The most beautiful words I have ever written came to me one day when I was trying to describe what I feel about the sport and art of fly-fishing. Why does one do it? What is its attraction? It's expensive; very time consuming, and addictive, –but then, so is flying (although it's not a sport).
Like all endeavors in life, each is not suited to everyone. However, many are, and those that are are the basis of living: things like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Fly-fishing allows one the pursuit of happiness. I think … I know that's one of the reasons why fly-fishing so inspires me. It is one of life's activities that fits perfectly into that category. To really explain in a few words to someone; the true essence of fly-fishing (at least to me) is not a simple task. However, having said that; Here are those words that I penned to explain what the inspiration and the experience of fly-fishing has meant to me:
"For every kindred spirit that has stood beside the flowing waters with rod in hand in anticipation of the hook up; knowing that even if you don't catch a fish, it is the experience and the memories that will be with you for as long as you live. It is the experience that permeates the soul, and like God you want to posses it forever. "
Even now I tear up when I read them, because I know that I am one of a "kindred spirit" which means I belong to a very select group of humanity. And, belonging to something is a very important aspect of life.
There are of course, other additional words that describe the fly-fishing experience.
Individually of course; they are just descriptive terms used to give meaning. However, collectively they perfectly describe the essence, experience and inspiration of fly-fishing.
They are: Solitude. Contemplation. Anticipation. Joy. Sweet-memories. Passion. Accomplishment. Wonder. Beauty. Thrill. Contentment. Peace. The order does not matter, the meaning does.
Solitude. There is a time when being alone and having space is the perfect solution for refreshing the spirit.
Contemplation. Contemplate is what the fly-fisherman does when selecting a fly, or when: "the big one just got away".
Anticipation. This is so true when you've decided to sneak in and fish a private lake.
Joy. The emotion you feel when you're hooking and releasing fish after fish.
Sweet-Memories . The awesome, incredible experience you shared while fly-fishing with a father, brother, sister, friend or loved one. Something that stays with you, and you can keep for a lifetime.
Passion. This is the emotion that drives your energy to participate.
Accomplishment. The feeling you get after you having built your first fly-fishing rod, or tied a perfectly proportioned fly, or caught the largest fish of the day.
Wonder. This is the feeling that smacks your senses every time you drive over Kenosha pass and see south park Colorado, or observe trout feeding on blue-winged-olives' during a hatch on the Big Horn River for example.
Beauty. What you observe while fly-fishing: snow capped mountains, golden Aspen quacking in the wind, crystal clear blue days, deer walking through a stream, an eagle souring overhead, the slow rhythmic action of a trout sipping flies in the current, the look of a fresh caught wild trout, the crystal clear waters of a high mountain stream … I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Thrill . The feeling you get every time you hook a really big trout and fight him to surrender – then release him back to the wild.
Contentment. It is satisfaction that permeates the sole. It is the fulfillment of all your fly fishing expectations. It is the emotion you feel at the end of the perfect day of fly-fishing.
Peace. Peace is total absolution of the sole. It is a feeling that only God can give. It is the substance that fills up the vessel of your spirit. Applied to fly-fishing; It is a moment in time, of the un-encumbered feeling of security, you feel while standing on a high place looking down over a beautiful high mountain stream or lake; knowing that for a little while, the troubles of the world are far from you, and you are experiencing the wonderfulness of God's creation.
This is what fly-fishing is all about.