Tales from the Fisherman
Fly Fishing is a Lifestyle
Fly fishing is a sport filled with folklore, romance, adventure and history and there is a reason books are written and movies are made about it. Fly fishing is truly a community. I have met some wonderful and unique people on the river, but most importantly, I have created lifelong friendships. A special bond is created on the river and I think it is the result of a shared experience and the creation of lifelong memories. Whether it’s wading a driftless spring creek with my boys or floating a river with a buddy, the time spent together is much more than just catching fish. It’s the conversations about life, the jokes and laughter, or the frustrations of getting snagged in a tree. It’s sharing personal issues or talking about our goals and dreams, all while throwing flies at hungry fish.
Fly fishing has also brought me to some of the most beautiful places imaginable and the travel and adventure is an additional part of the lifestyle. I have fished everywhere from the Wisconsin Driftless, to the arctic circle in Alaska, the Rocky Mountain states, and down throughout the southeast and to the Florida Keys. The unique beauty of each location creates all new experiences and challenges. It also allows me to fish for different species using a variety of techniques and flies. The sport has unlimited opportunities for those willing to take on the challenge. I am intrigued by it all. I can spend ten hours throwing tiny nymphs in a Driftless spring creek and love every minute but the next day throw eight inch streamers for pike and musky and get a completely different experience. It’s only been the last two years that I began saltwater fly fishing and this, too, has become an obsession. Taking a skiff deep into the backcountry of the Florida everglades throwing flies at snook, redfish, and bonefish is exhilarating and a completely different experience.
The lifestyle of fly fishing is not just any one aspect but all of it together. The camaraderie of fishing with friends and family or the solitude of being alone in nature gives me a chance to build relationships or learn a bit more about myself. I love the moment of putting on the waders and gearing up for the day. The anticipation for the day is so exciting but there was also so much going on behind the scenes that led into a day of fishing. The lifestyle includes having the right gear, tying the flies, learning the knots, practicing the casts, and studying maps for new locations. I like to think of fly fishing as a celebration of life and means for self-expression. There are so many hobbies, sports and experiences to be had, but for me, fly fishing is a way of life.