This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

May 6th, 2002

Moving On?

I'm always glad to see new people in the Chat Room, or commenting on the Bulletin Board. Sometimes we get questions asking for help in choosing a rod or fly line, which fly to use or what the fishing might be in a particular region.

People get transferred or reassigned, and discover they are back to ground zero in fly fishing. Again. New water, new laws, new flies, and maybe even new fish! All sorts of skills need refining just to get back into the 'new' fishing game.

This can be a wonderful experience - or, as was our personal experience many years ago, we stopped fishing. It's true. We moved to Poulsbo, Washington from Montana. You know, Montana where there is real trout fishing? Trust me, there isn't any here on the coast. The streams and rivers are mostly run-off, and there really aren't any resident insects. No insects - no fish. Yes, there are spawning runs of salmon, searun cutthroats, and steelhead, but this isn't fly fishing as we liked it - that being nice browns or rainbows on dry flies.

We were building our business, renting a condo, and really didn't have all that much time to fish - but trust me, if we had trout in a reasonable distance we would have fished. There weren't and we didn't.

Eventually, three or four years later we bought saltwater rods and learned to fish the saltwater. It was slow learning at first, but by now you know we aren't quitters, and we did figure it out. We had fished long enough to see there were similarities in stream or river fishing and fishing in the ocean. We also were believers in "matching the hatch" which translates into matching the bait rather well. It was a new adventure and a new challenge, problems to be solved. And solve them we did.

A few years later we took our first trip to the Bahamas to fish for bonefish. New game. We had most of it down pat, except for the polarized sunglasses. Wrong color. That may not seem like much, but it's deadly. If you ever have the chance to go after bonz, get amber sunglasses or you will never see them.

I don't know why you fish. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out why I fish. I suspect your answer and mine might not match - but I don't know. Do you?

But I do believe a large part of it is the journey. If we knew everything about all of fly fishing we would be bored and maybe looking for some other way to remove ourselves from the world. To create our own world, if it's just for a little while. A world where we decide what the game is, and how we choose to play it. A total release from our "normal" lives.

Moving on? New water? New challenges?

There are always some really neat things about moving on. You just might absolutely have to have a new fly rod, and new flies - or if you tie certainly new materials and hooks. Oh yes, and maps, lots of maps. Just look at all the exploring you'll have to do.

And just in case you are really stranded and can't find the fish? Put a post on our Bulletin Board - you just could find a friend on Fly Anglers OnLine to help you out. ~ LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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