Reader's Casts
October 12th, 1998
Fly-Fishing --Why do I do it?

by Dave Salamone

J. Castwell once asked the question, "Why do we fly fish?" A thought provoking inquiry it was. Sometimes it takes a lot of thought to figure out the simplest answers; sometimes they just pop into your head because you have wondered about them for so long that you already know.

Why does a great steak tantalize the palate when you find the right wine to go with it and its flavor dances on top of your tongue? Why does a fine automobile give you pleasure simply by sitting in it, savoring its aroma? Where else can you meet a person of better means who is willing to interrupt his day of fishing to chat with you with gleaming eyes about a Hornberg he has tied, inquiring not as to who you are or what you own?

Certain creations were meant to give personal pleasure, though the concepts were not initially conceived to bring about that end. That is what is unique about the sport of fly-fishing to me; it is a personal pleasure that affords me an opportunity to enjoy one small part of life in my own way.

My Home Water
Whether it is the act of a simple forward cast, the tying of an exotic fly pattern, or just simply wading a favorite stream in solitude, that is what draws me to the art of fly fishing. That moment is mine and mine alone. As I lift my line above the water, begin my first back cast, all the stresses of life begin to fade away, being released in that final moment as fly hit the surface film for the first time that morning. My troubles flowing from deep within my soul through my fly line, out into a calm depository in one gentle loop.

Although many others practice the art, some more proficient than I do, other just beginning, there is never a moment in time that another fly fisher will criticize my casting technique. He will not shun an opportune moment to discuss any aspect of the sport, on or off stream. In addition, what if he does? I just wade away to a quieter stretch of water and the individual pleasure of the art returns immediately, quickly sending into history the individual who threatened to take the moment from me.

Tying flies, making leaders, or practicing casting in your yard, a park, on your steet while your neighbors look on as if your psychologist is on his way over? Silent whispers through the air, disturbing no one, give you satisfaction when perfected. Time to yourself in front of your vise? Stopping on a favorite stream alone on a mist-chilled morning when no one else is in sight for miles? Breathing in the scents of nature yet unpolluted? Noiseless space abundant? The smells of freshly dewed grass, water and stone? The graceful dance of a deer across the stream? The sound of liquid flow fills your soul to the max with pleasure gold cannot give you.

These are some of my reasons for fly-fishing, my friend. What be yours? ~ DS

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