The last thing I want to get into is a long-winded speculation about why we fly fish. Good, god…that has been done to death. Beyond trite. If anyone should invest time into figuring out why they fish, it should be those of us who have let it consume our lives entirely. No worries. I invested about twenty minutes of think time on the subject about eight years ago. Too much cheap wine. Figured it out, though. Now I’ll share it with you. It will save you a ton of time…and possibly a failed marriage and a random-life crisis to boot. Ready? Now brace yourself. Here comes. Fishing is no more pointless than anything else we could be doing with our time. There. Said it. And I said it in only one sentence, too. I didn’t need to waist twelve evenings of your life on two hundred and fifty-four pages of self-reflective drivel (otherwise known as fly-fishing literature). Sorry if I have done that to you in the past.
ALRIGHT! Settle down. I can hear you scoffing from here. And I haven’t even published this story yet. I do understand our drive and incentive to spend time on a river, casting a fly to fish. It is deep seeded in our psyche…something to do with our hunter/gather upbringing as a species. Yada, yada, yada… The irony now is that we only go through the motions. We spend an entire day hunting fish that are easy to capture if only we were using any other method than the one we have chosen. And when we are successful in our pursuit, we turn right around and let the fish go. It all ends up looking like a mountain lion masturbating on rabbit. But we do it anyway. And we preach to others to do the same. Catch & Release is the fly fishing mantra, as it should be…you know, conservation. There are a lot of us mountain lions out there and only a few, very confused rabbits. So, come to terms with who you are and what roll you play. Embrace the pointlessness of it all. Appreciate the urge that brought you to the river in the first place and while you are out there, let it overlap into things other than fishing. Enjoy all the perks of being outside, stalking the creek banks. Set down the fly rod and put a mean sneak on an unsuspecting fox squirrel, or hunker down behind a tree and watch a mule deer buck parade his harem down to the water for a drink. The hunter in you will be wishing you had a strung bow and at least one sharp arrow (he offered me a perfect seven yard broadside shot!) but the dweeby fly fisherman in you will be OK with letting him go.