I got to wondering a few days ago if fly fishing might be
hereditary or not. My wife said at the dinner table where
I brought it up, that I should go in right after dinner and
write it up. I said I needed to gnaw on it a while yet. I
wasn't sure of the question and darn well not the answer.
Wouldn't it be funny if it was hereditary? Like red hair or
brown eyes? Where a guy could marry a girl who likes to fly
fish and the chances that the kid would like it would be
great. We could even breed a specie of selective trout fisherman.
We could get even or at least catch up with the evolution of the
fish. They get more and more selective, well, we could get better
But alas, I fear I have gone over my hipper's again. In fact,
I think perhaps even the opposite might be the case. I have
seen many a gent try to successfully plant the fly fishing
bug into an offspring only to be defeated at every bend. I
wonder if there is some rapport with the outdoors which might
be passed along though. If a person tries to instill a sense
of stewardship in a child will he then at some time of his
choosing, decide to become a fly fisherman?
Notice I said become, become a fly fisherman. It is a state
of mind, not a recreation. Not all who profess to angle with
the fly are thus a fly-fisher. My point is it takes more than
fishing with flies to be, or become a fly fisherman. It is a
matter of choice. Of making a decision at some exact time on
ones cycle of events where the status quo is not enough. The
catching of fish of one sort or another with worms, lures or
bait no longer excites. It no longer satisfies. It leaves a
vacuum. Something must be inserted to make oneself whole again.
Perhaps the mere commission to ones self that he shall be one
of those. He shall be a fly fisher. The statement alone might
I once made such a oath to myself. Or was it perhaps more of
a promise. No, not that either, simply I remember saying that
I wanted to be known as a fly fisher and the way to be known
as one was to go do it. So, I did and I'm still doing it. And
now I am known as a fly fisher. Success right?
Hardly. Over the years I found that there is a bit more to
being a fly fisherman than simply fly fishing. Although, just
doing it is always enough at the time, each element is its
own reward. Each and every little event, success or failure,
goes to make up the whole. The whole being a fly fisherman.
For many of us, these small elements, increments, facets are
the warp that keeps us afloat during the week so we may live
on the weekend, or the vacation, or the trip or, just whenever
we can get a fly rod in our hands and find a piece of water.
Reading catalogs, buying gear, tying flies swapping fish
stories with close friends or watching a lone caster on a
mist clad morning stream.
Can we make anyone into a fly fisher? I don't think so. It's
something inside of us. We can even be a fly fisher and not
have been on the water for a long spell. Some things take
up our time. A 'honey do' list when we retire can be an
example. Diminishing health or economics can play a role
So, can you or I do anything that might help someone else get
into fly fishing? Sure we can. Something like preparing the
soil before you plant the garden. Location is important.
Sometimes turning the soil over may be required, maybe even
some weeding might be in order. When the season is right and
the conditions correct then you plant the seed and try to
nourish it occasionally. You might have the opportunity to
fertilize it, or in some way help direct the course of growth.
If you are lucky, you will and if so, remember to be grateful
for the chance. We don't all get it.
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink,"
it has been said and likely true. After living in the west for
several years I also found out that, "you can lead a horse to
drink but you can't make him water," is also true.
So, we can lead a guy to fishing but we can't make him a
fly-fisher. Nope, that's a personal choice, but I think we
can be involved. If we want to. ~ James Castwell