Fly Fishing Quotes

“”He told us about Christ’s disciples being fisherman, and we were left
to assume…that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly
fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”
Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It.

Prelude: The stream is shallow in March and the New Zealand Brown
Trout hide under tufted mud banks and cruise lazily gulping naturals
off the surface, their white mouths slurping food. The fishing is on
4X tippets (fluorocarbon) with #14 blue bottle-fly imitations. The
setting is an ideal dry fly trout stream: A relatively small,
gin-clear freestoner or spring creek with season long hatches of
mayflies and free rising large, wild trout, with the stream set in
majestic green hills where trout stand out like bonefish on a Bahamian
flat. Some day we will fish together, under this setting.

The fly fisherman prides himself on his keen appreciation of the power
and poetry of nature-the sparkle of the sunlight dancing off riffles
in a wild trout stream, the drama and mystery of life and death played
out in the cool depths of tranquil pools, the surreal beauty of a
spontaneous mayfly hatch, the heart-thumping eruption of an explosive
surface strike. But beyond this almost spiritual connection to woods
and water, the fly fisherman is prone to a deep understanding of man
and his place in the world, probably due to his fondness for
reflection.

Fly fishing teaches patience and attentiveness in the most literal way
imaginable, it teaches life and death with a sometimes shocking
blitheness. It teaches the physics of flow. Fly fishing stands you, in
springtime, in the presence of inanimate matter that says not a word
as it is transformed into animate matter. It stands you in autumn in
the presence of animate matter that says not a word as it grows
inanimate. What courage either way. A life spent in the presence of
eversible death and life. With the mesmerizing sound of the river your
mind can’t help but to float away from civilization.

For me, Fly Fishing is Zen, you feel the ups and downs of your rod and
the current, you need to be in tune, never give up, read the water,
its very much like Emily Dickinson, the fish may not always bite, but
at least your presenting the meal. Once a fish takes the fly, you’ve
got yourself a thrill ride, like an amusement park for grown ups. When
you’re out there in the stream you are not just wading through a river
you’re part of it, and because of this you are able to appreciate
wildlife that you may otherwise never see. I find fly fishermen to be
some of the most meditative of all sportsmen, surfers probably coming
in a close second, but that’s just a generalization.

The art of fly fishing has been dubbed by Issac Walton as the
“contemplative man’s recreation” but, you and I are not oblivious to
these generalizations, sure there are some fly fishers out there who
show no gratitude or reverence. Undeniably, the quality of the fly
fishing experience has suffered immensely as an ever increasing number
of fly fishers flock to a finite number of waters. Invariably, the new
breed is decked out in all the regalia. One suspects that it’s more
important to be seen wearing the stuff than to actually fish. In
contrast to the peace and serenity that fly fishing offers me, I’ve
noticed smugness in almost every fly shop. Regardless, fly fishers
enjoy the chance to pit ourselves against the elements, test our
knowledge, and impose self-induced limitations in our search for
entertainment through fishing a fly. The truth is we all enjoy our
sport in different ways. Frankly in most cases I prefer companionship
on the water rather than the loneliness of solitude, although I
appreciate both depending on my spirits.

More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from
the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the
open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many pleasant
recollections of all one has seen, heard and done. I spent most of my
childhood appreciating my reflection off the water. Throughout my
adolescent years, I persuaded others to join me on fishing adventures,
hikes through the wilderness to secluded river bends, or expeditions
to pristine lakes to try for new species. As young Mozart cared for
nothing but keyboards, strings and woodwinds, I cared for nothing but
lakes, rivers, streams and their denizens. In my mind, there is no
activity so conductive to the health and happiness of a civilized man
as angling with an artificial fly. As for the uncivilized, who care to
contemplate what writhing creatures their inchoate consciences allow
them to skewer upon a hook, I recommend fishing with a fly, besides
how could anyone kill an innocent worm? Once the door of nature is
opened, then life in all its unpredictable, rewarding, astonishing,
befuddling complexity walks inside us and throws a party.

Fly fishing is a contemplative soul enriching experience, it brings
pleasure and comfort. The pursuit of deceiving a trout excites me to
the point that when I am fishing I feel moments of transcendence. It
makes me feel whole…it is recreation but also re-creation. I am
heartened when my presentation of the fly is delicate enough that I
can keep the interest of the trout and not spook him – this is all
fascinating, right?

Fly fishing is our (humans) connection to the natural world. Deceiving
trout is fun. I need to catch the occasional fish because that is the
point of the exercise, but how many, how often, and how big are
subjective questions. The fish hits the pan bubbling in brown butter,
or it is roasted with tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs, or grilled
with coarse sea salt on the crust, or steamed over an outdoor fire
with damp seaweed mounted on it. There’s no food that tastes fresher
or fills you with the pride of the provider than something you’ve
caught. No life, my honest scholar, no life is so happy and so
pleasant as the life of a well governed angler – God never did make a
more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling.”

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