Outdoor Writers Association of America
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

August 30th, 1999


I had a message that a person dear to me caught 8 fish yesterday.

This was a major milestone, because she has been seriously working at catching a fish in this particular pond.

I'm really happy for her, because it re-instills the belief that hard work, paying attention, and persistence still works.

In essence her story about finding the pond, scoping it out, learning something about the fish who live there, trying various flies, getting the advice of her peers, (thanks folks) and just plain persistence paid off. In there somewhere should be working on her casting as well, in order to get the fly to the right place. I'm delighted she found fly fishing.

But that is only part of the story.

For her, as for most of us, the 'catching' is icing on the cake. I've said it before, but here it is again - Being there is the biggest part of fly fishing. Sure, putting all the parts together and having success is great - but the clincher is getting out, away from whatever you do and where you live (no matter how nice) and connecting with something outside of yourself.

Standing on (or in) the water, casting a line makes a connection - not to the fish - but to a life-force bigger than we are. It is a total unplug. Time to take a mental break. A place to say "thanks" to whatever 'higher power' one believes in and to be grateful just to be there.

We may not acknowledge that out loud, but our spirit knows it. Some part of us, deep within draws us back again and again to a form of communion with the water and it's inhabitants.

Connecting with, and working out the mysteries of why fish do or don't take a fly are all part of the mental exercise which excludes the rest of the 'real' world. With a little fishing experience, we can take that trip in our minds when we can't 'be there.'

It can be a means of maintaining our sanity, when not much else in our lives is right. Or in the world we live in.

Could fly fishing really be an adult method of running away from home? ~ LadyFisher

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