THREE things more than anything else still
get my quickest attention; they are sex, bacon, and Fly
Fishing! At my age, the order of importance no longer
really matters; I take whichever comes along and, with gratitude.
Like many men, the good things never seem
to come in great enough abundance, and we always keep
searching for some sort of elusive spark that our minds tell
us is missing. The older I get, the more I realize that one of
man's failing human traits is the awareness of things left
undone. In my case, messages to be sent, thoughts to be
conveyed, goals to be met, rivers (literally and figuratively)
to be crossed.
I encountered one of those profound moments
some years ago when it dawned on me that I was about to pass
my fortieth anniversary in the fishing tackle industry. The thought
made me shudder that I hadn't put my legacy in place. Though
I had come to realize that the industry was already showing major
signs of fatigue failing in its quest for consumer growth, I still felt
a sense of obligation to leave it something that would benefit
newcomers to the sport. After all, it had done me well for those
nearly forty years. Why not give it something back that would
benefit newcomers who have yet to experience the pleasures
of fly fishing?
Forty years in the fishing tackle industry brought
a lot of insights about the business world over the years. Couple
that with an astute awareness that mankind seems forever bent
on a continual course of self destruction and you have some very
unfortunate ingredients that have contributed towards an eroding
environment, both the real earth one and the social one as well.
In many ways, the fly fishing opportunity has suffered along with
lots of other things.
Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I began
to notice how thoroughly our fishing tackle establishments
were disappearing. In the same instance, those who once
perpetuated them were absent too. Even the industry that I
had been a part of for so many years had become a prisoner
to this movement, its only salvation being, as of late, to make
more products for a mass market that was already over saturated
by its own glut. The fishing tackle industry's inability to step up
to the line and be a leader started surfacing sometime in the early 70s.
Long gone were the visionaries who believed
more in the premise that the customer has a need, let's fill it!
Instead, they were looking for more and more ways to
out-produce and out-market their competitors. Their continual
development of new products for a market already deluged with
non-profitable entities seemed destined to follow the footsteps
of many other industries who had failed with similar approaches.
In the midst of all of this, fly fishing somehow
managed to maintain its lofty status as both an art form and also,
a viable tool for attaining outdoors enjoyment and an appreciation
for and an understanding of nature. Those within its industry kept
a strong vigil to protect its product ethic and at the same time,
promote its sport's worthy qualities. Not a bad concept when
you stop to think about it. On that issue, they were right on!
If, on the other hand, you're one of the many
who are far removed from products and environments normally
associated with fly fishing, it's not so easy to find a way into the
sport at your local hardware store. Besides, if your past experiences
in fishing have molded a mind set that is focused more on Walleye,
Bass, or Panfish, your basic makeup is far more likely to be different
than one who has spent years learning and understanding midges,
sub-imagos, mending lines, and double hauling, terms associated
with the intricacies of fly fishing. In your case, you're probably one
who is more focused towards structure fishing, crank baits, flippin' rods,
and so on. The language barrier! Right?
Until, one day, it dawned on me! The problem of bringing more
anglers over from sport fishing to fly fishing was really a very
simple issue. The language was wrong! Fly fishing was always
presented in fly fishing terms. And for reasons I have already
eluded to earlier, the sport fisherman wasn't receptive to the
terminology. Sometimes, the angler wasn't even comfortable
in the environment of a fly fishing shop though he aspired to
be a part of it. It was intriguing; it was frustrating and
intimidating. It was difficult to step up to the line in such a
place and show a lack of savvy about a topic the shop owner
would have assumed the individual already knew.
Ever since the early 40s when my late father first taught
me how to fly fish, I have developed a passion for the
sport that has grown throughout my life. He was an
excellent outdoorsman and fisherman; he was not,
however, a very good fly caster, at least from a
technical point of view. As a teacher, he was even
less proficient. He was, however, patient and dedicated
to teaching me everything he knew about fly fishing. It
goes without saying but, I think he must have had a
marvelous sense of humor to have endured such a
Whether from fly fishing itself or from my father,
the positive influence from a day on the stream has shown
itself as a surefire way to soothe the soul. The late A.J.
McClane referred to it as "The Liquid Language of Water".
It is both mystical and spiritual in some basic way. Whatever
fly fishing's claims on the spirit, I feel that it is worth preserving
for others to enjoy. However, if one becomes too wrapped
up in it from a technical point of view, the more subtle and
meaningful lessons of fly fishing and its endless virtues will
often be overlooked. Unfortunately, in today's society, there
is already too much of that characteristic in many of the things
that we do. There is an increasing void of "the simple truths"
from our lives that we need to spend more time dealing with instead.
Simple truths like the passion of feeling the clean air pressing
around one's face; the smell of the wilderness itself; the sounds
of water, wind, and creatures underscoring their free and
natural messages as though to remind us that this is how it
used to be………and, how it should be. In a more
straightforward way, nature's own poetic alarm clock
ringing loudly within our conscience as if to tell us we
must examine and repair our own environment before it
is too late. In a very humbling way, nature itself is telling
us to become the stewards once again that, hypocritically,
we still profess to be. Strange as it might seem to you now,
fly fishing and many of the streams you will likely encounter
along its way are, in reality, gateways to some of these
Whatever it is about fly fishing that is so captivating, I feel
a sense of obligation to perpetuate it in whatever ways I can.
It is that premise that leads me back to why I have elected to
spend time creating my own set of Web pages about the
sport. Some of the information in these pages falls under the
category of classic examples of redundant lists of things you
have perhaps already seen. When you come upon this
information, I hope you'll be patient and remember that not
everyone out in cyberspace may have attained your level of
knowledge about fly fishing.
I also hope that even for the most seasoned angler, this Web
Site will hold enchantment, offering from time to time a new
perspective to enhance your own enjoyment of the sport. This
web site will be an on-going process that evolves through time
as more and more of you add your own thoughts and ideas
about fly fishing. I hope these pages will help to impart a deeper
perspective into fly fishing and its endless virtues.
Most of all, I wish to convey that fly fishing is,
all too often, highly misrepresented by its lofty high priced, high
tech look. True, there are times when flawless equipment and
precise presentation have no substitutes. However, it is the
more basic of terminologies and purposes that I feel one
should examine first. After all, the main purpose in fly fishing
is to have fun. It's even better when you can share it with a
friend or friends. If you master the basics within your financial
wherewithal, while getting some good human experiences along
the way, you will find many rewards from having taken the time
to learn fly fishing from its deepest aspects. In that way, not only
will it serve you well for many years to come but, it also may
even bring you face to face with some of the simple truths
when you might least expect them.
The whole purpose of my campaign is to
become a clearing house of sorts, one that deals strictly
with fly fishing issues. And, if you're new to the sport, I
hope to be able to provide the necessary barometers to
help you navigate through the countless pages that will
literally multiply before your eyes thus making your
choices more confusing.
It is in that spirit that
Rx F Fish
steps forward; to make the sport more accessible and
more understandable. Especially, that it affords fun,
entertainment, and personal reward. As these pages
evolve, they will make every attempt to provide answers
to help close the gap in the language barrier.
~ Trent Roberson"
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