To Catch and Hold the Rainbow
[Tasting it, is for the birds]
One day you pick up a fly rod to try trout fishing because it sounds interesting. Maybe you grew up fishing another way, maybe you've only heard about the sport and it sounds interesting, maybe it's just something to do to get outside and on the water, or a part a vacation. The next day you think back on the experience, you revel in the simplicity of a sport that revolves around a human being outsmarting a fish, but also marvel at complexity involved in casting, tying, drifting, and landing fish. Then one of two things happens: 1) You put the experience away, catalog it as good, bad, indifferent, or a ‘bucket list’ checkmark and move on. 2) You feel a dull throb, a tingle from where the spike first hit the vein, and before you know it. . . you’re a junky.
[It is important to note that both outcomes vary widely in terms of severity. Some catalogers will find great enjoyment in flyfishing 10 days a year or less and may even begin planning vacations with fishing in mind. Some fiends won’t ever become full blown addicts, just recreational users with a serious taste for junk.]
The hardest part of picking up that rod for the first time, is that you never know which category you’ll fall into. Most may truthfully be better off never knowing, on the off chance they end up throwing away a fruitful life as a broker, doctor, lawyer, or insurance adjuster in order to become a worthless trout bum. It does happen, truly it does. The sport takes lives, it ends marriages, it destroys potential.
Some of the wisest, strongest, and most capable men who’ve ever lived have washed away from public promise on the banks of trout streams.
Just like heroin junkies, trout bums can’t explain the rush to non-users. In conversation, simple phrases are thrown around: ‘the romance of the water’, ‘the beauty of trout streams’, etc., etc. But the reality is that those phrases are just a way of trying to bridge an infinite gap in understanding. The truth is more ominous, more overwhelming, and infinitely more beautiful:
The world exists in terms far more complex than black and white. Even grayscale, in all its shades, is meaningless in understanding the varied nature of our pursuits and love. Only a rainbow can capture it all. To hold it is to know it, but the pursuit requires jumping off the cliff and finding yourself on the fall.
This Blog is dedicated to everything beautiful, ugly, overwhelming, infuriating, hilarious, tragic, useful, and irrelevant that is fly fishing. It's a look at life with a rod in one hand a beer in the other. Time to enjoy the fall.