So why fly-fishing you ask?
Well… I can only tell you that initially it was to challenge myself. I needed the pot stirred! I had to prove to myself I was still alive!
Retirement does all kinds of nasty things to you in the beginning. It tugs at your identity all the while robbing you of your self-confidence. The small victories you attain while learning the art of fly-fishing can go a long way to vindicate your soul!
Fly-fishing is an art, there is a big learning curve that lasts a lifetime! Let’s make one thing clear “I’m no expert” there isn’t enough time left for me to attain that level. Which BTW is one of my biggest regrets, not learning when I was first intrigued in my twenties. Back then I didn’t have the resources to learn. It’s best to have a “mentor” or money for lessons, I had neither.
Photograph by Damselfly Chronicles
As a female it can get a little tricky to get help with fly-fishing. It’s a male saturated sport where women are still in a “grey area”. Not so much in certain parts of the world where fly-fishing is in fact popular like New Zealand for example. Where I live is far from a fly-fishing mecca by any stretch of the imagination! But it’s also not fair to say all men have “an attitude” towards women doing the sport. Some are helpful and literally believe women make better fly fishers. As women we naturally pay more attention to detail and most of us have more patience than our counterparts. Here’s a link below on a nice short article about women fly fishers.
Why Women Are Naturally Better Fly Anglers Than Men
With the internet nowadays I could scour the local fishing forums and land myself a great fishing mentor! You can teach yourself with all the instructional videos on You Tube but if you start with a bad habit, it will be difficult to rid yourself of it even with proper guidance later on. I was a quick study of the casting techniques perhaps partly because of my artistic abilities. But there are many facets to fly casting, various ways to cast in different situations. Below are a couple of books on fly casting. Joan Wulff is the mother of fly casting, and Lefty Kreh has numerous books and videos on many different aspects of fly fishing.
When you fly cast, you don’t use your rod to propel the fly like you would propel a lure with your spin rod. Instead, it’s your fly line which propels your fly by loops you create with your fly rod. Sounds complicated? Well… it can be, but once you understand the concept it all makes sense. Diligent practice makes you a better fly caster. Now if only casting was all you had to learn… But it’s only one part. A degree in Entomology would also help. Ha! Ha! Just kidding! No really, it helps to study the life cycles of bugs. Fishing flies imitate real insects at their various stages of life. That’s why fly-fishing is so effective compared to regular fishing. A fish as smart as a Trout is likely to go for the lifelike insect delivered to his nose before the chunk of metal being hurled with a splash ten feet away by a traditional fishing rod.
So this is at the point we also talk about learning the delivery technique “the presentation” if you will. So would you be more tempted to eat a beautifully decorated dessert served by a well-dressed butler or a chunk of cake hurled at you by a gum smacking waitress? Ha! Ha! Funny analogy you say?…
In fly-fishing casting accuracy is very important, as well as the delivery of that fly. To my knowledge this is especially true for fishing Trout. You look yonder and see a fish in the shallows; you cast 6 feet away from the fish with a big splash of your fly line well guess what you’ve just spooked the fish. Trout are very spooky fish and when Mr. Trout is looking up watching for his dinner to land on top of the water, an accurate gentle land of the fly will seem nothing but natural to him. A fierce attack of your fly is often your reward.
I love learning and fly-fishing gives me a platform for endless studying for as long as I can create loops with my fly rod!
I hope this gives you an insight as to the “why” of my blog 🙂
Until then, 🙂