By: Scott Battista
There’s an old adage in the sport of fishing. Spend a single day on the water and you’re bound to hear, “it’s called fishing, not catching”. Unfortunately, at that moment most decide to give into the boredom, lose interest, and are unlikely to return on their own. What if there is a way to bridge the gap between the catching and not catching? Something that is equally fun, challenging, and most importantly, rewarding. Activities with immediate gratification and feedback are winning our time more and more.
Fly fishing offers just that. It’s just difficult enough to draw you in but easier than ever to learn. Fly fishing demands focus and keeps you engaged far more than your typical bobber watching. It’s a method that allows little successes along the way rather than holding out for that one moment of glory. You are rewarded not only by catching a fish but by delivering a great cast and achieving a good presentation. When it boils down to it, catching the fish is the final piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.
When it boils down to it, catching the fish is the final piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.
If you aren’t familiar with fly fishing, it’s a perfect blend between art and sport. Fly Fishing allows a different level of connectivity to your target fish. By matching their food source or “matching the hatch” as it’s commonly referred to, you immerse yourself into the fish’s world the best you can. In a way, you are feeding the fish rather than relying on their predatory nature. When done correctly, you get to watch the entire process unfold before your eyes. It’s hard not to be enamored by this endeavor. Between the arching of the cast over the water, or the hand tied flies, there’s a lot to love.
Between the arching of the cast over the water, or the hand tied flies, there’s a lot to love.
The best part is, you don’t need to live on a trout stream to fly fish. You can fly fish for just about any species and in any type of water.
The best part is, you don’t need to live on a trout stream to fly fish. You can fly fish for just about any species and in any type of water. As with any new sport or hobby, there is a learning curve. It involves an independent language of gear and terms, slang and descriptors that are otherwise gibberish to the non-angler. The gear and set ups are situation and species specific, meaning you get a tailored experience based on where you are and what fish you want to chase. Each aspect can be practiced and perfected. From your set up, to entomology, to your cast, this sport offers endless opportunities to see progress and have continued success.
Those that already dedicate some of their time (or all of it, like me), trying to fool a fish on a fly can attest. Fly Fishing is one of the best lifelong hobbies you can adopt. It allows lifelong learning, access to enjoying the outdoors, and there is a passionate community of conservation minded individuals. From the east coast saltwater scene to the midwest farm ponds and the wide and meandering rivers of the west, there is an opportunity for everyone on the fly.