Swedish version

Why On The Fly
By Harry P. Davis

  At some point in life we have to step outside of our mortal lives and ask ourselves, "Why? My friends, acquaintances and some total strangers try to convert me from fly fishing to some other perversion of angling like bait or spin casting. It’s like a full time job for some of them to sow doubt in my fields of flying by constantly haranguing, "You can’t fly fish around here…nobody flyfishes around here…that’s for mountain streams you know. There’s no mountain streams around here…you gotta use bait around here!"

  Sometimes when I get skunked , like most of the time lately (read MUD ON THE FLY)…I want to go steal some BIG zoo fish, stick a fly in its mouth, bring ‘em to my friends…and lie! Fish that are not from these waters…TIGER fish…MEKONG CATFISH!

  Just drive up to my friend’s house, honk the horn while holding up a 90 pound BARRAMUNDI with a wooley bugger hanging from its eye and yell, "9 WEIGHT!" Grin real big and drive off into the night. They don’t know what a 9 weight is of course so, what’s the use… "That’s no 9 weight! That fish is a HUNDRED POUNDS! You can’t catch hundred pound fish on a fly rod AROUND HERE!"

  Even better…I want to come around from their backyard Oriental rock pond…knock on the back door, hold up my catch and yell, "COY ON A nymph!"

  I know I’m obsessed with flinging a knot full of feathers and string back and forth all day but it’s a great obsession. It’s not fattening and you stay out of trouble…. unless you count that early Montana blizzard and the Brazilian Women’s Roll Casters Club when…well…never mind. Loses something in the interpretation…tell Pedro, I was just showing Maria how to hold a spey!

   It’s not that I totally hate other styles of fishing – I know how to do them- I just can’t see wasting a perfectly good day on the water fishing any other way. My hands can hold a spinning outfit just fine and I’ve threaded my share of juicy night crawlers onto bass hooks…BIG DEAL!

  Still, there’s something deeper, darker yes, more serious surrounding the fellowship of the fly.

  I think it has something to do with mindset and heart-set rather than just a choice of angling tools.

  Heart-set goes deep and as deep calls to deep so some hearts call to the depths of fly angling and it calls back. This explains why some children see an old man fly casting on the bank of a river and fall into an irredeemable love affair with plastic coated backing fastened to a hideous curved weapon fastened with twine, herl and glue; pretending to be a cute little June bug. …strange love affair.

  Strange yes, but love nevertheless. What else explains the obsession of knowing everything about who, what, when, where and why on the fly, if not love?

  The who, what when and where are important but aren’t they more names, facts and places rather than soul. Each has its place and builds upon and enhances the why and of course the art and craft of the fly would be shallow and lifeless without knowing others who share our passion.

  We need to know how to operate the equipment. Researching dates of discovery and accomplishments allow us to touch base with the roots of our sport and flesh out who we are and what we are a part of.

The "why" is untouchable…more essence than substance.

  We may take our romance with fly fishing all the way to water itself but not too far down that road as to belittle our attraction into mere chemicals searching for liquid atmosphere to mix with.

  Why goes deeper than just the fly or even the fishing and much deeper than just DNA or some gene pool experimentation…even to the depths of our wallets. Why else would we spend several hundred bucks on a metal cylinder that simply winds up string on a pole?

  I think it has to do with poetry.

  Poetry and the arts are things unseen as far as the initial spark goes right? No one can hold the inspiration of a poem or a painting and say, "Here’s the source of that poem!" No, not really. We can say the poet saw something in the little crag in the wall and it inspired him or "there once was a common lady with a sullen smile who just had to be painted and then hundreds of years later that same portrait of Mona Lisa sold for millions. But, does this really capture "WHY" the poet/painter HAD to capture that moment in time with the tools of his/her creative trade? Not really.

  Beauty gestures...adventure beckons...and fly angling captures more than just fish but, we will never capture the "why"!

By Harry P. Davis © 2010



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