Most of us have gone through all of the emotions listed by Webster fishing, maybe without the sexual desire. The lust may have come about involving fish, gear, or those trips others take. All in all the non-religious connotations may fit after all - and while none of us have been crucified, (at least yet) there certainly are those who regard fly fishing as a religion.

Getting into religion here probably isn't a good idea, but I must say with the state of some organized religions I personally feel more comfortable standing in a river with pine trees for walls than I do in a church. If indeed a church is for worship, then there are many who feel more gratitude and closeness to their creator in the outdoor setting of a stream or lake than in a building.

I don't find ownership or the sense of proprietary interest in the definition. But it has become that for me. I care about the resource, the watersheds, how the fish are being treated (or mistreated) how the State or Federal governments enact and enforce regulations and how much real thought and planning goes into protection of watershed, shorelines and fisheries. That seems to be at this point in my fishing journey to be something very important. It is one we all need to find time and a passion for.

Any of the facets of fly fishing can be consuming, catching fish, building rods, tying flies, developing leader formulas, collecting memorabilia. If that falls into being a passion so be it.

But along the way, find a little time to pass it on, to protect that which others have left for us to enjoy. Without that, none will ever be able to have the passion which is fly fishing. ~ The LadyFisher

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